What Is a High-Functioning Drug or Alcohol Addict?

A high-functioning addict is someone who doesn’t fit the typical mold of a person with a substance use disorder; that is, someone who may have a good career, a happy family, and who functions well in society all while being addicted to drugs or alcohol. This can be just as serious a problem as that associated with an addict who has hit rock bottom, especially because high-functioning addicts rarely seek the help they need because they believe they have everything under control.

According to Addictions.com, spotting a high-functioning addict can be difficult because these individuals do not exhibit the same signs that regular addicts do. In fact, you can even be a high-functioning addict and not know it. These people often spend just as much time, energy, effort, and money on their addictions as regular addicts but merely handle this issue better publically. However, a high-functioning addict can still experience serious consequences of substance abuse, such as overdose, health problems, and death.

You can usually recognize a high-functioning addict by the way they deny their problems and make excuses for themselves, all while abusing large amounts of drugs or alcohol. These individuals will also run themselves ragged many times, trying to keep up with both their addictions and their daily lives. Just like someone with a regular addiction, these individuals need professional help in order to safely recover and to begin to understand the ways in which their negative coping skills have led them to a life of substance abuse and other problems.

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