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Functional Addiction Cannot Replace Recovery

Functional Addiction Cannot Replace Recovery

Even if you think you are not struggling with addiction recovery, it may be that you are living a double life without realizing it. Functioning well while drinking or using drugs is not a replacement for recovery. You still need to look at the bigger picture of your addiction to see what needs to happen to be healthy.

Signs of Functional Addiction

Functional addiction can take over a person’s life and yet make it seem like nothing at all is really wrong. If you get up for work, go to the kid’s recitals, cook dinner for the kids, and do the regular things, you can make yourself think you’re functioning alright. Meanwhile, your life is taking a turn for the worse before everyone else’s eyes and you cannot even see it. Some of the signs of functional addiction include:

  • Behavioral changes when drinking or using drugs
  • Becoming defensive if questioned on drinking or substance use
  • Making excuses for increased use
  • Spending time with friends who are drinkers
  • Finishing others’ drinks
  • Hiding or sneaking alcohol or drugs

Addiction and Consequences

Sooner or later, people with functional addiction must face the consequences of their actions. Having managed to avoid detection for so long, it is difficult for people with functional addiction to seek help. When cracks appear, the downward spiral for functional addiction can accelerate. It is difficult for people to seek help and it may be easier to get a free pass from others, especially if others are doing it, because that is ‘expected’ or ‘normal’ behavior. The problem is that it is not good behavior, nor is it healthy.

Functional Addiction

Just like any other problem you face at work or in your family life, you might wonder whether or not you are struggling with functional addiction. You may wonder if someone you love is struggling. The following are signs to look for:

  • Signs of deception: have family or friends noticed any changes in behavior
  • Loved ones make accommodations for poor behavior
  • Enabling behavior: have they supported your use of drug of choice by purchasing it for you, using it with you, or not speaking up when you over consume or do something wrong under the influence? This may apply to a loved one as well if you may be supporting or enabling another’s poor decisions

The goal in recovery is to seek empowerment to heal and move forward in life. Don’t deny or make excuses any longer if real help is on the horizon. There are better days ahead. There are many avenues to rehab from drug and alcohol abuse. Make it a goal to help a loved one or yourself heal from addiction and give yourself the gift of recovery.


For more than 25 years, Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center has been devoted to helping those who are struggling, to find serenity and recover. With a focus on holistic treatment for the physical, emotional, and spiritual, our program effectively rebuilds and heals what has been broken by addiction. For information on our addiction treatment program in Louisiana, call us today: 866-848-3001