The High-Functioning Addict

Tired man at work

Unfortunately, when most of us think ‘drug addict’ we think of a person down in life, probably job-less, maybe criminal, generally spending their days at home in drunken or drugged stupors. Though that may be the case for some addicts, that is certainly not the case for many, and for some, it is quite the opposite. The high functioning addict is one who has all the trappings of success, a high-powered job, good money and a generally enviable life, yet is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Lifestyle Effect

Because of this person’s success the addiction is often not obvious, and warnings signs are often put aside by associates, friends or family because it is hard to reconcile the visible lifestyle with drug dependency. What may seem like an enviable lifestyle on the outside may be hiding inward misery only numbed by drugs.

The lifestyle of a high functioning addict sometimes makes it harder for them to turn to people for help.

Excuse For Continuing On

The apparent success acts as an excuse for continuing on. Clearly the current lifestyle of work and substance abuse is ‘working fine,’ and there is no need for drastic change. To admit one’s shortcomings and face up to what is really going on can be very tough. When there is money in the bank, admiring friends, colleagues and family, why rock the boat, why make any changes?

Why change things…? Well, because eventually it is going to take its toll. The true extent of the damage will at some point rear its ugly head and everything that has been hidden will come to the surface and that ‘enviable’ lifestyle will come crashing down. We don’t have to look too far to see examples like this in the press.

Read “The Secret Lives of High Functioning Addicts” on the same Blog Series.

For help with a high functioning addict, 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.