How to Identify a High Functioning Addict or Alcoholic
Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all disease. The complex nature of the disease can present different problems for every person. While some addicts can maintain jobs, housing, and family responsibilities, others’ addictions completely disrupt their lives. Because high functioning addicts can be hard to identify, they often do not receive beneficial treatment to help them achieve recovery. The truth is, a so-called “high functioning” addict or alcoholic is in just as much pain as anyone else struggling with substance abuse.
The Definition of High Functioning Addiction
Unlike when addiction impairs a person’s ability to maintain normal functioning, sometimes addiction can hide in plain sight and reside within highly successful people.
Neuroscientist and addiction researcher Dr. David J. Linden states that the qualities that make someone a good CEO – driven, dedicated, risk-taking, thrill-seeking – are often traits founds in addicts.
The pathways in our brain that derive pleasure from success are also firing and signaling pleasure receptors in the brain when substances are used. Unfortunately, instead of a high functioning addict’s brain igniting a drive for success, the pathways in their brain channel their traits into drugs or alcohol.
Simply put, high-functioning addiction does not discriminate. Anyone who uses drugs or alcohol could fall victim. Whoopi Goldberg has been very open about her struggles with high-functioning addiction. She once told The View, “I was a high functioning drug addict, I showed up for work because I knew a lot of people would be out of work, and I wouldn’t get a check that I needed to buy my drugs.”
Having a successful career, a lovely home, and a lot of money does not make someone safe from addiction.
Questions to Help You Determine if You Might Be a High Functioning Addict
To gain insight on this, take time to reflect on these questions honestly:
- Are you worried about your drug or alcohol use?
- Do you or have you ever engaged in unsafe behavior while under the influence? For example, drinking and driving.
- Do you take measures to conceal your drug or alcohol use from others?
- Do you use drugs or drink in the morning? Do you go to work impaired?
- Have friends or family ever addressed your drug or alcohol use? How does it make you feel when they do?
- Have you ever attempted to stop or reduce usage and been unable to?
- Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms?
- Do you find it difficult to stop using once you start drinking or getting high?
Reflecting on our struggles can be difficult and feel overwhelming, but if you think you could benefit from treatment, read on to learn how The Source treatment center can help you achieve recovery.
Treatment for High Functioning Addiction
The Source offers an Exclusive Stabilization program designed to provide the treatment you need with minimal disruptions to your daily life. Our unique two-week intensive program equips you with skills to get back to life as you knew it before. After undergoing a thorough medical and psychosocial exam, our team will work with you to formulate a treatment plan unique to your needs. At a minimum, you should expect to have:
- Individual, Group, and Family Therapies
- Specialized Therapy
- 12-Step Therapy and Guidance
- Group Recreational Activities
Regardless of the level of care you need, The Source has a program that will fit your need. Our family-centered facility focuses on a holistic approach to treating your mind, body, and spirit. To learn more about how our stabilization program can help you get back on track, visit our facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or call our confidential hotline at (800) 204-0418.