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Personality Traits of a Drug or Alcohol Abuser

Updated on July 21, 2010

It can be a struggle to deal with family or friends with drug or alcohol addiction issues. Sometimes, you can get so caught up in the drama and hype that you get sucked in and become a co-dependant. A co-dependant is someone that relies on these ups and downs and has lived with a parent or spouse that has already previously had addiction issues.

In retrospect, what traits does a drug or alcohol abuser have that others that don’t?

Common Traits

  • Low tolerance to uncomfortable or tense situations
  • Exaggerated anxiety levels
  • Tends to be a Perfectionist
  • Self Glory, this hides low self-esteem
  • Justifying their actions, excusing their behaviour
  • Isolation, becomes a loner

Not only does the person with the addiction have a problem, but the functionality of the entire family is dysfunctional. Here are some typical traits that families can develop while dealing with a substance abuser.

  • A perceived isolation
  • Inconsistency within the family unit
  • Self condemning
  • Control needs
  • Approval needs
  • Rigidity
  • Fear of failure

Dealing with someone that is abusing drugs or alcohol is hard on all of those that love that person. The addicted person doesn’t seem to realize that they are ripping at the hearts of those that love him or her. Some tend to live in a fantasy world, because the raw truth means that they are hurting all of those that love him or her, and it may become beyond repair.

Thankfully there is help for those seeking it. But for the families dealing with the hurt, pain and shame that goes along with it, life goes on and there is also help. Repeat after me: You cannot control what another person does. We each have our own freewill and some use theirs to hurt themselves and inadvertently hurting others. Help is available for those seeking to get out of the cycle of co-dependency, but its also a hard process, just as with the addict.

Here is a helpful website that explains exactly what a co-dependant is and common traits.

Look for a counsellor or read up to improve your life and those you love.


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    • Steph0596 profile image

      Steph0596 7 years ago from Ontario

      Thanks, I know I made it quite short and sweet and to the point. I was hoping to use it just as a reference list. I will add to it eventually or maybe post another hub going further into details.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • winegoddess55 profile image

      winegoddess55 7 years ago from Mount Forest

      Good article, maybe could use some more detail. The videos were good too, especially the one with the lady doctor who discusses the severe brain damage caused by alcohol abuse.