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Five Signs You’re Functionally
Addicted to Something

When you’re a professional who has their life together, it can be difficult to recognize when you’re overdoing it with drinking, marijuana, or even your prescribed medications. Just because you’re high-functioning doesn’t mean that you’re not addicted to something. It also doesn’t mean that you’re an “addict.” The way we talk about substances, addiction, and lifestyle creates stigma and an inaccurate perspective that just because you’re not throwing your life away you’re not addicted to something. Below are five signs you are functionally dependent on a substance.

You Use it Every Day

One tell-tale sign that you’re addicted to something is that you use it every day. While you may not be dependent upon a substance just because you take it every day, it’s a sign that you may be relying on it. Do you drink wine or beer every night? Do you smoke marijuana daily? Are you taking pain medication to ease your physical discomfort? Whatever it is, if you’re taking something every day you might be using it to get through the day.

You Overdo It

If you don’t have a problem with abstaining from smoking, drinking, or taking another substance but can’t stop once you start, it is a sign that you might have a problem with it. When you intend to just have a single drink but end up drinking four, you might not be in control of it. Alcohol in particular is a powerful drug. Marijuana gets easier to use the more you smoke. Prescription pill tolerance is no joke. Once you start snorting cocaine, you will want to continue. It’s important to keep in mind that if you regularly overdo it when taking substances, you might be functionally addicted to it.

Making Excuses

Be honest with yourself. Do you make excuses to make yourself feel better about drinking? What about when you smoke weed? If you’re making excuses that allow yourself to take what you want to take, you might be in the area of high-functioning addiction. You shouldn’t have to make excuses to enjoy yourself. If you’re indulging in behavior that isn’t standard but want to make it appear like it's normal, you should be more honest with yourself. Don’t always reward yourself for everything just so you can drink or smoke.

Disguising Your Habits

Are you going out of your way to drink or do drugs? Are you making it your priority and disguising it as something else? We all love wine tours, but do you need to take one every weekend? Do you always need to get high before a concert or a festival? If the activity is more about getting intoxicated, you might be disguising your habits as other things you’re doing. The most important thing when you’re functionally dependent upon something is to be honest about it with yourself.

You Can’t Stop

Of course when you’ve tried your best to stop and simply can’t, this is probably the best sign that you are functionally addicted to something. Just because you get stuff don’t doesn’t mean you don’t have an addiction. Everything else in your life could be fine, but you smoke marijuana all day every day. If you drink every night, it may be time to curb the habit. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take a break from taking whatever you are taking. If you can’t stop for a specific period of time, you should seek some professional help.

Whether you want to curb your habits or stop entirely, finding rehab nearby is a good idea. When you can’t stop, rehab is necessary. But when you can stop and simply don’t, it’s important to take a break and see where you’re at. If you’re doing well in your life and don’t have a reason to curb your bad habits, that’s a good enough reason to stay sober for a while. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, professionals can lose sight of themselves and get deep into drinking, marijuana, pills, and other drugs. It’s also a sign that you may be pushing down your feelings. Whatever your situation, taking some time to work on yourself is necessary for anyone—even if you aren’t addicted to anything.


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