There is a thin veil of deception surrounding some addicts. In fact, they are so good at hiding the addictive behavior that they put themselves in danger. High-functioning addicts are individuals who are addicted to a substance but still maintain an outward appearance of normalcy.

If no one knows the extent of the person’s addiction, it can go on until serious problems arise. But, anyone who is paying close attention and knows the signs can spot the deception and intervene before it’s too late. In many cases, the high-functioning addict is relieved when their secret is finally revealed. They no longer have to worry about getting caught and can reach out for help.

Spotting a Hidden Addiction: Look for These Signs

Sometimes your instincts will tell you something is going on with your friend or loved one.  But, he or she goes to work every day, takes care of responsibilities at home, and has healthy relationships.  Even so, your instincts are probably not wrong.

Here are some of the telltale signs of a high-functioning addict:

  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Lack of focus during conversations
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Makes excuses for their behavior
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Secretive behavior
  • Hostility if approached about drug or alcohol use

Of course, the above signs could indicate another problem besides addiction, but they are the most common signs of most high-functioning addicts.

How to Help High-Functioning Addicts

High-Functioning AddictsWhen you attempt to help high-functioning addicts, their first reaction is to make excuses to justify their odd behavior. If that doesn’t work, they react with hostility and try to make you feel bad for thinking such a thing. It’s not easy to approach someone that you suspect of drug or alcohol abuse, but sometimes, it saves a life.

If you aren’t successful in convincing your friend or loved one to seek treatment, you can engage the services of a professional interventionist. He or she will help you plan and conduct an intervention. Their expertise will ensure that the intervention doesn’t go awry. The goal is to help the individual realize that their addiction has had negative effects on others and that it’s time to get treatment. You should avoid being confrontational during the intervention because you could provoke an unexpected emotional or physical outburst. Showing your love and support is the best way to help an addict. But, you must also set boundaries and enforce them.

Other Ways to Help an Addict

You’ve held the intervention and gotten your friend or loved one into a treatment program. What else can you do to help? Think about ways you can contribute to the person’s efforts to remain sober after leaving rehab. Besides offering your continued support and compassion, you want to be sure you don’t enable the person to depend on you too much. Recovering addicts must regain their self-confidence by tackling daily tasks and responsibilities on their own.

You can also suggest activities that don’t involve drinking or drug use. For instance, getting involved in the community is a good way to boost self-esteem. Many recovering addicts report that helping others filled them with a sense of purpose. Every community needs volunteers to help in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, fundraisers, local celebrations, and much more. Being a part of the community is a great way to learn new skills, share talents, and make new, sober friends.

You can get more information about high-functioning addicts by contacting us today. We will be happy to answer your questions. If you or a loved one needs treatment for addiction, we can help you select the right program for your specific needs.

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