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Top 10 Traits That Cause Addicts to Relapse

 Main Reasons That Cause Addicts to Relapse

These Top 10 Traits That Cause Addicts to Relapse May Help Put Things Into Perspective

Addicts often hope to recover from their addiction, but relapses are a common occurrence. While it is possible for any addict to recover, there are certain personality traits that indicate an individual is likely to be unsuccessful. Anyone who has one of these top 10 traits that cause addicts to relapse needs to be proactive about getting extra support throughout the recovery process, and support needs to continue in the long term to prevent a relapse.


According to the New York Times, addicts are likely to display impulsiveness. Decision-making skills may be limited by this impulsiveness, and it is more likely for these individuals to take action without thinking about consequences.


This trait goes hand-in-hand with impulsiveness. Addicts who are trying to recover still want instant gratification and will seek out opportunities to have their desires satisfied.


The support needed to recover may be available to an addict, but they may avoid this support due to antisocial behavior. While an addict may accept help during recovery, it is common for them to withdrawal from loved ones and support due to antisocial tendencies.


While this is a disorder more than a personality trait, people who have anxiety are often predisposed to it. Recovering addicts who are dealing with stress and anxiety are more likely to turn to the substance or event related to their addiction in order to temporarily relieve feelings of anxiety.

Obsessive Behavior

According to Indiana University, people who have obsessive behavior patterns are more likely to relapse. These individuals become obsessed about the substance, person, or object to which they are addicted, and the object of their addiction will constantly dominate their thoughts.

Low Self Esteem

People who have low self esteem are more likely to relapse because of the positive feelings associated with the high. Disorders that lead to low self esteem and depression are often a factor in the likelihood that a person will relapse.


While addicts are rarely in control of their situation, it is actually common for people who relapse to have a desire to control their environment. When they lose control of their situation, they seek out the object of their addiction to distract themselves from this loss of control.

Poor Self-Regulation

Some people lack the ability to regulate their own behavior. While they can recover from addiction, they need someone else to constant regulate them to ensure that they do not relapse.


Addicts tend to be deceptive and will take care to cover their addiction by lying to loved ones. Many people who try to recover fall into old habits that include using deception without remorse.


While not a personality trait, accessibility to the object of addiction is a major factor in relapse. Maureen C. Nash, MD, MS notes that people who have access to the object of their addiction are more likely to relapse regardless of the success of their rehabilitation.

These top 10 traits that cause addicts to relapse do not have to doom an individual to life-long addiction. Additional support that lasts a lifetime is needed to prevent relapse, but it is possible.

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