Top Menu

Introverts With Few Positive Feelings at Higher Risk of Drug Abuse: Study


Introverts who tend to have fewer positive feelings, or to not be attracted to rewards in life, are more likely to abuse drugs than more extroverted people with positive emotions, a new study suggests.

Studying personality may help scientists better understand and treat substance use problems, according to the researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Researcher Dr. Sergi Ferré said people who are extroverted and have more positive emotions may be more open to rewards other than good feelings that come from using a drug. For instance, they may feel rewarded by certain social situations such as winning a game or receiving a promotion.

In contrast, people who are introverted and have fewer positive feelings may have less interest in these rewards, and instead be more influenced by pleasant sensations that come from using drugs.

The researchers found having a tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anxiety or depressed mood, is associated with substance use disorder. Having a difficult time stopping a behavior or action once it is started is also linked with an increased risk of substance abuse, The Huffington Post reports.

The researchers noted the likelihood a person will abuse drugs involves many factors, including genes, personality, environment and past drug use. The findings appear in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of charles yarnell
    charles yarnell / April 23, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Duh. They really paid someone to conduct this study?? let me put forth a hypothesis people with intrinsic high levels of self-esteem who are fairly goal oriented are at low risk of Substance Use Disroders?

  2. fleet420 / April 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    How many experts and billions of tax dollars did it take to figure this tidbit out. What a bunch of idiots…why not give info that isn’t obvious.

  3. Avatar of Pam Frank
    Pam Frank / April 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I find one very big flaw with this study. It assumes that folks who are introverted are sad and negative. Coming from a family of introverts I can tell you that is a faulty assumption. We are happy, we enjoy life, we just tend to do it in small groups or alone. Alone doesn’t mean lonely! What this study does is stereotype introverts. No more a helpful stance for a study then to say all extroverts are careless and impulsive!
    Perhaps it is this kind of stereotyping that makes introverts believe that there is something wrong with them.

  4. Avatar of Len
    Len / April 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Pam….It seem like you might have misinterpreted something here. This syudy is referring to introverts who have mostly negative feelings(“few positive feelings”).I too am an introvert but I have more postive feelings than negative.

Leave a Reply

Please read our comment policy and guidelines before you submit a comment. Your email address will not be published. Thank you for visiting

− six = 3

Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication is strictly prohibited without prior consent. Photographic rights remain the property of Join Together and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. For reproduction inquiries, please e-mail