Children, Drugs, and Alcohol: What Are The 4 Traits That Could Be Precursors to Addiction?

The looming question of “What can we do to curb the addiction crisis facing our youth?” has remained unanswered because there is no single way to reduce the drug and alcohol epidemic in our society.

There is however, a new anti-drug program that is showing promise. It’s called Preventure, and it’s being tested by middle schools in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands.

What Is It?

Preventure utilizes personality testing that can identify a child’s temperament and his or her risky traits for developing an addiction.

So far, this type of personality testing has identified 90 percent of the highest risk children, and can address those risky traits before they become an issue and serious problem.

The following are the four traits thought to put kids at risk for addiction; the first three are related to mental health issues which pose a serious risk for drug and alcohol abuse:

  1. Impulsiveness – This trait goes hand-in-hand with ADHD.
  2. Anxiety Sensitivity – Linked to panic disorder, anxiety sensitivity can be seen in individuals who are hyper-vigilant and scared of physical signs of anxiety.
  3. Hopelessness – When a person feels hopeless, they are often depressed. Depression is a very common trait and precursor to addiction.
  4. Sensation Seeking – Though not linked to mental health issues, people who enjoy thrills and intense experiences, will also generally like drugs and alcohol.

How Can It Help?

The method behind Preventure is that it recognizes that the majority of teenagers who experiment with alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids do not become addicted; for the minority that do develop addiction issues, the program focuses on the why and how as to their differences.

Interestingly, the kids who have the highest risk of addiction, can be identified early on through personality tests at the beginning of the school year.

Those with high scores are then able to attend two 90 minute workshops that teach kids how to channel their personality traits toward success, rather than down the road of addiction. In all of the program’s trials, the rate of binge drinking, frequent drug use, and alcohol-related problems was reduced.

Preventure is a promising program that could change the way we deal with addiction. Starting with school-age children is so important; the earlier we can catch the beginnings of addiction, the more we can protect our kids from becoming a tragedy in the drug crisis facing our society. If your child has any of the four above four traits, you may want to reach out to a therapist who specializes in behavior modification and addiction therapies.


If drug or alcohol addiction has become a problem within your family, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center. Our goal is to heal from within, and coping with certain personality traits is no exception. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (877) 762-3707). You are not alone in this, your life and the lives of your family can change. Recovery is possible, call today.



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