Could You Have A High-Functioning Addiction? Ten Questions to Ask Yourself
Many people believe that addiction means being unable to work and stumbling through the day. That’s not often the case, though. Many people who struggle with addiction are high functioning, which means they continue to maintain their job and participate in family activities without showing any outward signs of substance use disorder.
But over time, even high-functioning addiction sufferers will find it increasingly difficult to maintain their health and quality of life. If they seek out help sooner than later, they may be able to avoid the worst outcomes.
If you’re wondering whether you might have a high-functioning addiction, whether to alcohol, drugs, or prescription pain medications, ask yourself these questions.
#1: Do you wonder if you drink or use drugs too much?
If you have a nagging feeling that you overuse substances, pay attention to that feeling. Most often, people who are struggling with addiction recognize they have a problem but are not sure if they need to take action. It never hurts to consult with a drug rehab admissions specialist, your doctor, or a therapist to explore this question further.
#2: Have you tried to stop using substances and failed to do so?
Perhaps you decided Monday morning that you were not going to drink so much again. But then you found that, within a few days, it was just too hard to resist. Or perhaps you stopped using substances for several weeks but found yourself using them again, against your better judgment. An inability to sustain abstinence is an indication that your body and brain may be dependent.
#3: Do you feel better or more normal after having a drink?
For a person with drug or alcohol addiction, substances make them feel more “themselves.” That’s often because the substance seems to alleviate anxiety or depression, not to mention physical discomfort caused by withdrawal.
#4: Do you need to drink or use something to stop thinking?
Many people who are high functioning use substances as a way to help calm their minds, stop worrying, or minimize anxiety. In some situations, you may find yourself trying to manage your mental health through the use of substances. Over time, this will stop working–and actually worsen the mental health issues.
#5: Do your friends tell you that you need treatment?
It is often easier for friends and family to recognize a real problem sooner than a person who is in the midst of addiction’s hold. Comments they make about your substance use, even if presented as a joke, should be taken seriously. Your substance use very likely affects those around you more than you realize. Your family may even decide to stage an intervention.
#6: Do you enjoy drinking or using drugs alone?
Though many people use substances in a social setting, those with a higher risk of addiction and dependency tend to prefer to be alone when using.
#7: Are you using substances at work or more recklessly than before?
Even though you may be going to work, you may not be able to get through the meeting or deal with the supervisors without a drink. Some people find themselves taking substances with them to work as a way to deal with stress and frustration.
#8: How often do you think about your next drink or the next time you can use the substance?
Planning your next experience right after the first is a clear indication of concern. If you seem to always be thinking about your next dose, that could be an indication that you need support. You may run out of the medications you need before you should, or you find yourself being unable to wait to leave work just to have a drink.
#9: Are your relationships changing?
At home and at work, you may notice people are changing. In reality, this is often a change related to the way you’re treating them or the evidence they are seeing of your worsening health. One of the most important things to understand, even if you have a high-functioning addiction, is that you’re not hiding it as well as you think. Your employer likely knows what’s happening, and so does your family.
#10: Are you finding it harder to meet your needs?
Cravings may be getting intense. You may find it increasingly hard to stop thinking about your substance of choice. You need more to just take the edge off. That’s an indication of tolerance and a worsening of the disorder.
So What Can You Do Now?
If you’re ready to get into treatment, The Ranch at Dove Tree in Lubbock, TX, offers the tools and support you need to make it happen. You may be able to qualify for an outpatient treatment program, or it may be time to step away from life for a few weeks to work on healing yourself in inpatient treatment. We can help you. Contact us today to learn how.