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The relationship between personality traits and drug type among Substance Abuse

Authors:
The relationship between personality traits and drug type
among Substance Abuse
Mohammad Ebrahim Hokm Abadi
1
, Mojtaba Bakhti
2
, Mohsen
Nazemi
2
, Saeedeh Sedighi
3
, Elham Mirzadeh Toroghi
4
Abstract
Substance abuse is a serious global problem that is affected by multiple
psychosocial factors, and personality traits play a central role in its
occurrence. The present study aims to investigate the relationship
between the ve factors of personality (extraversion, agreeableness,
openness to experience, conscientiousness, and neuroticism) and ve
categories of drugs (sedatives, opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, and
marijuana) among self-introduced addicts. The statistical population
of the study was self-introduced addicts attending addiction treatment
centers in Khorram Abad. The participants of the study included 100
addicts with drug abuse disorder who were selected by the classied
sampling method underlining ve classes of drugs (20 participants
in each class) as the sampling strata. Data were gathered using the
structured clinical interview of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Psychiatric Disorders, NEO ve-factor inventory-revised, and the
structured demographic questionnaire. The results showed that high
levels of neuroticism distinguish users of sedatives from those of other
drugs. participants with high levels of openness to experience and
low agreeableness and conscientiousness are consistently associated
with the use of marijuana, hallucinogens, and stimulants. The results
also demonstrated that addicts with high levels of extraversion and
low levels of agreeableness and conscientiousness are consistently
associated with the use of stimulants. The results of this research
indicate that personality traits contain valuable information about
the nature of personality traits affecting drug type in addicts. These
ndings are useful in drug abuse treatment and preventing drug abuse
recurrence.
Keywords:
Drug abuse, Drug type, Personality traits
Journal of Research & Health
Social Development & Health Promotion
Research Center
Vol. 8, No.6, Nov & Dec 2018
Pages: 531- 540
DOI: 10.29252/jrh.8.6.531
Original Article
1. Department of Health Psychology, School
of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
Azad University of Gorgan, Gorgan, Iran
2. Department of Psychology, School of
Psychology and Educational Sciences,
Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran
3. Department of Clinical Psychology, School
of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
Semnan University, Semnan, Iran
4. Department of Clinical Psychology, School
of Psychology and Educational Sciences,
Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran
Correspondence to: Mojtaba Bakhti,
Department of Psychology, School of
Psychology and Educational Sciences,
Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran
Email: bakhti89@gmail.com
Received: 26 Jun 2014
Accepted: 4 Oct 2014
How to cite this article:
Hokm Abadi ME,
Bakhti M, Nazemi M, Sedighi S, Mirzadeh
Toroghi E
. The relationship between
personality traits and drug type among
Substance Abuse. J Research & Health2018;
8(6): 531- 540.
Introduction
Drug abuse is one of the greatest medical,
social, economic, and cultural problems [1].
Despite drug abuse being socially frowned
upon, different classes of people are seriously
involved with it [2], in a way that drug abuse
not only threatens individual health, but also
compromises family and public health, causing
psychological and moral decline [1]. In Iran,
in spite of the adopted policies which have
involved huge personal and nancial expenses,
desirable achievements in addiction control
have not been gained. Thus, it seems more
effort should be made for the scientic
identication of this phenomenon. The
experiences of treatment centers as well as
reliable, scientic sources suggest that the
addition recurrence rate within one year
after detoxication is over 90% [3]. Since
the precedence of prevention over treatment
is among primary hygienic principles, initial
Hokm Abadi et al
prevention is also of particular importance
regarding the topic of addiction emphasizing
protective factors against risk factors. Today,
the rst stage of rehabilitation is known to be
prevention. In fact, prevention is considered
to be a part of treatment and rehabilitation
because as the number of those who suffering
addiction decreases, society rehabilitation and
enablement are realized [2,3].
Addiction and drug abuse stem from social,
familial, and personality factors [3]. Children’s
educational underachievement, increased
divorce rate, and domestic violence are among
the consequences of addiction [4]. Among
the personal risk factors, genetic background,
personality traits, positive outlook on drugs,
and the pleasant inuence of drugs on some
people are considerable. Genetic background
and personality traits are of special importance
for identifying high-risk individuals [3,5].
According to a belief held by many researchers,
personality is the most important underlying
factor for addiction. It is believed that drug
abusers have personality weaknesses, making
them vulnerable to drug abuse and becoming
addicted [1,2]. Numerous studies have been
conducted on the relationship between drug
abuse and personality structure. For instance,
Thull and Sher [5] realized that people
susceptible to drug abuse have low extraversion.
