When it comes to substance abuse, no two experiences are exactly alike. Everyone has their own background, genetic makeup and family history that can play a significant role in the way they experience addiction. However, there are several core personality traits that are typically associated with substance abuse disorder.
Being aware of these warning signs is crucial to seeking out the support you need for your addiction. Here are some of the most common traits found in people who are struggling with substance abuse disorder.
People often turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to quell anxiety. For some, this is a coping mechanism for drowning out their worries about school, work or relationships. Meanwhile, others may resort to substances to treat the physical effects of anxiety, which include dizziness, shortness of breath, stomach upset and insomnia.
At first, an anxious person may dabble in a substance or two just to calm their nerves. However, this habit can quickly devolve into a full-blown addiction if the person is unable to cope with their anxiety on their own.
Impulsivity is another common personality trait rooted in substance abuse. Naturally impulsive people often don’t give any thought to the potential consequences of their actions. They are known to use their emotions as a guide, which drives them to engage in risky behavior that can get them into serious trouble.
An impulsive person is far more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, because they’re solely focused on the high that they get from the substance. The long-term and even short-term effects of substance abuse normally don’t play a factor in their decision.
3. Negative Self-Image
Drug or alcohol abuse can also be a response to a negative self-image. People who struggle with poor self-esteem often deal with negative thoughts and believe they aren’t worthy of happiness or success in life. This can have a detrimental impact on many areas of their lives, such as their personal relationships and their performance at work or school.
To cope with negative thoughts and feelings, many people with low self-esteem turn to drugs and alcohol. Although this may provide temporary relief from painful emotions, it doesn’t get to the root of poor self-image and often makes the problem worse.
4. Poor Stress Management
Everyone deals with stress from time to time. While you can’t control stressful events that happen in your life, you can control the way you react to them. Those who struggle to manage stress in a healthy way often turn to toxic outlets, such as drugs and alcohol. The temporary relief that they get from stress causes them to use the substance more frequently and in higher doses, which can lead to an addiction.
It’s important to develop healthy coping mechanisms when life becomes overwhelming. If you’re struggling, a mental health professional can help you better cope with life’s stressors.
Find the Support You Need for Substance Abuse
While these personality traits are commonly seen in people struggling with addiction, they don’t tell the whole story. At America’s Rehab Campuses, we recognize that substance abuse is not a one-size-fits-all situation. No matter how addiction is affecting you, don’t be afraid to seek out the support you need. We’re here to help you take the first step toward recovery.