Personality Traits and Substance Misuse: Basic Research and Treatment Implications


Provided by RiverMend Health Institute

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Release date: April 22, 2016

Valid through: April 22, 2019

Topic: Substance Abuse Research, Clinical Assessment and Intervention

Media: On-Site

Estimated Time to Complete Activity: 60 minutes

Target Audience

This CE activity is intended for physicians, psychiatrists, physician assistants, psychologists, and allied mental health advocates.

Program Overview

Substance misuse involves maladaptive patterns that implicate excessive use and adverse consequences associated with psychoactive substances. Earlier psychological literature suggests that an “addictive personality” differentiates people who abuse alcohol and other drugs from those who do not. Contemporary research illuminates the need to employ a continuum personality model to study addictive behaviors. This presentation will review the psychological literature on how impulsivity, sensation seeking, and Big 5 personality traits are related to substance (mis)use and addiction treatments, as well as some challenges facing this research area. Clinical utilities of personality-informed assessment and intervention for substance use disorders are discussed.

Learning Objectives

After this presentation attendees will be better able to: 

  1. Enumerate 3-5 personality traits that contribute to substance (mis)use.
  2. Discuss the influences of personality and substance misuse in high-risk college and clinical populations.
  3. Discuss ways in which personality assessment can enhance clinical outcomes of sobriety treatment.

Continuing Education

APA, American Psychological Association

RiverMend Health Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  RiverMend Health Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

APA CE credit Awarded: 1.0

ADACGBA, Approved Continuing Education Provider

RiverMend Health Centers, a RiverMend Health LLC entity, maintains responsibility for this program and its content. RiverMend Health LLC is a ADACGBA Approved Continuing Education Provider and may offer ADACBGA approved hours for events that meet ADACBGA requirements. Provider #15-55-03-916

ADACBGA Continuing Education Units Awarded: 1.0

NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals

RiverMend Health Institute is a NAADAC Approved Continuing Education Provider and may offer NAADAC- National Certification Commission approved hours for events that meet NAADAC requirements. Provider # 867.

NAADAC Continuing Education Units awarded: 1.0

NBCC, National Board of Certified Counselors

RiverMend Health is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP™) and may offer NBCC approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. Provider #6573.

NBCC CE credit Awarded: 1.0

CBBS, California Board of Behavioral Sciences

This course meets the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. RiverMend Health Institute Provider #4688.

CBBS CE credit awarded: 1.0

CDR, Commission on Dietetic Registration

RiverMend Health Institute is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Registered dietitians (RDs) and dietetic technicians registered (CDR). Registered dietitians (RDs) and dietetic technicians registered (DTRs) will receive continuing professional education units (CPEUs) for the completion of this program. CDR Provider #R1656.

CDR CPEU awarded: 1.0


P. Priscilla Lui, MA


P. Priscilla Lui is currently a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Purdue University and a psychology intern at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. She is interested in examining diversity issues in the assessment and determinants of psychopathology, specifically substance use and addiction. Priscilla has authored nearly 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and conference presentations, and received extramural grant support from the American Psychological Foundation and American Psychological Association. She will be an assistant professor in clinical psychology at Southern Methodist University starting August 2016.

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest

  • No financial relationships relevant to this field of study.

Instructions for Participation and Credit

There are no fees for participating and receiving credit for this activity. During the accredited period, participants must read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures; study the educational activity; and complete the post-test and the evaluation form. If you pass the post-test and complete the evaluation, your certificate will be available immediately for download in PDF format.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Certain educational activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of their content. You will need a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader to view PDF files.


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.