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28 Jun 3 Ways Addicts Convince Others that They’re Sober

It can difficult to identify a drug or alcohol addiction in a loved one, especially if that someone lives with addiction in such a way that it puts on the pretense of sobriety. Here are 3 ways that an addict might convince others—be in on purpose or as a consequence of living out a typical lifestyle—that he or she is sober.

‘Dry’ days

One common myth you hear about addiction is that everyday abuse of a substance needs to be present to define an addict. While it is true that this type of daily use does indicate addiction, that doesn’t mean that those who don’t use every day aren’t addicted as well. If you know someone who seems to be struggling from addiction but who doesn’t use on a daily basis, look for other signs of addiction, such as financial issues, unexplained absences, general apathy, and deteriorating physical health.

Using only during social hours

On a related note, some who harbor addictions will use primarily during social times and will thus appear to be only social users. This goes along with the stereotype of alcoholics that they drink in the mornings—yet many addicted to alcohol will typically drink during normal drinking hours. The key difference lies in quantity consumed and frequency of consumption; the time of day when a substance is used is secondary to these things when weighing out substance dependency.

Comparing to others who are worse off

You might hear someone addicted to recreational drugs or alcohol say something along the lines of, “I’m not as bad as John. Now, he’s in really bad shape.” The thing to remember here, though, is that a substance addiction looks different on everyone. Some will show very obvious signs of drug or alcohol abuse, such as changes in physical appearance, frequent mood swings, and a sudden disinterest in favorite activities. Others exhibit more latent signs of addiction. It can be difficult to judge from an outsider’s perspective to determine who is further along down the road of addiction. Moreover, you don’t need to be in the later stages of addiction in order to seek treatment; the sooner you recognize a problem that needs to be addressed, the sooner you can enjoy life free from the control of addictive substances.

Mike Keenan has been in the field of substance abuse for the past 5 years. In those 5 years he has worked in residential, out-patient, and in-patient treatment programs. The majority of his experience comes from supervisory and director level positions. Mike is currently a Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor, Equine Specialist(EAGALA) as well as enrolled at the University of Utah to complete a degree in Social Work. His areas of expertise are experiential therapy and metaphorical learning.
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