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Are you living with a Functional Addict?

Addicts are commonly seen as people who have hit rock-bottom, maybe from poor income dysfunctional households or school dropouts. We tend to think that we would quickly recognize an addict when we see one. This is not always true. There are many people who are addicted to drugs but manage to live a normal life, or so they say.

What is a High-Functioning Addict?

A high-functioning addict can be a successful professional or the busy supermom. S/he may seem to be living a happy life with a loving family, a great job, and hobbies that help him/her de-stress. However, the reality may be that s/he secretly abuses a drug or alcohol to go through the day!

High-functioning addicts are often able to keep their addiction a secret and manage their daily life without substance abuse getting in the way. They may even believe they do not have a problem and they can handle their addiction.

So, if you are living with a high-functioning addict, you may not know. However, there are ways to check.

Denial is one of the key signs of addiction. High-functioning addicts do not necessarily use drugs daily. They seem to effortlessly manage their personal and professional lives. Even their friends and family may fail to recognize the addiction.

However, no matter how well functional addicts carry on with their lives, there will always be consequences. You may notice subtle changes in their behavior like a tendency to isolate themselves, refusing to interact socially, lack of focus at work and missing deadlines. High-functioning addicts are good at making excuses for unusual behavior.

Here are some telltale signs that you are living with an addict.

  • S/he can’t seem to limit drinks or recreational drugs.
  • S/he claims that s/he needs to drink or take drugs to feel nice.
  • You notice something unusual with his/her behavior about which s/he attempts to lie and cover up.
  • After a tasking work is done, your partner rewards him/herself by binging on alcohol or drugs.

As family or friend, it is important that you understand that the person has an addiction problem and help the person get the right treatment.

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