Is My Loved One a Functioning Addict?

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Learn how to spot the signs of a functioning addict before it’s too late.

Addiction is a brain condition in which individuals continue using substances despite circumstances that could be harmful. While drugs usually take over individuals’ lives, there are certain circumstances where a functioning addict can slide by unnoticed.

In general, addiction changes the brain’s wiring making it difficult for individuals to stop using it. Signs of a functioning addict allow us to notice that not all addictions are the same for everyone.

What is a functioning addict and how will I be able to notice signs of a functioning addict? Continue reading to learn more.

Signs of a Functioning Addict

A functioning addict is someone who doesn’t fall into the stereotypical category of an addict. They are individuals who work extra hard on ensuring that their jobs are secure and their appearances don’t falter.

Functioning addicts are able to maintain jobs, social lives and even hide their addiction from their loved ones for an extended amount of time. This doesn’t mean that functioning addicts can hold up their act forever and although they are good at hiding the signs of a functioning addict, sometimes it’s too late when the secrets come out.

Addiction can be to drugs or alcohol and individuals who are addicted to alcohol can show signs of a high functioning alcoholic through their behaviors and their physical appearance.

The good thing is that individuals who don’t exhibit signs of a high functioning alcoholic, or addict, can still be found out if their loved ones are able to identify problem signs.

This is why it’s important to be able to notice and understand the signs of a high functioning alcoholic or addict and to intervene in the problem before it either takes over or ends the individual’s life.

Here’s How to Notice Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic or Drug Addict

Individuals who are high functioning addicts are great at maintaining normality in their life so that the people closest to them may not notice there is a problem.

Here are a few signs that you may notice in a functioning addict:

Morning Sickness – Someone who is a high functioning addict may often appear sick in the morning. These morning ailments such as headaches or lethargy may be excuses for not being a morning person but in reality, they may be struggling with a hangover or symptoms of withdrawal.

Friends With Addiction – Take a moment to analyze who your loved one is socializing with. They may have friends who take their drinking, or drug use to a high level and this may be a sign that they too are in trouble. Another sign could be that your loved one doesn’t want to socialize without drugs or alcohol.

Excuses – Individuals who are high functioning addicts are great at making excuses for their behavior. This may mean that they normalize their drug or alcohol use to being standard behavior or justify the use as a reward for working hard and doing well.

Using Substances More than Intended – For individuals who are high functioning addicts, the typical excuse of “I had more than I meant to” could be a regular occurrence. Most people do this every once in a while but functioning addicts encounter themselves in this situation over time.

Changes in Hobbies – Maybe your loved one has stopped focusing on things that they used to love such as music, sports or hobbies. This could be a sign that their addiction is making changes in their life.

At the end of the day, addiction is a serious disease and while high functioning addicts are able to cover up their addiction most of the time, it doesn’t’ mean that it won’t catch up to them. Recognizing signs and getting help as quickly as possible is the best way to save their life.

Reach out to an addiction specialist today at 888-597-3547 and learn about setting up an intervention or more about our program options. Recovery from drug addiction is just a phone call away.