Contrary to this nding, however, subsequent
studies showed that there is a relationship
between high levels of extraversion and alcohol
abuse [6] as well as drug abuse [7]. With regard
to agreeableness, some studies demonstrated
that people with low levels of agreeableness
have a greater tendency toward drug abuse
[6,8]. With respect to conscientiousness, low
levels of conscientiousness tend more toward
high-risk behaviors and drug abuse [6,7]. In
connection with neuroticism, people with
high levels of neuroticism make less effort for
health-related behaviors [3]. These people take
on behaviors such as alcohol abuse [1] and drug
abuse [2,3]. Regarding openness to experience,
some research demonstrated that high levels of
openness are related to drug abuse [6,9]. The
results of the research by Frank et al. indicated
that the personality trait of openness to
experience makes people susceptible to drug
abuse [8]. In another longitudinal study, the
relationship between personality and drug
abuse in British adolescents was investigated.
It was revealed that there is a direct, positive
relationship between drug abuse and sensation
seeking (excitement seeking) and its effects
on turning to addiction has predominantly
been a result of situational anxiety and
depressed temper [10]. The studies carried
out by Mendez showed that agreeableness and
conscientiousness have an inverse relationship
with drug abuse and openness to experience
has a positive relationship with hallucinogens.
The results of the research conducted by
Terracciano et al. [11] on a sample of 1102
drug abusers suggested that users of cocaine
and opiates have high scores in neuroticism
and low scores in conscientiousness, while
marijuana users have high scores in openness
to experience and low scores in agreeableness
and conscientiousness. Miller [12] stated
that there is a surprising combination of
high neuroticism and low conscientiousness
among drug abusers. In a research [13]
carried out by Kilbey et al. [14], it was
concluded that people addicted to marijuana
have low scores in conscientiousness and
people addicted to cocaine have high scores
in neuroticism. The studies were indicative
of the fact that people addicted to heroin
have high scores in extraversion [12,13,15].
Considering all of the above, it becomes
obvious that drug abuse behavior has a
clear relationship with personality traits and
factors. Since no comprehensive research,
identifying all personality traits and factors in
relation to different drugs used by addicts, has
been conducted and because cultural, ethnic,
and national circumstances as well as wrong
beliefs and specic geographical location
have prepared a suitable situation for the
youth of the country verged to addiction [16],
this issue should necessarily be investigated
in order to identify the factors making
individuals susceptible to addiction. In this
regard, the present study was conducted to
532
Personality traits and drug type among substance abuse
examine the relationship between personality
traits and drug abuse and addiction, in a group
of addicts in Khorram Abad, Iran, assuming
that by identifying the personality structure,
it is possible to take primary prevention
proceedings. The assumptions of the research
are as follows:
1- There is a positive relationship between
neuroticism and drug type (sedatives and
opiates).
2- There is a positive relationship between
extraversion and stimulant drugs (cocaine,
amphetamine, and methamphetamine).
3- There is a positive relationship between
openness to experience and marijuana and
hallucinogens.
The relationship between the two other factors,
i.e. agreeableness and conscientiousness, and
drug type was investigated as the following
questions:
1- Is there a relationship between agreeableness
and drug type?
2- Is there a relationship between conscientiousness
and drug type?
Method
The present study is an analytical study.
All of the self-introduced addicts attending
drug rehabilitation centers in Khorram Abad
constituted the statistical population. A sample
of 100 individuals was selected from the
population for participation in the research.
At rst, 3 out of 12 drug rehabilitation centers
of Khorram Abad were randomly selected
and sample members were chosen from the
participants attending these three centers
for drug rehabilitation. Then, underlining
ve classes of drugs as the sampling strata,
the classied sampling method was used.
To each class of drugs (sedatives, opiates,
stimulants, hallucinogens, and marijuana), 20
participants were assigned making up a total of
100 participants. The inclusion criteria for the
research were as follows: literacy, participant
consent, and the individual being categorized
as a drug abuser based on the diagnostic
and statistical manual of mental disorders.
Another criterion was that the drug type and
the predominant method of drug use should
be known within the past six months. The
exclusion criteria were as follows: upon
examination by specialists, the individual
exhibits main clinical signs of a hangover
(running nose, muscular-skeletal pains,
shivering of the hand, nausea) and the number
of days elapsed from the last use.
