The Secret Lives of High-Functioning Addicts

Couple arguing

The high-functioning addict will commonly be leading a secret life. True, the actual consumption of drugs or alcohol may be known about, but the dependency is not and that is the key difference. Once someone has become dependent on drugs or alcohol in order to continue a ‘normal’ life, their life is no longer under their own control.

If their life was truly as successful and happy as it seemed on the outside, then the person would not be in the situation of addiction.

So what really is going on?

Commonly there is some part of life that contrary to appearances is not going well or is even falling apart, maybe it’s the marriage, problems with children or some other darker secret. There is something that is causing the person pain and misery, which drugs and alcohol are being used to mask.

What happens is that sometimes the pain and misery will usually creep to the surface. To associates or acquaintances, their life may seem good, but often to those closer to the person, the story is quite different. Whether it is just unhappiness at home or it has escalated to domestic or child abuse; unfortunately, those closest to the situation usually get to see more of the real and darker side.

For others, that unhappiness may be held closer to the chest. Maybe there is no abuse, but what there is, is more time spent alone, more alienation from those closest to him, less and less time spent with family as the time is more and more spent with drugs or alcohol. When socializing or working things may seem to be normal, but look out for that double life, those drugs are being used to numb, mask or forget what really is going on.

Though not all high-functioning addicts fall into exactly the same patterns these variations of the secret life are unfortunately all too common.

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

If you feel someone close to you may be a high-functioning addict and you need some help,
please get in touch and 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.