It’s likely you’ve heard of an addictive personality before, and it’s a term that is often overused, particularly when many experts oppose the idea that it even exists.

It can be incredibly tempting to place blame on an addictive personality when it comes to developing the likes of alcohol addiction or problems with drugs. However, viewing it purely as part of someone’s personality can be dangerous as in reality it isn’t simply part of who they are. The truth is, anyone can develop an addiction.

Many studies have found that there is some evidence that suggests certain personality traits can make addiction more likely, as ultimately they’ll surround themselves in particular environments where addiction is more likely to take hold of someone.

For example, a study from four years ago found that people who are more likely to behave impulsively are more likely to develop an addiction as they are more likely to take risks and try various substances.

Other studies have found that people who like to seek thrills or are nonconformists are also more likely to suffer from addiction, rather than it being branded as an “addictive personality”.

Ultimately, why people develop addictions isn’t down to personality, but a number of reasons surrounding their life and lifestyles. That can often be put down to the following reasons:

  • Epigenetics: Genes can play a large part of someone developing an addiction. It’s believed that our genetic makeup can be around 40-60% of the reason why someone may develop an addiction.
  • Stress: Stressful periods or times of trauma can have a huge impact on how likely someone is to develop an addiction. Substance abuse is often used as a method to try and cope with memories.
  • Social Circles: If you’re surrounded by an environment in which substance abuse is prevalent, then it’s going to have an impact on you. This is particularly the case with young people, who see substance misuse and deem it ok and a natural part of life. Peer pressure can also occur in this instance.
  • Early use: For those who do take particular substances early, they can be more susceptible to addiction as it can influence how the brain develops, and the brain can decide that it is reliant upon such substances.

It is potentially harmful to believe that they have addictive personality as ultimately it removes them from blame or have them believing they aren’t at risk from addiction due to not having an “addictive personality”. What’s more, someone who does suffer from addiction may feel like they aren’t able to recover as it’s a part of who they are. But that’ isn’t true.


It’s not about a person’s personality, but rather various circumstances, the environment they live in and the genetics that make up that person’s life. And even then, if you keep yourself removed from potentially dangerous situations, you can monitor your risk levels to ensure you don’t suffer what is a cruel and life-threatening disease.