November 7, 2022

Recovery for the Addictive Personality

Do you have what's considered an addictive personality? Is recovery harder for people with an addictive personality. In this resource, we explore.


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Contributors & Editors

Susana Spiegel

Recovery Writer and Advocate

Last Update on July 5, 2023

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It’s important to understand recovery for the addictive personality. Do you have an addictive personality? If you or a loved one are getting ready to tackle addiction, you may be forced to confront deep-rooted parts of yourself that raise questions about who you are and how much you can truly change.
Searching for help with drug and/or alcohol addiction? Call us now at (888) 201-4610.

The Power of the Addictive Personality

The extent to which a person’s personality dictates their actions is a long-standing debate within scientific and philosophical communities that has its roots in the free will argument.

Some suggest that certain people with addictive personalities are naturally inclined to seek pleasure1 and have low impulse control, leading them to engage in risky behavior more frequently and develop addictions more easily.

By this logic, people with such personalities have a harder time breaking out of the cycle of addiction. Even if they do, it may prove pointless, as their nature will draw them towards another source of dependency.

This fatalistic attitude towards human nature leaves little room for self-determination. Even if it is true, a person’s inherent personality is not the sole determining factor for their behavior. 

Environmental, social, and learned factors all play enormous roles in shaping your future.

While you may not have control over the circumstances of your birth, you have a significant say in where you go, who you spend your time with, and the influences you allow to permeate your mind and build your values.

The fact that you’re looking into recovery shows that you control your actions. While you may struggle with intense desires, with the proper support, you can overcome your natural inclination and create the life you want for yourself.

The Signs of an Addictive Personality

Individuals with addictive personalities are more likely to develop addictions than those without addictive personality traits. But what exactly is an addictive personality?

While there is no definitive answer, certain characteristics tend to be associated with addictive personalities. These include a strong need for approval, excitement, and novelty and a tendency towards impulsivity.

Individuals with addictive personalities may also have difficulty handling stress and may turn to substances or behaviors as a coping method.

While not everyone with an addictive personality will develop an addiction, understanding the signs can help to identify those at risk and get them the help they need.

Is Recovery Harder for Those With Strong Addictive Personalities?

One study found that people with addictive personalities were more likely to relapse after treatment and less likely to stick with recovery programs.

The study’s authors suggested that this may be because people with addictive personalities are more prone to impulsivity and boredom, which can lead them to seek out drugs or alcohol even after deciding to quit.

However, it’s important to know that anyone can recover from drug and alcohol addiction with the willingness to change.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek professional help. Recovery can be difficult, but it’s possible with the right support.

Can Treatment Change My Relationship With Addiction?

No matter your innate traits, you can change. The power of the human mind to adapt surpasses any of your inherent tendencies. When you’re ready to overcome addiction for good, you’ll want to avail yourself of every possible resource. 

Beyond medical treatment, a comprehensive recovery program will include a strong element of social support. Humans are social beings, and we can be affected by our environment. By putting yourself into a positive sphere of influence, you set yourself up to break the mold of your old lifestyle.

Effective addiction treatment is more than just receiving medication and managing your symptoms: it entails addressing the root problems at your person’s core that contribute to destructive behavior. 

 Your long-term recovery will be built on a foundation of therapy, self-acceptance, and self-determination. Even if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to change your relationship with addiction in the past, this is an opportunity for you to ask yourself the deepest questions about who you want to be and begin doing the work to become that person. 

Working with experienced counselors and behavioral specialists can allow you to reach new heights of personal development beyond what you may have previously thought possible.

Is My Personality Set in Stone?

It’s a common question from people beginning recovery: Can I recover if I have an addictive personality? Or will I just slip back into my old habits?

It’s an understandable concern, and you deserve reassurance. When you go through treatment, engage in therapy, and develop a deeper understanding of yourself, you’ll come face-to-face with your internal traumas, fears, or imbalances that have a hand in leading you towards addictive pleasure-seeking.

This isn’t always easy work and may entail painful emotional vulnerability. However, once you go through it, you’ll no longer be hiding that part of your psyche from yourself and can begin to heal from the ground up honestly.

Remember, recovery is a lifelong pursuit. The only qualification for being in recovery is exhibiting a desire to improve and taking action toward that goal. Every day you spend in pursuit of your mission is a day of success in healing.

To make the most of your recovery journey, seek professional support. Having the guidance and encouragement of experts in overcoming addiction can make all the difference as you navigate the road toward a better life.

How to Get Help for Addiction and Addictive Personality

If you struggle with impulsivity and gratification, you may realize that addiction is a symptom of your less desirable traits and not simply a fluke.

Don’t let the scope of that realization deter you from achieving positive changes in your life.

At Cornerstone Healing Center, we know that addiction doesn’t form in a vacuum and that effective treatment means more than just fixing the symptoms of the problem.

For some, recovery might mean rebuilding your personality and life from the ground up as you identify the part of yourself that no longer serves you.

Our facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, is designed to serve as a safe, resourceful place where you can do the hard work of facing the dark parts of yourself and deciding who you want to be in your new life. This is a formative part of your future; you don’t have to go through it alone. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.


[1] Do Personality Traits Matter? Exploring Anti-drug Behavioral Patterns in a Computer-Assisted Situated Learning Environment

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Author & Reviewers

susana spiegel recovery writer and SEO expert

Susana is a recovery writer and advocate with over 8 years in addiction recovery. She is passionate about sharing accurate and helpful information about mental health, addiction, and recovery. She holds a Bachelor’s in Christian Studies from Grand Canyon University and has over 7 years of working in the addiction field. 

lionel estrada lisac clinical director

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s Scottsdale treatment facilities. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges; he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues.

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