You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘fully functional addict’, but what does it mean and what does it look like in practice? When you think of an addict, you might have a particular caricature that comes to mind, full of all sorts of cliches. However, that’s not necessarily what every addict looks like.

A person can be in the full grips of addiction without necessarily looking like it on the outside. We’re going to talk more about that today and discuss some of the telltale signs of a fully functional addict below, so read on.

Functioning While Addicted

Not everyone responds to addiction in the same way. While some people find it impossible to keep up the facade of an ordinary life when they’re addicted to drugs, others do make it work. And they’re not less addicted because of it. They might go to work and turn up on time and manage to hide certain behaviors from their friends and even their close family members. But for these people, hiding their addiction becomes a big task and one that only gets harder and harder to do as time passes. It’s not an enviable way to live.

Finding Excuses for Behavior

For many people who are operating as what we call functioning addicts, their behavior isn’t quite normal and this is something that people generally pick up on sooner or later. And that means they have to find excuses for the strange ways in which they’re acting. They might blame their work life on the fact that they’re always tired or drained or away from home. That’s often an excuse that satisfies many spouses and family members. But finding excuses for strange behaviors and absences can be tiring over time.

A Lack of Control in Social Situations

A person who’s addicted to a substance might find that they have a lack of control over their drinking or drug use even when in a social setting with other people. Losing control more quickly and being unable to control impulses is one of the telltale signs of addiction and it’s something that people can pick up on in these social settings. People with addictions find it hard to drink or take recreational drugs in a social setting in a limited way because that would mean having to stay in control of the situation.

Difficult Mornings

It’s often the case that people with drug or alcohol addiction problems can find it most difficult to function in a regular way in the morning. This might be because they were drinking or taking drugs the evening before and have a hangover the following morning. It’s one of the reasons why maintaining a regular schedule and showing up for work on time can be so challenging for people who are in the grips of an addiction. They might find other things to blame for their dishevelled or tired demeanor in the morning, such as simply not being a morning person.

Losing in Interest in Things They Used to be Passionate About

When someone is in the grips of an addiction, they often lose touch with the things that they used to be very passionate about. Their hobbies and interests might diminish in importance as they instead become consumed by a focus on the drug they’re addicted to or alcohol. This loss of interest in things that they used to care so much about is something people should look out for when it comes to spotting an addiction problem in themselves or someone close to them.

Continuing to Work But Performance Declines

A fully functional addict will probably be able to keep up their work schedule or routine for the most part. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be working to the same standards that they did in the past, and that can be a problem for their employers and their colleagues. Functioning often means doing the bare minimum while their general performance at work starts to decline. A small minority of fully functional addicts might be able to keep performances high in spite of their addiction being one of the core focuses in their life.
Although it might seem like fully functioning addicts are in control from day to day, that doesn’t last for long. Addiction problems can lead to all kinds of consequences for you and those around you. If you’re concerned about a habit you have or you want to overcome an addiction, you should seek out the support that’ll help you get back on track.

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