At rst, an interview was held to gain the trust
and cooperation of the participants so that
they would be ensured that their information
would remain perfectly condential. This
research was implemented at two preliminary
and principal stages. At the preliminary
stage, to evaluate drug abuse disorders
(including drug addiction and drug abuse),
the structured clinical interview of the
diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (SCID) was initially adopted. SCID
is widely employed by trained clinical experts
for axis I diagnoses according to DSM-IV. In
Iran, the Persian version was investigated by
Shari et al. and later reported as desirable for
the Iranian population [32]. Drug abuse and
addiction during the whole lifetime as well
as the 12 past months were determined using
this tool. To each class of drugs (sedatives,
opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, and
marijuana), 20 participants were assigned
making up a total of 100 participants. After
the above stages, NEO PI-R ve-factor
inventory was presented. A questionnaire
that existed in the les of the cases attending
these centers was also used for gathering
demographic information. This questionnaire
comprised information regarding age, job,
marital status, education, rst time of use,
etc. lled out by a clinical psychologist. The
researcher, at rst, introduced himself to the
patients and explained the purpose of the
study. Then, in case the patients wished to
take part in the research, a clinical interview
was performed by the center’s psychiatrists.
To analyze the data, multivariate analysis of
variance (MANOVA) and post hoc Tukey test
were utilized.
In this research tools included: To evaluate
drug abuse disorders (including drug addiction
533
Hokm Abadi et al
and drug abuse), the structured clinical interview
of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (SCID) was used. SCID is widely
employed by trained clinical experts for axis I
diagnoses according to DSM-IV. Studies have
shown that SCID yields reliable diagnoses for
the majority of psychiatric disorders. In Iran,
the Farsi version was investigated by Shari et
al. and later reported as desirable for the Iranian
population [17].
NEO Personality Inventory: This inventory
is a 60-item version that measures the big
ve personality traits, namely neuroticism,
extraversion, openness to experience,
agreeableness, and conscientiousness [18]. The
internal consistency of this inventory is reported
to be from 0.68 (the agreeableness subscale)
to 0.86 (the neuroticism subscale). The test-
retest coefcients were also reported to be
from 0.65 to 0.86 and from 0.79 to 0.87 [19]
in Iranian samples. The convergent validity
coefcient of the test was also reported to be
from 0.56 to 0.62 [18]. The ndings conrm
the discriminant validity of the test (McKerry,
1991, quoted by Mehrabizadeh Honarmand
[20]). In his research, Bullock [21] pointed
out to the high correlation between this form
and long form subscales. For N, E, O, A, and
C they are respectively 0.92, 0.90, 0.91, 0.77,
and 0.87.
Results
The statistical population comprised 100
members (92 men and 8 women). The marital
status of the sample was as follows: 43
married, 49 single, and 8 divorced persons.
Table 1 Demographic characteristic of participants
Variable Group and index Frequency
Gender
Male 92
Female 8
Marital status
Married 43
Single 49
Divorced 8
Education
Illiterate 2
Elementary school 9
Middle school 29
Diploma 34
Associates Degree 11
Undergraduate 7
Postgraduate 5
Before performing the variance analysis test,
the variances of the groups were assumed to
be equal for the ve dependent variables. The
results of the Levene’s test for neuroticism (95
and df=4 and F=1.64), extraversion (95 and df=4
and F=0.81), openness to experience (95 and
df=4 and F=0.74), agreeableness (95 and df=4
and F=1.04), and conscientiousness (95 and
df=4 and F=0.54) were not signicant at p<0.05
level. Hence, the assumption of homogeneity of
variance holds and the results of multivariate
analysis of variance test can be reported.
At rst, multivariate tests were conducted
for investigating the effects of the addicts’
drug type on the combination of dependent
variables. The results of Wilks’ lambda test
demonstrated that the effect of drug type
on personality traits is signicant (Wilks, F
(676,2)=0.417, p≤0.001) Highlighting the
signicance in Wilks’ lambda test, the effect
of drug type on personality is considered to
be signicant and the F-test results of the
variables are put forward in the next table to
examine which of the dependent variables
is the reason behind the aforementioned
signicance.
