Are Introverts More Susceptible to Substance Abuse?

cognitivesciencesA team of researchers led by Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institude on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently contucted a study seeking links to personality traits, brain conditions and substance use disorders. The differences between being introverted vs. extroverted and how the associated moods can affect drug abuse was specifically examined.

Fellow researcher Dr. Sergi Ferré recently exclaimed that people who are extroverted more often tend to experience more positive thoughts. The flip side being that introverts have more negative thoughts and emotions, such as anxiety and depression, which therefore make them more susceptible to heavier alcohol and drug use.

Their theories also include genetic factors and brain system influencers of these personality traits, with the idea of being able to more accurately predicts one’s vulnerability or resilience to developing a problem with drugs or alcohol at some point in their lives.

Of course there is no hard and fast rule that means if someone is introverted they will become an addict, or that a more outgoing person won’t become one, but it is helpful to know what the additional risk factors in life are and how to better prevent addiction from occurring.

More details of the study were published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.