How Common Is a High-Functioning Addiction?

Someone with a good job and steadily climbing the corporate ladder is not the image that generally comes to mind when thinking of a person in need of drug or alcohol treatment. When a person who seems to have their professional life together admits they struggle with addiction, the reaction is usually one of disbelief. Somehow we tend to think if you are highly successful at work you are also successful in your personal life. This is not always the case. In fact, addiction can strike anyone, no matter how much responsibility they hold at work or how much money is in their bank account. High-functioning alcoholics and drug addicts are much more common in our society than most people know because it is a problem that by its nature is kept hidden.

Signs and Symptoms of a High-Functioning Addiction

There are clues that someone is struggling with an addiction even if many areas of their life appear to be on track. These signs include:

  • Erratic behavior. Someone who usually seems to be a stable and hardworking individual starts becoming increasingly irrational, emotional or forgetful.
  • Sense of entitlement. The individual feels justified to drink in excess or use drugs. They reason that their behavior is a reward for a job well done or they are doing it because they are under a high amount of stress.
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom. A bathroom stall is the perfect place at work or social gatherings to conceal your use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Constant excuses. A high-functioning addict will try to explain away any abnormal behavior that is due to their drug use, such as being late frequently or forgetting important events in their personal life.

Intervening With a High-Functioning Addict

When someone thinks of a drug or alcohol intervention, it is usually for those who have done significant damage to their lives or those they love. Often there have been incidents involving the law such as DUIs, car accidents or even arrests. There can be financial concerns from a lost job or money stolen from family or friends. However, what happens when these things haven’t occurred because, despite the fact that the individual is abusing a substance, they are still managing to keep the major components of their life together?

Trying to convince a high-functioning addict they need treatment is especially difficult because they can always defend themselves by saying, “If I have this terrible problem, how come I am so successful in my career?” Frequently a professional intervention is the only way a high-functioning addict will be able to get the help they need.

If you need help getting through to a high-functioning addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.