534
Personality traits and drug type among substance abuse
Table 2 Mean and standard deviation of personality traits in drug type
among individuals with drug abuse disorder
Personality
Traits Drug Mean Standard
deviation
Neuroticism
Sedatives 53.35 4.451
Opiates 46 9.84
Marijuana 27.85 10.52
Hallucinogens 22.20 10.65
Stimulants 19.60 5.67
Extrovertism
Stimulants 55.15 3.95
Marijuana 29.65 9.67
Hallucinogens 26.10 7.01
Opiates 20 6.80
Sedatives 18.70 6.78
Open to
Experience
Marijuana 54 5.76
Hallucinogens 39.05 7.69
Stimulants 27.20 5.44
Opiates 21.25 5.63
Sedatives 17.45 3.85
Agreement
Sedatives 31.30 6.83
Marijuana 25.50 6.27
Hallucinogens 21.85 5.04
Opiates 17.80 4.02
Stimulants 13.85 4.13
Conscientious
Opiates 34.95 4.68
Sedatives 30.35 4.78
Marijuana 24.30 4.19
Stimulants 20.55 4.23
Hallucinogens 17.80 4.09
Table 3 Univariate F tests to assess the effect of drug Type on personality among Individuals with drug abuse
disorder
Sources
changes Dependent variables Sum of
Squares df Mean Square F Sig Power
Drug
Abuse
Neuroticism 18052.900 44513.225 60.481 0.000 0.718
Extrovertism 17510.260 44377.565 87.311 0.000 0.786
Open to Experience 17675.740 44419.935 63.311 0.000 0.846
Agreement 4908.940 4 1227.235 45.515 0.000 0.657
Conscientious 3960.340 4 990.085 50.957 0.000 0.682
Error
Neuroticism 7089.100 95 74.622
Extrovertism 4763.100 95 50.138
Open to Experience 3206.850 95 33.756
Agreement 2561.500 95 36.963
Conscientious 1845.850 95 19.430
Total
Neuroticism 139386.000 100
Extrovertism 111794.0 100
Open to Experience 121943.0 100
Agreement 58818.0 100
Conscientious 71291.0 100
535
Hokm Abadi et al
As can be seen in Table 3, there is a signicant
difference in personality aspects in terms
of neuroticism (F=60.48 and p<0.001),
extraversion (F=87.31 and p<0.001), openness
to experience (F=63.31 and p<0.001),
agreeableness (F=45.51 and p<0.001), and
conscientiousness (F=60.48 and p<0.001)
among the individuals addicted to opiates.
Table 4 Tukey test results and comparing each pair of adjusted mean
Personality aspects Drug Adjusted mean Standard error p
Neuroticism
Sedatives 23.12 0.648 ≤0.001
Opiates 18 0.676 ≤0.001
Marijuana 1.41 0.648 0.212
Hallucinogens 2.40 0.681 0.091
Stimulants 2.67 0.676 0.101
Extrovertism
Sedatives 0.53 0.681 0.413
Opiates 1.78 0.703 0.209
Mmarijuana 2.61 0.703 0.081
Hallucinogens -1.7 0.690 0.131
Stimulants 27.88 0.709 ≤0.001
Open to Experience
Sedatives 1.05 0.542 0.186
Opiates 0.88 0.705 0.356
Marijuana 21.74 0.578 ≤0.001
Hallucinogens 14.63 0.701 ≤0.001
Stimulants 0.25 0.651 0.784
Agreement
Sedatives -2.12 0.705 0.218
Opiates -1.03 0.489 0.452
Marijuana -8.87 0.705 ≤0.001
Hallucinogens -6.54 0.703 ≤0.001
Stimulants -13.42 0.758 ≤0.001
Conscientious
Sedatives 0.12 0.703 0.862
Opiates 1.02 0.705 0.394
Marijuana -7.96 0.743 ≤0.001
Hallucinogens -7.60 0.725 ≤0.001
Stimulants -9.72 0.728 ≤0.001
Moreover, to clarify this point as to how the
difference between the means of personality
components in the addicts’ drug classes is
signicant, post hoc Tukey test was adopted.
The results of Tukey test show that the mean
scores of neurotic participants are signicantly
higher in drug abusers using sedatives and
opiates, extrovert participants in drug abusers
using stimulants, and open to experience
participants in drug abusers using marijuana
and hallucinogens (p<0.001). In addition, the
means of agreeableness and conscientiousness
scores were signicantly lower in drug abusers
using stimulants, marijuana, and hallucinogens
(p<0.001).
Discussion
This research was conducted to investigate
the role of personality traits (agreeableness,
conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion,
and openness to experience) in the drug type
used by addicts. Research ndings showed that
there is a signicant relationship between
personality and drug type. Individuals
addicted to sedatives and opiates gained high
scores in the neuroticism scale. This result
is in agreement with the ndings of studies
conducted by Wills et al. [22], Cooper et
al. [23], Vallila [24], Comeo et al. [25],
Loben et al. [26], and Circaldi et al. [27].
