What is a "Functioning" Drug Addict?
The usual stereotype of an alcoholic or drug addict is someone who is obviously messing up his or her life. This behavior is often associated with criminality and poverty, sometimes even homelessness. However, many addicts do not fit this stereotype. There are plenty of individuals who would be considered successful in life but who are hiding a problem with alcohol or drug addiction. Such people are usually referred to as functioning addicts. This category may account for as much as half of all addicts. The fact that these people are successful at camouflaging their problem could make it easier to deny the problem exists. This concealing will often mean it takes much longer for them to get help.
Definition of a Functioning Addict
A functioning addict can be defined as someone who is able to hide the excesses of their alcohol or drug use. An example of this would be the functioning alcoholic who holds down a good job, has a secure home life, and is respected in the community, despite drinking an excessive amount of alcohol most days. A social drinker who has drinks with friends but then continues drinking at home until he passes out could go on a long time this way before his friends realize the extent of his problem.
Addiction Always Involves a Downward Spiral
To an outsider, this individual might appear to be functioning at a high level. However, he or she is hiding the reality that internally his or her life is falling apart. This is because addiction always involves a downward spiral even if this decline is well-hidden. The functioning addict is sometimes able to maintain their balancing act for many years but eventually things will fall apart - and that often happens in dramatic and tragic ways.
It may take something dramatic before this person would recognize the problem and try to seek help. Those who recognize they have an alcohol or drug problem may still avoid seeking help because they perceive it as a sign of weakness or a loss of control. Even when one is ready to find real rehabilitation, it is difficult to know where to turn to get effective help.
Narconon Offers Real Effective Rehab Help
At Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers around the world, one can find real effective rehab help. There are now fifty Narconon rehab center locations on six continents, having grown from just one program in an Arizona State prison in 1966. The Narconon program does not use other drugs to help one get over an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Rather, it uses a very successful, eight-step program which addresses the physical and the mental or emotional aspects of addiction. One starts off at Narconon with a surprisingly tolerable withdrawal phase, soon followed by the unique Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. These help the person address the physical side of his addiction problem.
Then, when one has regained his physical well-being, he studies several life skills courses. These help the person to develop communication and other skills to aid him in all areas of his life. These help the recovering addict to become confident that he can handle any situation in his life that may come up without the need to resort to drugs or alcohol again.
Rick was one such person who recovered his sobriety at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma. Rick described himself before the Narconon program as a "functioning drug addict." He said he was doing pretty well in his life except for the drugs. But as it typical, eventually the addiction stole away his comfortable life. He lost his wife and children and said he "stopped being a good dad and husband."
Rick ultimately told his family about his problem and his parents helped him to find the Narconon program. Rick said the part of the Narconon program that had the biggest impact on him was the Communication and Perception Course. He learned how to "listen and really acknowledge what someone said," as well as to "confront and really communicate with others."
Rick said of the overall Narconon experience, "Now I have free and open communication with my parents, my wife and my kids. And I no longer crave drugs. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had."
Find out more about all the details of the Narconon program for you or a loved one. Narconon could be the right place to recover long-lasting sobriety. Our staff are on standby to assist you. Give us a call.
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