A person who can function while addicted to drugs presents a special and unique kind of risk because they often can mask their addiction. Friends and family might have little idea of the turmoil that their loved one faces. Recognizing the signs of a high functioning drug addict is essential to get them help and address the illness before it is too late.
Luckily, if you are able to recognize the signs that point to addiction, there are substance abuse programs and sober living homes in Orange County in place to help those achieve sobriety and stay on the straight and narrow.
What is a Functioning Addict?
A functioning substance abuser is someone who falsely believes that they are able to function normally as they continue to abuse substances like drugs or alcohol. While they may be able to get through their day-to-day tasks, there is still a lot of internal struggle and unhealthy patterns being developed. Oftentimes, addiction starts with people who have other underlying problems that may be contributing to or causing their substance abuse. In these cases, the user takes drugs or drinks alcohol to cope rather than face the issue head-on. As you can probably guess, this only delays or exacerbates the underlying issue — making the situation worse in the long run.
Signs of a Functioning Addict
There are many signs that someone close to you may be a substance abuser. Take a look at some of the common problems that someone who is dealing with an addiction may exhibit.
Denial and Excuses
Like many addicts, high-functioning drug addicts will deny they have a problem and make excuses for signs that they have a drug problem. The difference between a high functioning drug addict and a non-high functioning addict is that their denials might seem plausible. Many addicts will chalk up their behavior to being typical in their line of work, or will justify their use, such as, “I deserve a break.” Breaking down these denials and excuses to get to the root of the behavior is essential in identifying the issue.
Using More Than Intended
One of the signs of a high-functioning drug addict is their inability to moderate behavior. They are addicted and will not ultimately be able to control their use of drugs. This will happen regularly and is a significant red flag that their drug use has become an addiction and is out of hand.
Friends and Associates Who Are Addicts
Addicts often spend their time with other addicts to enable behaviors and also gain access to drugs. The attitude can become, “Well, everyone else is doing it,” or, “These other people have a problem, not me.” This kind of comparison can be extremely detrimental, and a sign of a high functioning drug addict.
Loss of Passion for Interests
If someone begins to not care about things they once were passionate about, this is a concern. Perhaps they played an instrument, were involved in their community, or ran a fantasy football league. Whatever it was that they were passionate about, dropping that interest can be a sign that substance abuse is beginning to take over their lives. Friends who use become the priority, as does the use of drugs itself.
Drug addiction can be costly and not just in terms of its physical and emotional toll. If someone you love is encountering unexplained financial problems, this can be an indication of a problem. A drug habit is expensive, and an out-of-control addiction will cause even a high-functioning drug addict to spend more money than they can afford on drugs.
From a psychological standpoint, a drug addict needs to use to feel “well.” Physically, an addict, even a high functioning one, will face withdrawal symptoms if they don’t use it. These symptoms include:
- Runny nose
The addict will have to find time to use, getting time away from you or, perhaps, calling a user friend. Withdrawal symptoms are an indication of a significant problem that is threatening their health. It’s imperative to get them help.
A Gradual Decline
Although a high-functioning drug addict is skilled at masking their addiction, eventually, things will begin to break down. They will lose their ability to function and focus, neglecting life responsibilities. With a high functioning drug addict, this decline will be reasonably noticeable because the behavior will be very much outside of their usual character.
Recognize the Signs of a High Functioning Drug Addict at District Recovery
Addiction doesn’t have to control your life, and you don’t have to face it alone. If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of a high functioning drug addict, it’s not too late to get help. You can overcome addiction with the help of quality drug rehab. Contact us at 844.287.8506 and get on the path to recovery.