High Functioning Addiction

High Functioning Addiction

When you’ve seen someone intoxicated on any narcotic or alcohol firsthand, was it noticeable that they were under the influence? What about someone with a deep substance abuse issue, living on the street or housing insecure? The chances are high that they didn’t have much of value or hold a normal life.

It sounds terrible – but that’s the reality of profound substance abuse. Many people sacrifice everything they have to remain supplied with their drug of choice to combat whatever issue exists at the center of their addiction.

However, a substantial number of users maintain at least a roof over their heads, a regular job, and sometimes a relatively normal social and family life. As difficult as it may seem, these individuals can balance all these elements and a habit to any number of substances that require daily maintenance.

These people are called high-functioning addicts, and they could exist much more commonly than you might think. This article, and our services at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, are designed to help alleviate the often silent suffering of a high functioning alcoholic or addicted individual, and let them truly address the issues that might otherwise seem insurmountable in the chaos of daily living with drugs or drinking.  

What Is High Functioning Addiction?

A high-functioning addict is a person who gives all visible signs of functioning normal – maybe even at a higher rate than the average person. However, underneath the surface, they battle issues with substance abuse daily.

Many of them work and make great money, pay their bills on time, maintain a social circle, take care of their children, and actively engage with other family members. Their physical appearance may even be top-notch, with no physical signs of substance abuse.

Many individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorder cannot maintain their habits and everyday life simultaneously. The high-functioning addict has found a way to juggle both and put off the appearance that everything is perfectly fine.

Some high-functioning addicts can maintain some form of control over their usage. They can conserve or ration the amounts they use and maybe even avoid using quantities high enough to give them an intoxicated appearance.

They can keep their normal lives and addict lives separate from one another. Usually, these individuals are knowledgeable and relatively successful in their chosen careers.

They could be doctors, lawyers, executives, and managers at your favorite store. It’s almost impossible to discern these individuals from sober members of society.

Although these types of addicts exist in every facet of society, is there any particular demographic or type of person at risk of becoming a high-functioning addict than the others?

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Who Is at Risk of High-Functioning Addiction Issues?

Anyone you see has the potential to live a life as a high-functioning addict. Although it could happen to anyone, certain groups of people might be at higher risk to develop these types of issues:

  • Individuals with a higher level of intelligence
  • Anyone adept at managing a thriving social life
  • Anyone who is considered a multitasker
  • People with what’s considered an outgoing (extroverted) personality
  • People considered perfectionists

These individuals are typically used to always facing and dealing with people and operating in the face of adversity. They’re fast thinkers and quick on their toes, giving them predisposed abilities to juggle a double life.

How Common Is a Functional Addiction?

Although a large portion of individuals with substance abuse issues isn’t considered high functioning, the number of them still might surprise you.

It’s estimated that somewhere around 14% of our society has some substance abuse issue. About 20% of this group is expected to be high-functioning addicts in some shape or form.

Although any official data or medical research does not back it up, unofficial surveys reveal that many executives and other high-level employees have higher odds of becoming high-functioning addicts. As stated above, people who are efficient multi-taskers and considered problem-solvers have higher odds of settling into this lifestyle.

Executives and Addiction Treatment for the C-Suite

It can be extremely difficult for someone in an executive position to seek help for a substance abuse issue. Finding an appropriate rehab center to accommodate them is of utmost importance.

Consider the following reasons why an executive would find rehab participation challenging:

  • First, the demands of their job can make it challenging to make the allotted time to attend an inpatient rehab program without sounding the alarm to peers and employees.
  • Privacy is another big issue. It could be difficult for them to find a rehab they’re comfortable with regarding privacy from coworkers and potential media.
  • They may not want to alert their families either. Sometimes it’s a completely hidden secret in their lives.

An executive, manager, or owner of any type must find a private rehab to attend that can accommodate their needs.

Why Choose Hawaii to Deal with a Functioning Addiction?

Why Choose Hawaii to Deal with a Functioning Addiction

Functioning addicts, regardless of their stature in society, exist that way because it’s pivotal they keep their struggles a secret. Whether it’s for family, professional or other reasons, having a safe, comfortable, and remote location is mandatory.

There’s probably nowhere more suitable within the country that contains the healing properties and natural beauty combined with the remote elements and privacy of the Hawaiian Islands. Not only are conditions ideal for the discretion of all clients, but the atmosphere is serene and comfortable, leading to the healthiest rehab experience one could envision.

