Although a person’s environment is an influential factor in developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, some people who live in the same environment become drug or alcohol users while others do not. Personality traits are associated with illegal drug use, and therefore substance use disorders. Therefore, psychological predisposition to drug or alcohol addiction does exist, and research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows this relationship through the Five-Factor Model of Personality.
The Five-Factor Model of Personality
The Five-Factor Model of Personality is a group of five broad trait aspects that help explain personality differences and people’s behavior. The five traits include:
- Extraversion- is when someone enjoys being around other people more than being alone.
- Neuroticism- is the tendency to be in a negative, stressed, or anxious emotional state.
- Agreeableness- is a set of characteristics perceived by others as being sympathetic, warm, kind, and considerate.
- Conscientiousness- is being careful or diligent, hoping to do a job or task successfully, and to take obligations seriously. Conscientious people tend to be organized and efficient.
- Openness to Experience- indicates how open-minded a person is, and is characterized by being imaginative and curious, and enjoyment in trying new things.
Drug Use and Personality
Generally, those who use drugs or alcohol are characterized by having high Neuroticism, high Openness to Experience, low Agreeableness, and low Conscientiousness. However, there are individual personality differences between the drugs that are used. For example, heroin and cocaine users are generally lower in Openness to Experience, while Marijuana users are only average in Neuroticism. Extraversion shows no association with drug use. Perhaps obviously, people high in Conscientiousness are more resistant to drug addiction. Therefore, low Neuroticism, low Openness to Experience, high Agreeableness, and high Conscientiousness can all protect someone from drug use, and therefore, subsequent drug abuse.
Personality traits are associated with and may predict future and continued drug use. Therefore, environment and personality affect the prevalence of substance use disorders. No matter what personality traits define someone, recovery is possible, and there is hope. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. We seek to inspire clients to face their challenges and foster hope for their future. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call us today at 817-381-9741 or visit us online.