Are High Achievers More Susceptible to Addiction?

High achievement in a field is a signal of potential talent and intelligence. However, it is not without its pitfalls. High achievers are more likely to experience substance abuse and addiction than those who are more average or below the median when it comes to achievement because they are prone to being “glass half-full” or having unrealistic expectations. High achievers often believe they can do or be whatever they want because they’ve already achieved much. The result means that high achievers might be less able than others to control their impulses or resist urges for short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term health, productivity, and happiness. Here are some of the factors that might render high achievers more likely to typify traits that could lead to addiction or substance abuse:

High achievers are often full of themselves

“Full of themselves” is such an understatement. The tendency to believe that you are better and, therefore, more important than others is part of high achievers’ susceptibility to addiction. This sense of superiority means that high achievers often feel entitled to certain things from others: getting special treatment, trying out new drugs, or engaging in risky behavior. A high-achieving person might think, “If I can achieve such great things, then why can’t everyone else?”

High achievers tend to be perfectionists

Perfectionist is very likely to set high standards for themselves and others, often resulting in judgmental attitudes toward others. For example, a teacher might be perfect in their eyes evaluations or even give students disproportionately high grades based on their expectations of how good they should be at their subject.

High achievers tend to be goal-oriented

High achievers often have an innate need to know what they want and how they can get it. The behavior might come from a need to feel that they can get what they want, which comes from money, fame, or power. A tendency toward addiction in the workplace might result from high achievers trying to overcome their feelings of inadequacy by overvaluing their job titles, position, or status.

High achievers are often risk-takers

High achievers, especially those in the workplace, seem more likely to take risks for awards or escape from their daily lives. People in this position also need a constant influx of dopamine, the neurotransmitter activated by such risky behavior. For example, someone stressed at their job might take on more projects or co-workers, which leads to still more stress and the need for another dopamine boost.

High achievers often overindulge

High-achieving people are often individuals who seem to have it together. Their professional job titles and high incomes mean they can afford to buy anything they want, including drugs and alcohol. These people also tend to be present with friends with similar interests in overindulging themselves. The problem is that the high achiever’s overindulgence can lead to losing control and health problems.

High achievers often overlook signs of addiction in themselves or others

High achievers’ lifestyle often involves a great deal of alcohol and drug use, so it is easy for them to overlook that their friends are also using these substances. They may also be inclined to overlook these activities’ impact on their own lives and instead focus on how much they are achieving.

High achievers sometimes rely on drugs to reach their goals

High achievers often want to achieve so much that they feel compelled to take risks or use drugs to reach those goals. For example, someone who wants a promotion might be compelled to take a new job in another city, which could mean starting over professionally and socially. Someone might also be compelled to start drinking early to achieve success in a specific way.

High achievers sometimes don’t accept their limits

High-achieving people often feel that they have the right to achieve more than they could naturally have or would naturally achieve. A high-achieving person might believe they should be able to succeed at everything they set their mind to, but this is often not the case. There is often a limit to how much a person can succeed, which comes from their limitations. Are you a high achiever struggling with addiction? Worry no more! We are here to help. Contact us today for a confidential assessment. Contact us today at 833-497-3808! We are ready to provide you with an opportunity to get the help and support you need at this time in your life.