Five Traits Related To An Addictive Personality

Addiction adds up all across the world. Substance abuse contributed to 11.8 million deaths in 2017. That counts for one in five deaths that year. 

Anyone can suffer from addiction, including someone without an addictive personality. Yet addictive personality traits can prompt and facilitate drug use. 

What are the most common addictive personality traits? What behaviors do they create? Why does someone who knows that drugs are harming them continue to abuse drugs? 

Answer these questions and you can understand how a person’s personality adds to their risk for drug use. Here are the five major addictive personality traits.


Someone with an obsessive trait performs the same activity multiple times. They may wash their hands over and over again, even if they have no need to do so. 

Doing the same activity can provide a sense of comfort and control. A person may have an abusive boss or personal relationship that makes them feel powerless.

But they can start and stop an activity whenever they want to. This makes them in charge of something in their life.

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Someone can have an obsessive personality trait with or without obsessive-compulsive disorder. People with OCD may have stronger obsessions, and their obsessions can interfere with their daily lives. 

An obsessive person may start using drugs as a means to cope with stress. They may find that it “helps,” and they start to develop an obsession with drugs. 

As time goes on, they may become aware of the problems that drugs are causing them. But they may continue to use them because they feel in control over their habits. They may become dependent on drugs so they can do other things.


An adventurous person likes to take risks. They may engage in risky activities like skydiving.

In and of itself, this may not be a problem. Taking risks can encourage someone to be outgoing and pursue financial opportunities.

The problem comes when an adventurous individual loses control over their impulses. Once they do, they no longer distinguish between dangerous activities and non-dangerous ones. 

They may try out drugs just because of the stigma and risky image they have. They may find that drugs help them perform risky activities. 

Adventurous people may experiment with many different drugs. They may try out combinations like alcohol and Oxycontin, which can lead to respiratory arrest. They may also engage in unsafe sex and driving while they are consuming drugs.

Someone who is adventurous may be able to hide the signs of addiction from their loved ones. They may claim that they are fatigued or pale because of another activity that they did.

This can make it harder to initiate treatment for them. They may only turn to a drug treatment center after an accident or a run-in with the police.


Disconnected people are not close to others. They may struggle to read social cues and build long-term relationships. 

Someone may appear lost in their thoughts or cautious. They may refuse to participate in any activities they regard as risky. They may be smart or creative, but they may disengage from their work and turn inward. 

Drugs may appear as tools to disconnected people. Someone may take an upper and find that they are happier and more outgoing. They may use drugs like Ritalin to focus at work. 

Physical pain can cause someone to sever ties with other people. They may use opioids to manage their pain, which can trigger an addiction. 

As time goes on, an individual may become dependent on a drug to feel good. They may develop a high tolerance for it, meaning they consume large amounts of it. This can cause an overdose or a dangerous withdrawal.


A self-loathing person has very low self-esteem. They do not take care of themselves and they do not think highly of themselves.

A self-loathing trait overlaps with other personality traits. It is easy for someone to feel self-loathing and disconnected from others. They may pull themselves away from friends and family because they feel they are not good for them. 

Someone may begin using drugs so they feel better about themselves. They may also start using drugs to punish themselves for something they did. 

Self-loathing can trap an individual deep within addiction. The negative signs of addiction may confirm to someone that their self-loathing was accurate. The more they feel worse about themselves, the more they use drugs in order to punish themselves.


Everyone feels anxiety every now and again. It can help a person respond to a threat in little time. 

Anxiety becomes a problem when it impedes a person’s life. They may avoid social situations or locations where they feel anxious. 

Anti-anxiety medications include benzodiazepines. If they are consumed in small dosages with a doctor’s approval, a person may feel less anxiety. But they can become addictive or abused. 

Someone may develop a tolerance to their medication, so they switch drugs. They may also try out illicit drugs to alleviate their anxiety. They may experience a short-term benefit, but their addiction can increase their anxiety over time. 

The Five Main Addictive Personality Traits

Addictive personality traits may contribute to drug use. An obsessive person can develop an obsession with drug use. An adventurous person may take drugs just because they are risky.

A disconnected or self-loathing person may turn to drugs so they can become happier and sociable. Someone with anxiety may abuse prescriptions after developing a tolerance.

There is no one trait that all people with addictions must have. Someone with an addiction can be smart and successful, despite their personality and addiction. But everyone who abuses drugs can get help. Inland Detox serves Southern California residents. Contact us today.