Researchers found that those who have a strong propensity for sensation-seeking could be more prone to develop a cocaine addiction.

According to the study’s primary author, Morgan James, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, only a small fraction of individuals who use illegal substances such as cocaine or heroin develop an addiction. “It was shown that a correlation exists between susceptibility to addiction and drug usage and that this interrelates with the personality characteristics of sensation-seeking. Rats who had a high level of sensation-seeking characteristic were likely to be more interested in taking cocaine if we provided them with the option.”

According to the research published in the journal Neuropharmacology, it was found that some factors make individuals vulnerable to addiction, and this knowledge might assist with drug use screening and treatment.

An experiment conducted in the lab revealed that highly sensation-seeking rats, those who are predisposed to seeking new experiences and willing to take risks to be stimulated, are more likely to be prone to addiction-like behavior. The findings imply that those who value sensation seeking are more prone to substance abuse, making them more susceptible to addiction.

The purpose of addiction research is to find behavioral indicators that indicate the likelihood of an individual developing an addiction. Future research will benefit from these findings to better understand what distinguishes people who are high in sensation-seeking from those who are not and to help establish the causes of addiction.

provided by Rutgers University.