The Common Denominator: What Are the 4 Personality Traits of Alcoholics and Addicts?

The Common Denominator: What Are the 4 Personality Traits of Alcoholics and Addicts?

Every person who abuses drugs or alcohol is unique, as is every case and journey to the recovery process. Addiction does not discriminate and can afflict anyone at any time. However, numerous studies over the decades have indicated that there are some common personality traits among people who suffer from addiction. Knowing those traits can help people actively abusing begin to understand what is happening and realize they are addicts.

Emotional Traits

Feelings and perceptions are where some of the differences between people who drink socially, for example, and those who are alcoholics are apparent. Low self-esteem, the feeling that one does not belong or fit in, and introversion are three common traits of abusers. It is quick and easy to turn to a substance to hide pain and loneliness. The burden of dealing with others is eliminated so there are no awkward moments to endure.

Behavior Traits

People who are impulsive, impatient, and lack reliable techniques for handling stress tend to be more susceptible to addiction than people who are calm and easy-going. This is, perhaps, the best explanation to address how some can occasionally partake of drugs and alcohol without becoming addicted. Other behavior traits, such as a change in overall demeanor, defensiveness, manipulation, and declining work or school performance, will not be obvious until addiction has taken hold.

Relationship issues, anxiety when not using the favored substance, and a lack of motivation are also common. People may shift blame for actions or incidents, so the cause of any problem is not attributed to addiction. Dishonesty regarding usage or anti-social behavior to avoid questions is prevalent among addicts as well. If these traits are being exhibited by you or a loved one, it is time to explore treatment options.

Treatment for Addiction

Once a person has been assessed by an intake professional to determine the level of care required for successful treatment, plans are customized to suit the needs, circumstance, and budgets of each client. Individualized programs fall into three main categories. Inpatient care is the highest level of treatment available. Participants reside in a rehabilitation facility for one to three months and are monitored 24/7 to ensure their safety. Therapy, education, and developing coping strategies are presented daily by medical personnel and trained staff.

Outpatient care is offered at two levels. Intensive outpatient treatment is available for people who require many hours of therapy while living in a sober environment. Often referred to as “half-way houses”, these settings allow participants to come and go from the residences and still receive high levels of care.

Regular outpatient treatment is conducted at a center. Participants live at home and attend work or school. Therapies and classes are attended during spare time. Those who want to learn more about treatment and levels of care will find a great deal of information online and can also discuss the issue with a doctor.


Do not let finances be a barrier between you and treatment. There are a few options to cover the costs. Many insurances cover treatment for addiction, including military and private insurances, Medicare, and Medicaid. State-funded and non-profit facilities offer flexible payment plans, sliding scale costs, reduced rates based on income, and even free treatment. Total costs will vary based on length, location, and level of care. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of treatment is always much cheaper than the costs of active addiction.

Facing, confronting, and dealing with addiction is never easy. The biggest step is realizing treatment is required. Learning common traits, exploring treatment options, and participation in a variety of therapies will change your life for the better.

Team LM
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