High functioning addicts can get pretty good at hiding their addiction, which can make the problem hard to spot for the rest of us. However, if you notice any of the following habits, then you might know someone who needs professional help.

  1. Thriving on Drama – There is a storm of drama and trauma surrounding the individual. Despite all the excitement, however, goals are never reached, and there’s never anything to show for all the effort.


  1. Socializing with Enablers – Admitting addiction is tough, which is why many addicts will surround themselves with people who will always come to their rescue, cover up their failures, and make excuses for their behavior.


  1. Lack of Concern – Alcohol and drug abusers seem to be able to view the world through rose-colored glasses, and even when they reach the bottom of the barrel, life still looks pretty good.


  1. Feelings of Entitlement – Addicts think rules are for everybody else, and they justify their immoral actions because “they deserve it.”


  1. Irresponsibility – Substance abusers will always find ways to lay the blame for their horrible circumstances on everyone but themselves.


  1. Mood Swings – Many substance abusers are cheerful and outgoing while under the influence, but withdrawal brings out a new set of character traits such as anger, irritability, and withdrawal.


  1. Always in Financial Trouble – You may notice a substance abuser is constantly borrowing money to pay the rent, fill up the car, or make a loan repayment – just this once because “things are a bit tight at the moment.” You get the idea that they are just digging themselves into a deeper hole.

holding hands with coffee mug

  1. Breaking Promises and Lying – You will often hear substance abusers make solemn promises never to do it again, or “it’s the last time, they swear.”


  1. Intimidating and Belligerent Behavior – Despite little to no provocation, there are always sarcastic comments, belittling, and generally mean behavior coming from the substance abuser. Others are forced to tread lightly, lest they trigger an outburst.


  1. Downplaying the Problem – The addict will regularly proclaim to all and sundry that they are not addicts and can “Quit anytime I want.” The claim is usually accompanied with them hiding their abuse of substances.



Knowing how to handle a loved one with a drug or alcohol problem can be very challenging but support is available. Read more here: Habits & Addictions