Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Personality Traits and Their Relationship to Demographic Features in Addicts Referring to a Drug Rehabilitation Center in the City of Isfahan, Iran

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Personality Traits and Their Relationship to Demographic Features in Addicts Referring to a Drug Rehabilitation Center in the City of Isfahan, Iran

Article excerpt


Addiction is a biological, mental and social illness viewed as one of the four prominent social damages interlinking poverty, unemployment and divorce (1). Because of its progressive nature through all aspects of life, addiction endangers people's health, and its adverse effects on mental, physical, Msocial, emotional, spiritual and cognitive health are clear (2). Addiction is based on an uncontrolled desire to enjoy and reduce stress in a person with personality and behavior disorders (3, 4).

It seems that personality traits have significant effects on individuals' behaviors; addiction is no exception to this rule. Askari believes that personality traits and predisposition are related addiction (5). Around three quarters of patients who sought treatment for drug abuse had a history of psychiatric disorders and two-thirds suffered from psychiatric disorders along with their drug abuse (6), and, about 90% of them also suffered from a psychiatric or personality disorder, simultaneously (7). From a psychological perspective, drug abusers have a personality trait of vulnerability (8).

Nearly 30% - 60% of drug addicts meet the diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder, while this is 2% - 3% in the normal population (9). The most prevalent psychiatric diagnoses include major depressive disorder, alcohol-related disorders, antisocial personality disorders, and anxiety disorder (7, 10).

Assarian et al. in Iran (7) studied opium and heroin addicts, demonstrating that the most frequent psychological characteristics in these addicts were hysteria and depression. There was a significant correlation between abnormal personal characteristics and educational level (11).

Depression and psychopathic deviation had the highest frequency among personality disorders (3). There was a significant difference between the case and control groups in terms of hypochondria and hysteria (12). The psychopathic deviation disorder and paranoia had the highest distribution (13). Schizophrenia, hypochondrias and psychasthenia were the most prevalent clinical scales (14).

Identification and understanding of behavioral factors are therefore necessary to prevent these problems. In this regard, understanding personality traits of drug addicts is one of the important factors (15, 16); a better understanding of drug addicts' personality disorders allows for more comprehensive planning to treat these patients according to their dominant personality, and provides policymakers in the health and drug control sectors with opportunities to develop more efficient preventive programs in the society.

Regarding the importance of the problem of addiction, different approaches have been considered in a macro level. One approach to reduce the demand for drugs includes the three areas of prevention, treatment, and harm reduction. Drug rehabilitation centers are considered as one of the important tools of performing these macro policies (17).

The establishment of drug rehabilitation centers in the society provides addicts with the possibility to access the services more easily. Addicts enjoy the social and clinical support by visiting these centers to undergo treatment for addiction. Also, such centers help to minimize the possibility of return to addiction. In fact, in these centers, addicts enjoy the advantages of the existence of social capital which has an important and effective influence on their self-esteem (18).

Therefore, in order to help achieve this aim, this paper investigated the personality traits of drug addicts in a drug rehabilitation center in the city of Isfahan. It sought the following objectives: 1. determining the demographic characteristics of the sample, 2. determining addicts' psychological profiles as divided by the type of drug, and personal and social characteristics, and 3. determining the relationship of psychological profiles to type of drug as well as personal and social characteristics. …

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