“I’m not a junkie, because I’m still going to work every day.”
“I’m not an alcoholic; I’ve never been arrested.”
If you have ever told yourself anything like this, you could be a functioning alcoholic or addict.
What’s a functioning alcoholic or addict?
Functioning alcoholics and addicts are people with a substance use disorder who still manage to hold their lives together to a degree in the midst of their addiction.
These people might need a hair of the dog before going into work, or they might need to pop a few pills at lunchtime to make it through. Since they’re not broke and living on the street or in a jail cell, they are able to convince themselves that they do not have a problem.
According to the National Institute of Health,“functioning” alcoholics or addicts may have a steady job and a family or relationship. These people tend to be older and more settled in their lives and careers than young addicts. Up to twenty percent of addicts and alcoholics fall into this category.
It’s important to remember that while drug and alcohol addiction look different for everyone, but it always ends up in the same place: jails, institutions, or death.
Even if it looks like you are “functioning” on the outside, your body is still going through the same physical processes of addiction on the inside. That means your brain is being rewired, your organs are being battered, and you are taking days off of your life.
“Functioning” alcoholic or addict is a bit of an oxymoron, since everything about substance abuse is abnormal. If you life is “OK” with drug or alcohol abuse, it will most certainly be better in recovery. Who wants to just function? Don’t you want to live?
Are you ready for a better life?
How can you know if you really have a problem? Check out our guide to when it’s time to quit, here.
Or, if you’d rather talk to a real live human about what’s going on, get in touch with our awesome staff. They’ll help you figure out what’s up and what you need to do to have a better life in recovery.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.