How Is High Functioning Addiction Treated Most Efficiently?

High-functioning addiction is treated just like any other form of addiction. The specific form of treatment depends heavily on the assessment of the individual who is receiving treatment.

However, because of the need to hide the addiction and the potential to deny that an abuse issue exists, high-functioning addicts make good candidates for dual-diagnosis treatment.

It’s likely an underlying issue exists at the center of the abuse issue, acting as a driving force. The chances are high that the person isn’t even aware that this mental health issue exists beneath the surface.

Treating the substance abuse issue isn’t as challenging as dealing with other elements in the lives of high-functioning addicts.

Hiding Use and the Role of Enablers in Functioning Addicts

Hiding the use of a substance abuse issue often means someone has enablers to help them achieve this discretion. Usually, this is a family member such as a spouse, a child, or another immediate relative.

These individuals may cover for the user, actively engage in use with them, or provide financial assistance when it’s required. Either way, the client in treatment must be honest about the presence of any enablers so that these issues may be addressed.

Failing to focus on all areas of enablement and triggers properly leads to a high probability of relapse once the client returns home. This doesn’t always mean the person must be cut out of their lives, but they should be educated on how to change the role in the client’s life to be more positive.

This, along with several other elements, can make a recovery quite tricky for a high-functioning user.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

The Challenges of Recovery for the High-Functioning User

Some of the challenges that exist for a high-functioning user in recovery can make the process more difficult than for the average rehab client. The following rebuttals and challenges must be addressed:

The Issues Associated with Rebuttals

Many high-functioning addicts will have specific rebuttals or excuses for not attending treatment. Some of the most presented rebuttals include:

  • They can’t attend treatment because they handle all of the bills and financial situation for the family. How will the mortgage and other bills get paid if they attend treatment?
  • They don’t want anyone to find out in their professional or personal lives. If they do, it could hurt their image.
  • They can’t take that much time off from work. Their role at work is too important, and the company can’t afford to have them away for that long.

Most of these challenges can be addressed with some simple remedies. If it’s a financial issue, it’s usually a matter of rallying the family to help deal with it during the recovery period.

If this isn’t an option, other means of assistance like a loan, savings, or credit card use may have to be utilized. It’s essential to explain to the client that they can’t keep up with the same routine forever.

Eventually, it will break them mentally or physically. They must get help before it’s too late and a situation arises that affects them for the rest of their lives (divorce, losing their job, legal matters, etc.)

Most treatment centers will also work with the client’s family to ensure extra privacy matters are taken. Many rehabs offer what’s known as a corporate or executive rehab program that takes additional security and discretion into account.

When it comes to the user missing work, they most likely have some medical leave clause set up. Laws in most states protect employees from any adverse repercussions for medical or emergencies.

The details of the situation don’t necessarily have to be disclosed to the employer because of privacy laws. However, you may find that they’re compassionate regarding the situation and will even offer further assistance if you’re honest with them about the issue.

The Issues Associated with Denial

The Issues Associated with Addiction Denial

Denial is another challenge that poses problems when trying to get a high-functioning user into recovery. You may hear one or all of the following responses:

  • They may state that they have the problem under control, and they can quit whenever they need to.
  • They don’t need treatment, and they can quit independently. They need a little more time.
  • They don’t have a problem, and they’re not using as much as you may think.

Regardless of the response, these are all classic examples of someone who is in denial. It’s essential to convey to them that if there weren’t an issue, then the question of treatment wouldn’t even be on the table.

It takes a collaborative effort from the critical people in the client’s lives to get them to attend treatment. High-functioning users are usually excellent manipulators and very good at manifesting their desired outcomes. It’s important to stand your ground and let them know how necessary treatment is for them.

Quality of Life and Choosing Private Treatment in Hawaii

Our program at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab is tailor-made for the high-functioning addict who needs privacy and discretion. Our facility is already on the remote Hawaiian Islands, but it’s in a secluded area on a peaceful and private swath of property away from the busy areas of Hawaii.

Additionally, our facilities are made for smaller numbers of clients. We have eight beds and aren’t designed to take large numbers of people, leading to an even higher privacy factor.

With our attention to discretion and holistic approach to recovery, we can help high-functioning addicts return to the lives they were used to before substance abuse became an issue.

Contact a member of our Intake Coordination staff to learn more about the privacy measures we take and our enrollment process.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.