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How to Know If You Have An Addictive Personality?

What is An Addictive Personality?

Take Our “Do I Have an Addictive Personality” Quiz

Some people are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. We often blame their personalities for placing them at risk. But, research says it’s someone’s genes that increase their risk of addiction.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also includes having addicted parents or family members with mental health disorders. These things can make someone predisposed to having addictive traits and addiction. For example, growing up with parents that misused alcohol can increase your risk of struggle with alcohol abuse.

However, it’s impossible to pinpoint addiction to someone’s personality.


Risk takers have poor impulse control. They’re also more likely to try addictive substances. Risk-taking personalities seek something that fuels them. A study suggests that they might have higher levels of dopamine in the brain.

This makes them have a lower sensitivity to dopamine’s effects. They need more intense experiences to feel the pleasure that dopamine causes. They need higher doses to experience the same feelings as those with normal dopamine levels. 


Also known as the disconnected trait, these individuals have difficulty with social interactions. At the same time, they may suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. Most of the time, they will medicate and manage their symptoms with alcohol or drugs.

Their medication practice builds up their tolerance and could lead them to addiction. 


The closest trait to an “addictive personality.” People think addiction is only related to a lack of impulse control. When they can’t control their impulses, they turn to addictive activities or substances. The goal is to maintain an obsessive and compulsive behavioral pattern.

Addiction becomes a compulsion to use the substances rather than an urge to try something new. The obsessive often maintain habitual behaviors that are likely to develop an addiction. 

Healthy Ways to Manage an Addictive Personality

There’s more than genetics and environmental factors for addiction. Researchers believe not managing these behaviors can lead to addiction. Today, we know that addiction is a progressive and complex brain disease that has no single cause.

There are ways to manage these impulses for someone who has difficulty with them. Whether it’s compulsive comfort eating, obsession with social media, or gambling, these tactics can help:

Getting Help

People with addictions are often the last person to realize it — if they do. When someone is aware of their substance use problem, it’s taken a toll on their lives.

Addiction is often a band-aid on a more serious underlying problem. The key to addressing addiction is finding the underlying causes. Behavioral therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals struggle with these issues. This allows people to learn healthy ways to manage addictive behaviors. For people with a substance use disorder, rehab will likely include these therapies along with other evidence-based treatments. Rehab can be effective at achieving long-term sobriety.

This approach can help with substance or behavioral problems. Treatment to control personality traits reduces the risk of relapse. It’s less likely for them to engage in risky behavior after leaving rehab.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the time to seek help is now. This is true with personality disorders that worsen with time.

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our substance abuse treatment programs offer a comprehensive approach. We incorporate behavioral therapies and drug addiction treatment. The goal is to address addiction from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective.

Whether you’re dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, or a behavioral addiction, call 866-308-2090 today and complete a complimentary assessment to help you get started. 

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