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Addictive Personalities

For many years, people thought that those addicted to drugs or alcohol were simply not showing the willpower needed to stop themselves. Recently, however, many experts have argued that addiction is partly a neurological disease. So are you prone to addiction? Can you recognize the signs of an addictive personality so that you can help someone you love? This article will help you understand more about addictive personalities.

First of all alcohol and drug abuse hits all walks of life, male and female, young and old, rich and poor – no matter the culture. However, more men are addicted then women, young adults are more likely to have addictions, and the amount of addictions and abuses do vary among the different ethnic groups in the United States. The 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse explained that around 3.6 million people over the age of 12 were addicted to either alcohol or drugs and sometimes both.

So are you at risk for addiction? What makes an addictive personality? While not everyone believes in the idea of an addictive personality, those who do explain that there is something in your brain that predisposes you to addictions. However, the type of drug or alcohol being used also can lead to a higher risk of addiction. For example, crack and heroine cause a huge change in the brain and make most people want more.

The following questions can help you understand if you or someone you love is exhibiting signs of an addictive personality.

  • Have you ever been addicted to some substance or behavior before?
  • Do you lean toward dependent relationships?
  • Do you dislike change?
  • Are there people in your family who were easily addicted to something?
  • Do you feel a need to exhibit destructive self-expression?
  • Do you always follow your impulses, even when they are negative?
  • Do you always follow the crowd, even when it leads to something negative?
  • Are you depressed or do you have some sort of other psychological disorder?
  • Do you turn to substances or activities to make you forget your problems?

The above questions are not a medical exam, and if you or someone you love are really in pain or in trouble due to an addiction, it is best to get help from a professional; a good first step is to talk to your doctor. However, these questions can lead you to understanding more about addictions and what you should do to avoid future problems of addiction. Many people already know that they could easily become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and therefore they work harder to never try it even once. For further information on the effects of drug and alcohol use, please see the other articles on treatments and prevention.

Signs of an Addictive Personality Sources:

  1. National Mental Health Association, “Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders,” [online].
  2. Serendip, MaryBeth Curtiss, “Brain Dependence: The Debate Over the Addictive Personality and Gender Implications,” [online].
  3. Stanton Peele Addiction Website, “Letter from Stanton Peele to Student,” [online].

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