There are a variety of risk factors for addiction. Some people are genetically predisposed to substance use disorder. They could have been raised in a family with a deeply rooted history of addiction. For others, addiction may have been the product of a traumatic event or period in their life. In the case of heroin addiction, personality traits may change as the disease progresses.
At BlueCrest Recovery, we know how difficult it can be to watch someone you love struggle with addiction. Our team of experts has the tools and experience to help your loved ones find their way back to a healthy, productive life. We understand that addiction is a complex disease, and we’re here to provide the treatment and support people need on their journey toward recovery. Learn more about our heroin rehab center in New Jersey by calling 888.292.9652 today.
What Is an Addictive Personality?
Most people are unsure what it means to have an addictive personality. The term often implies that someone’s personality type could predispose them to substance use disorder. There is no such thing as one particular personality trait that automatically leads to addiction. However, there are distinct personality traits that experts have noticed are common among those experiencing substance use disorder or those who are likely to eventually go down that path.
Some may tend to struggle with overwhelming loads of stress and anxiety, for example. They may find it difficult to seek relief from their constant running thoughts and anxious behavior. Once they feel like they can’t seem to come to terms with it all, they may turn to substance use to seek solace and relief from the struggle.
Personality Traits Related to Heroin Use
There are several common traits that experts have noticed are linked to heroin addiction. If you notice a family member or friend exhibiting one or more of them, they may be more likely to go down that path at some point in the future. When your loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, personality and behavior traits like the ones below may arise.
Slow or Sudden Changes in Physical Health and Appearance
Histamine, a chemical created in the body, will be released quite often when heroin is present. Once it is released, it may cause the user to have a runny nose and an overwhelming sense of itchiness. As a result of this, someone suffering from heroin addiction may often have a runny nose and an inability to fight off common colds and seasonal allergies. Heroin can have a negative impact on the immune system and weaken its ability to combat infections.
In addition to this, people addicted to heroin may often have dry mouth, abscesses, and other skin infections. Dry mouth, also known as cottonmouth, is a common side effect of heroin. Most heroin users inject the drug in large quantities via a syringe. This is what often leads to infections, such as abscesses that appear at the site of injection. Injecting multiple times a day will damage the skin and leave scars behind.
Impulsivity is a common personality trait amongst those who struggle with the escalation of drug use. It is also present among those who often relapse after long or short periods of sobriety.
Impulsive behavior can be exhibited in many ways. Some people may eat an excessive amount of food in one sitting without considering how their bodies will respond to the high levels of calories, fat, and sugars. Some may drive recklessly or engage in other risky behavior without considering how it could harm them and others. Some people engage in shoplifting, extreme sports, property damage, violence, and many other impulsive behaviors with little to no regard for the consequences.
Opium, a derivative of the poppy flower used to make heroin, has properties that encourage numbness and feelings of fatigue and drowsiness. This can easily lead most heroin users to a lifestyle full of frequent napping and extensive sleeping.
Although that could be a sound explanation for constant fatigue, other issues can bring the same effect. Many people who struggle with substance use disorder eventually fall into depression and begin to lose interest in the things that once brought them joy and happiness. They may eventually find nothing to look forward to each day other than the high or satisfaction that they will get from their substance of choice. Once things reach this point, they may sleep more than usual or have a lower energy level than most.
Patterns of Dishonesty and Manipulation
The core of addiction is often the struggle to go without whatever it is that is making the person addicted. Though it may seem like an obvious observation, understanding the basic foundations of addiction can help you understand why they lead to certain changes in behavior and personality. Heroin and other addictive substances can cause intense cravings in the user that override their ability to control their impulses. Those struggling with the ability to control cravings will do almost anything to obtain the substance they are addicted to, even if it means harming others.
For example, a person could resort to theft and manipulation of family members and friends if it meant that they could get access to heroin that way. This behavior is often the biggest reason why those who struggle with substance use disorder eventually find themselves to be on the outs with their loved ones. When the addiction is out of control, it can have a negative impact on the person’s moral compass and reasoning.
Peer pressure can be a struggle for people of all ages, not just those who are younger and in school. Some of those struggling with substance use disorder may already know people who have access to toxic and addictive substances, while others could begin to befriend questionable characters solely because they offer access to heroin.
Once a heroin addiction becomes obvious enough that family members and friends notice it, people struggling with the drug may choose to distance themselves and go where they feel they will be accepted and comfortable. This could be in the company of others with addiction or dealers. They will often feel the need to escape those feelings of guilt and judgment, which encourage them to surround themselves with like-minded individuals, even if that will only drive them further into their addiction.
Chronic Financial Issues
Impulsivity and the struggle of dealing with cravings can quickly lead someone with an addiction to financial woes. Illegal drugs can be expensive, and the impulsive nature of most people with heroin dependence leads them to do whatever they can to feed the addiction, even if they don’t have the financial means for it.
As addiction progresses, to the user, nothing seems more important than the substance they are addicted to. Their need and desire for the substance will override almost anything else that they possess, regardless of how valuable the items may be. Be wary of this and pay close attention to how they behave when they can’t find a route to their next opportunity to use the substance. This is an easy way to determine that they need professional help.
Trouble with Stress Management
Stress is common, regardless of whether one has a substance use disorder. Some people, however, have higher levels of stress than the average person. For example, those who are involved in careers that impact their safety or character on a daily basis will be more stressed than most. A movie star could often feel suffocated by trying to maintain a particular image to be favored in the public eye. Firefighters, police officers, or soldiers often find themselves struggling with the thought of whether or not their next workday could be their last.
The inability to cope with stress is an understandable and highly relatable struggle that impacts billions of people each day. When it becomes too overwhelming to bear, the individual could often feel the need to seek relief from a substance. In most cases, that substance can provide a temporary feeling of relief and satisfaction, which is what leads to addiction. Once the individual finds that they can escape from the haunting levels of stress and anxiety via the substance, they will begin to rely on it, even if they can only feel that relief for a few moments.
If you know that your loved one, friend, or acquaintance is dealing with high levels of distress, reach out and pay attention to their behavior and actions, as this can help you lead them to a better method of stress relief. Some people dealing with high levels of stress begin to withdraw from their family and friends. They could also engage in behaviors such as binge-watching TV, binge eating, oversleeping, and overworking. Some could also begin to change in a way that is harmful to others in their vicinity, such as lashing out and engaging in physical or emotional abuse. Self-harm is another common link between highly stressed individuals and substance use disorder.
Heroin Addiction Treatment at BlueCrest Recovery
When your loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, their personality might change drastically. Don’t let these changes stop you from getting them the help they need. While you may feel disconnected and resentful toward them for their actions, they need you more than ever. Contact BlueCrest Recovery at 888.292.9652 today for more information about heroin addiction treatment.