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How is Personality Factored into Holistic Treatment for Alcoholism?

A British study examining adolescent drinking prevention reminds us personality plays an important role in addiction. Identifying relevant personality traits helps prevent and treat drug and alcohol dependency. The study, dubbed the “Adventure Trial”, followed 2,643 ninth graders over the course of two years. Addiction-Prone Personalities During the study, researchers taught teachers to provide targeted alcohol abuse interventions based on student personality traits. The four traits, all known to increase the risk of substance abuse, are:

  • Feeling helpless
  • Impulsivity
  • Sensitivity to anxiety
  • Thrill-seeking

Students in the teacher-initiated program were compared to students in schools with traditional drug-education programs. At the end of the study, students receiving targeted, personality-based interventions had drinking rates 29 percent lower than the control group. High-risk students were 43 percent less likely to display symptoms of alcohol abuse. Personality Traits and Alcoholism Treatment At The Ranch PA, we’ve long understood the need to consider personality traits as part of our holistic treatment for alcoholism. If you feel helpless or anxious you may drink to alleviate those feelings. In comparison, impulsivity may lead to you drink without considering the consequences, while thrill-seeking can cause people to experiment with drugs or alcohol for intense experiences. In each of these situations you’d have a different reason for drinking and would respond best to slightly different treatment models. The Ranch PA understands this, which is why we personalize your treatment and therapy to match your needs. Drinking and Self-Medication The four personality traits mentioned above are also associated with mental disorders often seen in combination with alcohol abuse. Feelings of helplessness can indicate depression. Sensitivity to anxiety often leads to anxiety disorders. Impulsivity and thrill-seeking are associated with attention-deficit disorders and conduct problems. Mental issues may cause or be a result of alcohol dependency. In either case, our holistic healing centers on identifying and treating mental issues as part of our overall substance abuse program. (Photo via)

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