4 Traits Drug Abusers share with Leaders

4 Traits Drug Abusers share with Leaders

Researchers have made great strides in analyzing the biological, chemical, and psychological factors that contribute to addiction.

The brain is wired to seek pleasure, but that pleasure means something different to different people.

Addiction treatment has adopted many innovative therapies including yoga, art therapy, swim therapy, and holistic treatments. These treatments have helped many addicts recover and achieve long-term success.

1. Impulsive Behavior

Impulsive behaviors include trouble delaying gratification and a tendency to seek thrills and sensations. For many addicts, substance abuse can manifest from a propensity for risk-taking. Most addicts want what they want, and they want it immediately.

While potentially destructive, this fearless behavior and lack of patience can drive many people to make positive life changes, learn from mistakes, and achieve success.

Ever hear of a CEO hop a plane to another country at the drop of a hat?

2. Narcissism

Drug Abusers and Alcoholics often suffer from narcissistic personality disorder.

Addicts in rehab often show an inflated sense of self, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.

Great leaders also exhibit confident behavior and pursue their ambitions with little regard for others’ opinions. Having the confidence to express oneself amidst disapproval can be a powerful positive or negative force.  Many visionary leaders have been called cruel for their lack of empathy and strong self-importance.

Where leaders and addicts may differ is that an addict may not be able to cope with the the narcissist’s fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

3. Social Alienation

Similar to nonconformity, social alienation can drive great success or great failure.

Individuals who have trouble fitting in with their peers often seek outlets for pleasure, including drugs.

This desire can lead to many addictive behaviors such as gambling, thrill-seeking, and substance abuse.

On the other hand, social alienation can drive entrepreneurs to devise products or services that revolutionize how we live our lives.  There have been many successful individuals who were known to be extremely reclusive, yet were able to accomplish great deeds.

4. Anxiety

A high level of stress, coupled with depression and in many cases trauma, is one of the most common forces that drive people toward drugs and alcohol.

Family troubles, job stress, abuse, a history of trauma or a singular traumatic event can cause severe anxiety and lead people to seek immediate relief or escape through drug abuse.

The list of leaders and celebrities suffering from some form of anxiety disorder is quite long.  Learning coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety and panic attacks seems to be one way successful individuals are able to overcome anxiety.

It goes to show that personality traits don’t always fall definitively into “good” or “bad” qualities. What matters is how a person leverages those traits to make a positive change.

There is Hope

While substance addicts are often placed on the opposite end of the spectrum as business leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs, the truth is that leaders and addicts share many personality traits, and therefore can overcome life’s difficulties.

A report written for the National Academy of Sciences proposes that addictions cannot be narrowed down to an all-inclusive set of personality traits. Everyone has their own unique experiences.

Childhood trauma may compel one person to turn to drinking, while a similar experience may not produce the same compulsion in another person.

The important thing to remember is that if you or someone you know suffers from addiction and is displaying any of these traits, there can be hope found in the fact others have shown they can be successful.