To explain this nding, it can be said that
neuroticism (the negative pole of emotional
stability) is indicative of personal differences
in the ability to confront negative emotions
[28] and has a negative relationship with
internalization problems such as emotional
inhibition, as well as affectional and anxiety
disorders [27,29]. Furthermore, neuroticism
has been mentioned to be the factor making
participants susceptible to performing
high-risk behaviors [30]. participants with
scores in neuroticism have more illogical
affections and less ability in controlling
impulsive behaviors as well as a weakness
536
Personality traits and drug type among substance abuse
in coping with problems, anger and hostility,
depression, shyness, and vulnerability. On the
contrary, individuals with low scores in this
personality trait enjoy affectional stability, are
calm, moderate, and relaxed, and can deal with
stressful situations without distress or anxiety
[31]. The relationship between this personality
aspect and the health level of individuals
being low in all aspects would make sense.
Hence, people who are vulnerable regarding
these personality traits resort to drug abuse to
reduce psychological pain and suffering, high
levels of anxiety and depression, and overall
negative emotions as well as to get rid of the
low temperament resulting from these factors
[28]. Dourand [29] considers drug abuse to be
a self-treatment method in response to signs of
depression. The depression level in individuals
using Apr sedation and hypnotic drugs (such as
opium and heroin) is more than that in those
addicted to stimulants (such as LSD, cocaine,
and marijuana) [28]. Additionally, neuroticism
is one of the personality aspects which involves
emotional reactions and can bring about the
frequent experiencing of negative, stressful
events in life. High scores in neuroticism
make people susceptible to anxiety. Also
as Costa and McKerry [18] believe, these
people use ineffective coping methods such
as wishful thinking and self-blame for stress
control. Neurotic people are anxious, worried,
and depressed with uctuating moods. They
probably have sleep problems and suffer a great
deal of psychosomatic disorders. They are very
emotional and react intensely to environmental
stimuli [18]. They exhibit negative emotions
when coping with minor stressful factors [31].
In general, it can be concluded that higher
scores in neuroticism are correlated with high-
risk behaviors including drug abuse as a way
of ghting negative temperamental states [29].
Clinical experiences on treating individuals
addicted to heroin (Apr sedation drug)with
Methadone indicates that many of them seek
help in the drugs to get rid of anxiety and
depression [31]. Welsh and Strain [32] observed
that opiates can have anti-depression and anti-
anxiety effects. It may thus be stated that
neurotic people use drugs and pain-relieving
medication (painkillers and hypnotics), which
cause excessive sleep, weakness and lethargy,
lack of concentration, increased psychological
calmness, and decreased mental stress, to
reduce depression, anxiety, and psychological
pain.
The ndings demonstrated that individuals
that use stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine,
and methamphetamine) gain high scores in
extraversion and low scores in agreeableness
and conscientiousness compared to those
using sedatives and opiates. This nding is in
agreement with the results obtained by Mendez
and Welsh [33] and Vallila [24]. To explain
this nding, it may be said that extrovert
individuals are sociable, positive, energetic,
and active and it seems that these people are
curious, eager, and courageous to have new,
exciting experiences that even involve levels
of social and physical risk [34]. Extroverts
require intense external stimulations to get
excited and they try to reach high levels of
stimulation. Through recurrent, various social
activities, they strive to reach optimal levels
of stimulation [31]. They do not exhibit
much sensitivity to low-level stimulations
and have higher pain thresholds (Larsson and
Katlar, quoted by Irani, [35]). Therefore, for
emotional excitation, extrovert individuals
resort to stimulants that generate feelings of
stimulation, joy, power, as well as increased
consciousness and energy.
The ndings also revealed that the individuals
addicted to marijuana and hallucinogens
(LSD and Mescaline) gain high scores in
openness to experience and low scores in
agreeableness and conscientiousness. This
is in accordance with the results obtained
by Mendez and Welsh [33], Ball et al. [36],
Vallila [24], Terracciano et al. [11], Seize
[13], and Cilbey [14]. To explain this nding,
it may be stated that one of the very important
personality traits making people vulnerable to
high-risk experiences, such as the tendency
toward drug abuse, is excitement seeking.
