We’ve all heard tales of the functioning addict. In case you’re puzzled by the term, we’re happy to introduce you to one. He’s a nice guy, named Joey Roberts.
Everyone loves Joey. He’s reliable. He’s funny. A great buddy. But, Joey has secrets.
Not a weekday goes by that Joey doesn’t hop out of bed to get to work. He takes a quick shower. Slurps down some coffee. While he’s at it, Joey also gulps down some pills.
Joey hurt his knee a couple of years ago. The doctor prescribed some painkillers. Joey had surgery a while ago. His knee doesn’t hurt so badly. Maybe some over the counter medicine would handle the slight aches.
It’s no longer about the pain. Joey can’t imagine doing without the oxycodone. He craves the drug. He’s certain he’s not an addict. He can make it through the day.
Joey is a functioning addict. Could you or a loved one be one? Is help available?
Some Insight into the Functioning Addict
It’s a challenge. After all, if you can function at work, how could you possibly have a problem? No one has mentioned they think you might have addiction issues. Thus, there’s nothing to be worried about.
You know yourself best. You know the truth. Consider these observations commonplace to the functioning addict:
- Some type of substance abuse occurs on a regular basis. Whether it’s downing a few shots of whiskey, snorting a line or shooting up.
- The cravings influence the thoughts and actions of the day.
- Substance abuse seems justifiable. It’s not as though the “prescribed” painkillers are adversely impacting the individual’s life.
- The functioning addict may joke that they’re only an alcoholic or a drug addict if they attend twelve-step (And, of course, they would benefit from them.)
- Family members, work colleagues, and friends are happy to make excuses. After all, who can criticize someone who is a pleasure to be with? Or, who is consistently on time and reliable?
- The functioning addict may appear to be successful. Wins performance awards. Acts as a model citizen.
- The biggest clue to the functioning addict is the mystery that surrounds them. They don’t share their cravings or substance abuse with anyone. It’s one big secret.
At Clearbrook, we realize that functioning addicts have a difficult time reaching out for help. It is hard to admit a problem that seemingly goes unnoticed. We pride ourselves on offering confidential and compassionate services.
Do you think you or a loved one might be a functioning alcoholic or drug addict? Check with us. We’ll help you decide if your issues need treatment and start you on the journey to recovery.