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Help a Loved One with High Functioning Addiction Seek Treatment with These Tips

People who use drugs but still manage to raise their families, work, and keep it all hidden are considered high functioning. Denial about their addiction can cause lots of challenges along the journey. When someone functions at a high level, it may not be obvious they have an addiction, but they are struggling in spite of it all. Learn some of the warning signs a loved one is high functioning with addiction and how to help them navigate getting help.


Denial is common for people with addiction. They are not as likely to admit having a problem with drugs or alcohol. Once addicted, they may continue to use substances and be unaware of how the problem is persistently impacting their loved ones. Changes in behavior are one sign to look for, but it may seem like subtle shifts until a person starts to really look at how they are dealing with day-to-day activities on a broader scale. There is self-denial and then there is family and loved ones who deny anything is wrong. Both can be challenging to overcome when seeking help for someone with high-functioning addiction.

Behavioral Shifts

Someone who uses substances is going to have issues with their behavior. They might have mood swings, seem more distant than usual, and have a double life where they ‘work long hours’ but are really using that time to use substances or drink and socialize with friends. To use substances this much or get into drug use is difficult because they are hiding this behavior, lying, and justifying the reasons for doing it. Their family may suspect something is wrong but is not sure how to challenge them.

How to Seek Help

Help for someone with high functioning addiction may involve a professional intervention with family, friends, and co-workers. A professional interventionist can help prepare the team together for the denial and excuses they may use. Someone who wants to stay in the shadows may feel threatened by too much engagement in an intervention so it has to be done carefully. There is also the challenge of helping them get into treatment at all costs. They may not want to go but an intervention can address how to handle the issues they face and support their journey forward.

Unfortunately, nobody is immune to the challenges of addiction. Not money, nor power or fame, can keep someone from getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. The challenge is to find hope and help on the other side of recovery with lots of support and aftercare that will continue to help them process the issues they face. The longer they are addicted, the more challenging it will be for them to continue moving forward. Family and friends can also join them for family therapy that works on the entire system and helping everyone get support. Getting connected to treatment is the best way to help someone with high functioning addiction break through denial and begin to heal.

The Guest House Ocala works with individuals and families to help them break through denial to accept the challenges of addiction and seek help. We can help people with high functioning addiction face their issues and begin to heal. Call us to find out how to get started: 1-855-483-7800