Recovery tips to help those who intellectualize their addiction may help save lives. Every parent wants to raise a smart kid. It seems logical that intelligence would correlate to better grades, a higher paying job and improved satisfaction with life. However, research and studies have revealed that children with exceptional scores on the intelligence quotient (IQ) test were more likely to fall into serious credit card debt, declare bankruptcy, and have greater chances of developing problems with substance abuse later in life.
High IQ Recovery Tips
Results from a study done by The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, gave researchers reason to believe a high IQ in childhood correlates with a higher likelihood of engaging in alcohol abuse. Youth 18 years old and under who were considered to be “very bright” as a result of achieving 125 points or higher on an IQ test, reported to take part in binge drinking about once every other month, while young people who scored 75 points and below involved themselves in binge drinking less than once a year. By comparison, the National Child Development Study in the U.K. discovered those who participated with high IQ’s during childhood, ended up consuming more alcohol in adulthood. Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales speculate that individuals of high intelligence are more willing to experiment and take part in unfamiliar experiences.
While it’s not true for all, these extraordinarily smart individuals are generally less inclined to admit they have a problem. Even if they’ve sought professional help, this demographic has typically proven to be more difficult to treat unless they are willing to change their views. Here are a few ways intelligence can actually hinder the recovery process:
Recovery Tips: #1 Arrogance
It does sound harsh, but even if you prefer euphemisms such as “overconfidence” or playfully regarding them as a “know-it-all,” they’re all words which approach the same issue many intelligent people in rehab deal with. Well-educated individuals, especially those with experience in health care and addiction treatment, are inclined to trust in their intelligence to help them to control a drug or alcohol problem. Until they’ve come to terms with the true nature of their habit, they continue to believe their superior knowledge will be what provides control over substance abuse.
Recovery Tips: #2 Underdeveloped Emotional Intelligence
In short, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and monitor one’s emotions. It helps improve our interpersonal relationships with others, and equips us with skills needed to adapt to the world around us. While those with high IQ’s excel in scholastic aptitudes, they often have difficulties when in situations that evoke changes in emotional stability. This affects their capacity to communicate in a setting where relationship building, honest interaction with medical professionals, and personal transparency in a group setting is a regular occurrence, and an essential part of the treatment process.
Recovery Tips: #3 Intellectualization
Intellectualization is a defense mechanism highly intelligent addicts use to argue over logical flaws and to analyze details to convince people (and themselves) they do not have a problem. It is possible, however, they discover in treatment that addiction is not an illness that can be approached intellectually. Hopefully, they’ll realize the error in this thought process and quit putting trust in their intellect to control their problem early on.
Recovery Tips: Getting High vs. High IQ
Intellectually gifted individuals have unique obstacles in overcoming addiction, and often benefit from staying in a halfway house or sober living community after they have attended an inpatient treatment program. Living in a halfway house will allow the individual to continue their recovery while they work on overcoming real life challanges in in a safe and structured environment. Check out the video below to learn more about The Watershed Residence sober living community.