Is Your Loved One a High Functioning Addict?

Most people envision an addict as someone who is blatantly out of control, in and out of rehab, and living an unstable life. Contrary to the image that movies and social media create, an addict is not always that easy to spot. Many people assume that users stand out due to their inability to take care of themselves, physically and mentally. Unfortunately, Awakenings for Women understands that a high functioning addict is particularly difficult to spot.

Addiction is more common than most people are aware of, and this disease can affect everyone from your neighbor down the street to your family members living in your own home. An addict is not always a thief or a homeless person.  In fact, most people with a substance abuse problem appear completely normal and float through life seemingly without issue.

What is a high functioning addict?

A high functioning addict is someone that can maintain a drug or alcohol addiction while successfully hiding it from the public and their loved ones.  A common reason these people can hide their addictions is because they live a seemingly normal life: they go to school, have a job, a secure home life, and might even be a respected community member.

Spotting a functioning addict can be difficult when you don’t know what to look for. Some people are exceptionally good at managing their drug abuse problem, and thus can avoid getting help from a halfway house for quite some time.

How to Spot a High Functioning Addict:

How often are they under the influence? If you notice that a family member is using prescription medication long after their condition has passed, or if your friend needs to drink a glass of wine every night with dinner, then this is a red flag that your loved one might be suffering from an addiction.

Does this person depend on alcohol or drugs to unwind or fall asleep? Relying on a chemical substance to help you feel a certain way can point toward an underlying problem. Pay attention to patterns in your loved one’s behavior to determine if they need the help.

What happens when the person doesn’t have access to the drug or alcohol? If someone has a meltdown when their prescription bottle is empty, or if they realize there is no wine in the house and they must immediately run out and buy a bottle, this is a major indication of a problem.

What can I do to help?

The hardest part about dealing with a high functioning addict is not only that they hide their substance abuse problem from others, but that they also hide it from themselves. It is common for addicts to be in denial that they are dependent on any kind of substance. It is necessary to consider treatment for people suffering from addiction. A healthy environment could prevent them from continuing with their habits. Awakenings for Women provides a safe and sober living facility for women in South Florida.

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