Among the characteristics of this personality
trait is to seek new, various, and complicated
537
Hokm Abadi et al
experiences as well as desire to get involved
in physical, social, and nancial risks for the
sake of such experiences [37]. Excitement
seeking and experience seeking aspects
respectively indicate the individual’s desire for
taking part in high-risk activities and inhibited
activities. Sensitivity to monotony suggests
being fed up with repetitive, monotonous, and
tiring activities. People with high scores in
openness to experience tend to use drugs such
as marijuana and hallucinogens to satisfy their
sense of curiosity. These drugs bring about
mild feelings of joy and liveliness, involve
rapid temperamental changes and extreme
emotions, open doors to new experiences,
pose no inhibition to high-risk behaviors, and
constitute a means to get rid of monotony and
impatience. In general, the individuals who
prefer marijuana are frequently seeking new,
unknown experiences.
The ndings indicated that the addicted
individuals using stimulants, marijuana,
and hallucinogens have lower scores in
agreeableness and conscientiousness than those
using sedatives and opiates. This nding is in
agreement with the results obtained by Mendez
and Welsh [33], Vallila [24], Ball et al. [36],
Terracciano et al. [11], Seize [13], and Cibley
[14]. The mechanism of such a relationship
can display itself as low agreeableness with
an accompaniment of such traits as suspicion,
quarrelling, deceit, lack of concord [37], and
externalization problems such as conduct
disorder, attention deciency, aggression, and
taking risks [38]. Hence, it seems that people
with low agreeableness are incompatible with
accepted social norms and tend toward criminal
behaviors and drug addiction.
To explain the relationship between
conscientiousness and stimulant, marijuana,
and hallucinogen drugs, it may be stated that
people with low scores in conscientiousness
are lenient and negligent; that is, they lack
any enthusiasm for making purposeful efforts.
These individuals are impulsive and fun-
oriented [39]. In Zukerman’s sensation seeking
theory, it is underlined that the searching for
the unknowns along with low harm avoidance
constitute the core of impulsive behavior and
that impulsiveness is highly correlated with
drug abuse and anti-social personality. In
the ve-factor pattern, impulsiveness takes
on a negative, signicant sense under the
conscientiousness subscale. In other words, low
scores in conscientiousness are characterized
by impulsive, careless behavior. People with
low sense of responsibility tend more toward
drug abuse [6-9,30]. Thus, strategies that
can ourish or enhance conscientiousness in
children and adolescents are considered to be a
strong barrier against drug abuse. Responsible
people have higher job satisfaction and security
as well as more committed and positive social
relationships with others (Longford, 2003;
quoted by Larsson and Boss, [40]). People
with a strong sense of responsibility do not
usually procrastinate and work hard for
progress (Lund et al., 2006; quoted by Larsson
and Boss, [40]). In general, people with high
scores in conscientiousness seldom disobey
laws, rarely tend to drug abuse, and enjoy
secure, stable romantic relationships [39].
People who have a sense of responsibility
toward their own destiny, family, and society,
those who seek progress and advancement, and
those who accept the consequences of their
actions less frequently try high-risk behaviors
and addiction. In religious teachings, there has
also been great emphasis on people’s sense of
responsibility toward themselves, others, their
actions and the consequences, etc. Hence,
getting high scores in the personality trait of
conscientiousness reduces the probability of
tending to drug abuse [40].
It should of course be mentioned that having
a certain personality trait does not, on its own,
cause addiction. A number of traits along with
other factors usually prepare the circumstances
for drug abuse. For example, Miller et al.
(quoted by Larsson and Boss, [40]), found out
that high levels of extraversion, as well as low
levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness
predict high-risk sexual behavior in the best
way. Therefore, all factors affecting the
tendency toward drugs should be taken into
consideration.
538
Personality traits and drug type among substance abuse
Among the limitations of this research were the
small size of the research sample, the intensity
of the denial defense mechanism in addicts,
and convenience and volunteer sampling
methods. Moreover, this is a cross-sectional,
causal-comparative study limited by causal
conclusion. Another limitation of this research
was the selection of addicts who volunteered
to quit using drug. Thus, care should be taken
upon generalizing the results to other addicts.
Conclusion
The present study demonstrated that addicts
have particular capacities and personality
traits while conrming a huge spectrum of the
existing ndings regarding the characteristics of
drug abusers. These traits cause their response
to environmental events to be different from
that of non-addicted persons. During the
treatment process of this group of patients,
paying attention to the traumatic personality
background can increase the accuracy of
treatment interventions and prevent drug abuse
recurrence.
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to express their gratitude to
all the participants.
Contributions
Study design: MH, MB
Data collection and analysis: MB, SS
Manuscript preparation: RZ, EM
Conict of Interest
“The authors declare that they have no
competing interests.”
Funding
The author received no nancial support for
this research.
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