Here’s why the functional drug addict idea is a dangerous myth

Society paints the picture of a functional drug addict, similar to the role of Dr. Gregory House on House. We see smart people, with plenty of talent that are portrayed with drug problems. They’re labeled as functional drug addicts to give a sort of odd contrast against what we stereotype as the “bad” addict: the ones that can’t hold employment, that can’t keep their promises, that can’t take care of families.

functional drug addict

The truth couldn’t be more different. The “bad” addicts are simply the ones most visible to us because they’re struggling. We need to think carefully on the so-called functional addict, because they are living a very dangerous myth. The idea that everything is okay because you’re able to pay your bills and provide some sort of care for children is ridiculous. The reality is this: addiction matters no matter how your life appears to the untrained eye.

A high functioning addict is still ruled by their addiction. Don’t believe us? Just try to take away their substance of choice and see how they react. They’re not going to necessarily be happy about it, and we shouldn’t assume that they don’t need help simply because they’ve been able to hide so many signs.

Another reason to not discount the high functioning addict is simple: their bodies are still facing the damage caused by a drug addiction. It’s important to still reach out to family members that are struggling, even if they look “fine”. People have gotten very good at hiding their issues, and acting as if they don’t need to seek out help. The high functioning addict may also feel that we don’t take them as seriously because their lives haven’t completely fallen apart. If that’s the case with you, then you need to look at things in a different way.

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