7 Signs Of A Functioning Addict

7 Signs Of A Functioning Addict

It can be easy to spot the signs of substance addiction in most people. There tends to be a noticeable deterioration in physical appearance, in the way that a person functions, and in many other aspects of the person’s life.

But it is different for functioning addicts. These types of people are able to maintain an outwardly together appearance while crumbling inside. Read on to find out why it is difficult to spot the signs of a functioning addict, and understand the small hints they may give you that may indicate they have a problem with substances.

What Are The Signs Of A Functioning Addict?

Many of these signs of a functioning addict do not indicate there is a problem, but look closely enough and you may realize that the person you care about has an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

1. Maintaining Appearance Of Normality

This sign is a bit of an anti-sign. One of the common signs of a functioning addict is the appearance that they are okay. Functioning addicts are able to maintain the persona of someone who is doing well in life.

The internal reality is very different though, and these kinds of addicts face inner turmoil. Often, the turbulent inner life of the functioning addict becomes more apparent to them when they stop using drugs or alcohol, and they can no longer rely on their crutch.

It is during times when they are unable to access their substances of choice that you may notice something is amiss with the person you suspect has addiction problems.

2. Consistent Job Performance

Functioning addicts are often motivated to do well at work by a deep sense of insecurity, leading to workaholism. These drug and alcohol users rarely drop the ball at work, at least initially. As time goes on and the addicted person’s addiction worsens, they may begin making mistakes, which leads to feelings of crippling low self-worth.

3. Rationalizing Drug And Alcohol Use

Functioning addicts are masters at rationalizing their substance abuse. They may provide explanations for their behavior, downplaying the severity of their addiction and convincing themselves and others that it is manageable.

It is common for the functioning addict to argue that they need their substance or substances to continue functioning at a high level.

4. Maintaining Relationships

Functioning addicts often sustain personal relationships, maintaining connections with family and friends. However, these relationships may be strained as the person struggles to balance their addiction with maintaining a semblance of normalcy.

Often it is only those who are closest to the addict who know that something is amiss. While the person with addiction may be able to present well to the outside world, their partner is likely to see the other side of the story, when they are at home inebriated, hungover, or in withdrawal.

5. Minimal Physical Signs

While most people with addiction problems begin to look frail or ill when using substances, the high-functioning addict takes better care of themselves. They are likely to exercise frequently, eat healthily and even maintain a skincare routine.

Of course, this charade can only be kept up for a certain amount of time. The effect of too much alcohol and drugs are certain to register on the body and mind eventually.

6. Effective Deception

Another of the key signs of a functioning addict is their ability to deceive others effectively. They may create elaborate stories, cover their tracks, and present a version of themselves that conceals the true extent of their addiction, making it difficult for others to intervene.

They may change the area they live in or people they associate with if they believe people are beginning to suspect they have a substance abuse problem.

7. Financial Stability

In contrast with other people with substance abuse problems, it is typical for high-functioning addicts to be able to keep up with their financial responsibilities, though this may become more difficult over time, as the cost of maintaining their habit increases and their ability to function decreases.

Addiction Treatment For Functioning Addicts

Good rehabs don’t use a cookie-cutter approach. What works for one addicted person may not work for another. At Samarpan, we believe it is important to always treat the person as an individual.

Understanding The Façade

Rehabilitation professionals are trained to help the functioning addict understand and deal with their issues. While maintaining a semblance of normalcy, these people are often grappling with deeply rooted issues. Rehabs like Samarpan emphasize addressing the underlying causes of addiction, helping high-functioning addicts confront the factors that caused their substance abuse.

Personalized Treatment Plans

One size does not fit all, especially when dealing with functioning addicts. The best rehabs adopt a personalized approach, tailoring treatment plans to the addicted person’s specific needs and circumstances. Often this involves addressing co-occurring mental health issues, relationship dynamics, and stressors unique to the addicted person’s life.

Work-Life Integration

High-functioning addicts often use working as another coping mechanism. Finding recovery for these types of people involves finding a balance between work and enjoying life.

Aftercare And Continued Support

Recognizing that the journey doesn't end with rehab, facilities like Samarpan prioritize aftercare programs. Continued support through ongoing therapy is crucial for functioning addicts as they transition back into their daily lives.

Denial In High Functioning Addicts

The level of denial in a functioning addict can be even greater than most with substance abuse problems. These people often believe that because they are still able to maintain a good job, take care of their children and support their partner, they are fine and there is no need for treatment.

While it is true that these types of substance abusers may be at slightly less risk of problems like arrest, joblessness and homelessness, the ravages of addiction spare no one. Addiction will eventually cause serious problems for everyone and the signs of a functioning addict will emerge.

The body and mind can only take so much before cracks appear. The person who was high functioning may realize that they are not able to perform as well at work anymore. Hangovers and comedowns get worse. Loved ones and colleagues begin to grow concerned.

Perhaps the clearest sign that lifestyle change is needed soon is when the drugs and alcohol stop working. The inebriating effects of the whiskey or pot or painkillers stop taking the edge off. The cocaine or meth stops giving you the energy you need to function. From here the life of the functioning addict spirals quickly.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. There is another life possible, in recovery for substances. Contact us today to talk about how we can free you or your high-functioning loved one from the grips of substance abuse.

Samarpan is a specialized international Substance Use Disorder (De-Addiction) and Process Addiction rehab in Pune, India that accepts a maximum of 26 clients. We only accept clients on a voluntary basis and have a highly structured program that encompasses the most effective approaches to Substance Use Disorder and addiction. The facility is set in the rolling hills Mulshi, with clients having either individual or shared rooms, in a modern resort-like facility, staffed by Internationally Accredited Professionals. Samarpan is fully licensed under The MSMHA and is also an accredited GORSKI-CENAPS Centre of Excellence offering a program from 5 to 13 weeks.

If you or someone you care about is considering treatment for substance use disorder or process addictions, we can help. Contact us now on admissions@samarpan.in or phone/WhatsApp us on +91 81809 19090.

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