Is there a link between success and addiction? It seems like a strange proposition, and yet there are countless stories of successful people who have become addicted and even gone through addiction treatment programs several times, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 20% of alcoholics are educated and high-functioning. Several personality traits, such as risk-seeking, drive, and focus, correlate with both success and addiction, while childhood trauma pushes people to be successful but also increases the risk of a substance use disorder.
People who are born with a risk for drug addiction tend to have dopamine systems that work less effectively than the general population. For example, their production of dopamine may be low or their receptors may be faulty. Either way, this condition prompts people to seek out more thrilling, exciting, or risky experiences than their peers. Risk-seekers also usually require higher doses of drugs and alcohol to feel the same effects as the rest of the population, and consuming those higher dosages can ultimately lead to addiction. In the realm of success, impaired dopamine systems might push business women and men to strive for a more thrilling deal, leading them to outperform colleagues and be propelled to the top of the ladder. Risk-seeking, then, is a shared trait among successful people and addicts.
Another shared trait is focus. When a lawyer is trawling through documents, an author is locked in her room writing, or a software engineer is picking through hundreds of lines of code, obsession and focus deliver a huge reward. Obsession is one of the key components to becoming successful in any field; staying dedicated and practicing often yields mastery over time. However, this same locked-in focus which can be so beneficial for work oftentimes leads to addictive behavior. That lawyer, author, or software engineer, when introduced to substances, has a higher risk of transferring over their obsessive behavior, and can usually only overcome their addiction with the assistance of an addiction recovery facility.
Trauma in childhood, whether abuse, neglect, or the death of a parent, can affect people in a number of ways. Early trauma pushes some people to be successful, in an attempt to erase or even defy their past. At the same time, trauma inflicts terrible tolls on people, and they often turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate or cope with the long-lasting effects. Addiction recovery programs are aware of the problem, and often offer specific treatment for trauma.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, please email or call Intervention Drug Rehab association today. We offer a personalized treatment program and safe, supervised detoxification. Our experienced staff is also qualified to treat dual diagnosis. The treatment program focuses on group and one-on-one counseling sessions, where clients uncover root causes of their addiction and build supportive communities of sober peers and mentors. After treatment, clients leave with hands-on skills for coping with cravings and avoiding relapse. Please contact us today to turn your life toward wellness, hope, and long-term sobriety.