Identifying the High Functioning Addict


High Functioning addicts can often be the hardest to spot as the outwards signs of success can be so misleading.

See The High Functioning Addict for more information on what this actually is. Many signs of drug use are similar no matter the circumstances, but there are a few signs most common to the high functioning addict.


Alcohol and drug use creeping up in quantity, always rationalised (very well) in why it is being taken. Maybe it’s ‘something to help me unwind,’ maybe ‘we need a reward after the week we just had,’ maybe ‘it’s just something to help me relax—it’s the weekend.’ Whatever the excuse it will usually seem sensible and believable and occasionally it is, but when it is becoming more and more often and especially reaching levels of daily consumption, we have signs of trouble.

They don’t indulge alone

Often they don’t indulge alone, it’s with colleagues after work, or friends on the weekend. But once the level of dependency increases and with it the quantity consumed they will often be far outstripping those friends and associates. With that comes badgering to ‘join in’, ‘not be a pussy’ or general belittlement to other people not partaking. This snide action is usually a sign that dependency has now taken hold and is outstripping the actual enjoyment.

Lost time

To keep up appearances when real binges are being had the person will sometimes totally disappear. Maybe it’s just a day, or the weekend, maybe a business trip that they fly out a day or two early to or fly back that bit late. These absences are often hiding the darker side of the addiction.


And of course lastly, it is deterioration, whether in finances, work ethic, production or lifestyle. The addiction will eventually show its face. It may start with missed meetings or deadlines, blown deals or strange decisions. It could show up as faulty memory and bad concentration or get as bad as paranoia, depression and physical weakness.

If you do see the early signs, try not to wait until you see the more drastic ones to take action. This person’s job, livelihood, lifestyle or even maybe life is at stake.

Read “The High Functioning Addict” on the same Blog Series.

For help call us.


Narconon UK

Welcome to Narconon United Kingdom At Narconon, we are dedicated to one thing: helping you overcome addiction for good. Part of what makes this possible is the Narconon environment. Every detail has been taken into account to give you the stability and comfort to help you free yourself from addiction and rebuild your life without drugs.