Elaine Fehrman, an Advanced Practitioner at Rampton Hospital, has been involved in research into the key personality traits that lead to drug use.
The social environment is an influential factor with regards to drug addiction. However, some people living in the same environment become drug users, whilst others resist. Is this difference just random or are there key personality traits that help people to avoid drug addiction? Is it possible to evaluate the risk of drug consumption for different personality profiles? Is this risk different for different drugs?
These questions are important for society including law enforcement, public welfare, education, healthcare professionals, and families. How can we evaluate the psychological component of risk? How can we construct social and psychological training to decrease that risk and prevent drug addiction?
Elaine Fehrman, Advanced Practitioner, commented on the research:
“The study is one of the most comprehensive of its type ever undertaken, analysing the data of 1,885 respondents with regards to the use of 18 different psychoactive substances across a range of time durations. It’s interesting to look at the personality traits of persons who have used drugs to consider whether there are underlying causes that may lead to this behaviour. We found that there is a significant difference in the psychological profiles of drug-users and non-users; hence, a psychological predisposition to drug use exists. Also, the psychological predisposition to using different drugs with their different effects may also differ. For example, there is a significant difference between ecstasy users and heroin users. Finally, we discovered several groups of drugs with correlated use. These findings can help healthcare and other professionals to decrease the risk of and prevent addiction, along with improve the efficacy of future interventions.”
The book "Personality Traits and Drug Consumption. A Story Told by Data" by Fehrman, E., Egan, V., Gorban, A.N., Levesley, J., Mirkes, E.M., Muhammad, A.K. is published recently by Springer.