Beware: The High Functioning Addict

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You wonder if your husband┬áhas been drinking too much; but then you realize he’s done a great job providing for your family. “He should be okay and maybe he’s just going through a phase,” you tell yourself. Your wife had been relying heavily on her pills to function throughout the day so there shouldn’t be anything wrong with her.

Or so you think.

A high-functioning addict may just be in your midst and your loved one may still be struggling just as any other addict.

the-high-functioning-addict

If the word “addict” doesn’t seem to fit your loved one who seems to be at the prime of his career and doing a good job at work as well as in his social life, chances are he is merely a high-functioning addict. However, he is an addict just the same. Knowing to spot the signs of a high-functioning addict can help give you a better perspective on how this tricky and often deceptive disease can ruin your loved ones even right before your eyes.

What is a Functioning Addict?

A functioning addict account for as much as half of addicts. These people are successful at camouflaging their substance problem that they eventually cause more harm to themselves and to others in the long run.

A functioning addict can be in the form of someone who is respected by society or his peers, a successful individual who is able to hold down a good–if not illustrious–job and family life. On the outside, he is highly successful, even enviable, despite drinking an obscene amount of alcohol or taking illegal drugs everyday, behind closed doors.

For some, who are in the outside looking in, it may be hard to believe that such a person is an addict. However, to them and their family, their life could be on a downward spiral.

Addiction always leads to disaster and destruction, however much an addicted person would try to hide it. The balancing act often merely lasts for several years but eventually, things will fall apart…dramatically and tragically.

The Real Danger

You loved one may seem fine and you think he would eventually get better. This is one of the real dangers of a functioning addict. Because high functioning addicts are able to hide their addiction well, this further drives them in the depths of their addiction.

Here are the dangers:

  1. The fact that they can be successful or can adequately meet their responsibilities can be their justification for using and using more.
  2. They may feel secure and comfortable with their drug-taking or alcohol-drinking habit and not even see it as a vice.
  3. They can easily deny that they have a problem because of the way they look, so getting help for them can be difficult.
  4. They don’t see a reason to stop because they may feel like there is nothing wrong with them.
  5. Their family and friends can easily excuse their behavior because these high-functioning addicts are doing so well in their life anyway.
  6. Because they have a steady job and income, they have a continuous means to support their addiction and even be prepared to handle the consequences, giving them false confidence.
  7. Admitting their addiction may make them feel afraid that they will lose their jobs, the admiration of their peers, or their social status.

How to spot a functioning addict

Despite the appearances, there will be times that the real problems will come out. It is important to note and understand the addiction symptoms even for high-functioning addicts in able to get them the valuable help that they need, even if they won’t admit to it.

  • Moodswings or changes in behavior
  • Defensive about drug or alcohol habit
  • Secretive and seeming to live a double life (because they do)
  • Lying about their whereabouts
  • Lying about how they spend their money or where it went
  • Not being able to carry out their promises to change
  • Making excuses or justifications for their substance or alcohol abuse
  • Having withdrawal symptoms
  • Rationalizing their behavior or even minimizing it
  • Unable to cope with problems without their alcohol or drugs, turning to them for comfort or diversion
  • Will drink or do drugs more than what they originally intended
  • Will not socialize in events or people unless it involves drug or alcohol

These are just among the many symptoms of a high funcitoning addict. However, a family member may know more about what is really happening and will have to come to terms with the dangers of their loved ones’ addiction.


Make a decision to stop the downward spiral now. Text or call us:

+63 915 645 2703 / +63 917 509 8826

2 thoughts on “Beware: The High Functioning Addict

    […] television and see celebrities in their private jets, island getaways, or simply enjoying luxurious lifestyles that we can only dream of. However, despite their good looks and seemingly endless resources, they […]

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    […] once the addiction develops, they will start to neglect their family, job, and responsibilities. They will also become more […]

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