Drug addiction is a serious matter that needs to be handled with the utmost care. The problem is people are not always able to tell when loved ones are struggling. Professionals can be very good about hiding high-functioning addiction behind a veil of secrecy and work. They are not who people typically think of as alcoholics or people on the street who wander around, stumbling drunk and living under a bridge. The movies make it seem people must hit a very low bottom before they seek help, but high-functioning professionals oftentimes hide it very well so nobody knows the signs.
What is High Functioning
A person who is high-functioning is someone who does not outwardly display the signs of a person with the addiction. Professionals often work overtime to keep up appearances that they are doing well. They can enjoy professional success or maintain social lives while hiding their difficulties from loved ones. This comes at a high price to function at a high level because the stress, pain, and addiction eventually catch up. When it does, people often find out too late their loved one was truly struggling. The signs a person is high functioning can vary but knowing some of them can be helpful in noticing challenges before they get out of control.
Doing Too Much
Whether it is drinking alcohol or using drugs, a professional who is high-functioning will exhibit signs they cannot just stop when they want to stop. They will likely drink or use more drugs than they can handle and lack control over their usage.
Socializing with Others
Take a look at who the person socializes with and around. Whether it is work or pleasure, they are likely surrounded by other people who have addiction issues, as well. If your loved one does not want to socialize unless alcohol or drugs are involved, it may be a sign of bigger issues at play.
Loss of Interest
A loved one who is high-functioning will have an interest in hobbies outside of work and family. Eventually, addiction will take over and they lose all interest in anything else. If a loved one is putting down their beloved hobby, not showing up to hang out with friends who don’t drink or use drugs, and is spending more time at ‘work’ or making excuses that don’t add up, it may be time to confront whether they are dealing with addiction.
It helps to discuss concerns and express a desire to help a loved one who is struggling. It helps to stage an intervention where a group of loved ones can let the person with addiction know their behavior is not acceptable. This may be done in a calm, firm voice. Their influence can help steer them perhaps in a new direction. When they know someone cares about them, they may get the help they need.
A Step in the Right Direction provides a safe place for professionals to address their high-functioning addiction, stress, and anxiety issues, among other things. We are equipped to support detox, rehab, and recovery for those in need. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information, sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.