The professional addict is the last person you’d expect to have an addiction. Whether it’s drugs or alcohol, they know their reputation and success are on the line and they have the smarts to hide their disease from the people closest to them. Becoming educated in the habits of high functioning addicts will help you identify if someone close to you is a professional addict. Don’t be fooled by their drive for success and their ambitions, these people know that everything they’ve worked for could be lost. They use special tactics to ensure their secret remains hidden. Below is a list of common behaviors that the professional addict displays.
The professional addict will exploit the fact that it’s socially acceptable to stay later for their job. No one will bat an eye if they continue to succeed at their job and if they want to make more money by working longer hours. However, they often use this excuse to meet with their drug dealer or go to a bar. They will most likely go out of their way to avoid running into people they know. They might go to the bar in the next county or meet with their drug dealer in a casual location in the next city. Working later hours is often a cover to explain the long nights they’ve spent driving to these locations.
Paying for their addiction is not cheap, especially for drugs. The professional addict will not admit to money troubles, but instead they might begin to sell valuable possessions, take out loans, or even take out pre-designated funds from their accounts. Even with a high-paying income, the professional addict may resort to these techniques or borrow money from friends and family to help feed their addiction. Another tactic they use is keeping extra sources of income (such as bonuses) a secret. If you live with someone you suspect is an addict, it’s best to take control of their monthly budget and monitor where and how quickly their money is going.
Friends with Drug Problems
Another dangerous habit of professional addicts is that they will often become friends with people that have a history with addiction. Their habits will pale in comparison to this other person, making them seem normal. This also plays into false perceptions of themselves. Professionals will think that they’re not as bad as the other person and continue to abuse their substance. They will justify their substance abuse through each other and continue to worsen their addiction together.