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Old 09-19-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: stuck
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Does anyone have any experience with functional drug addicts or alcoholics? or is there really such a thing? Particulalry living with one. Is it possible for someone to struggle with substance abuse and just maintain a stable enough of a life to never really have to change or quit using. Sometimes it is obvious when someone is a hardcore addict and really needs help, life or death situation. but what about the people who have spent the majority of their lives partying as a social outlet? and then all of a sudden realize they are growing up and cannot party so much anymore. im not talking about people that drink and use on a daily basis, but say if your social life has revolved around drinking and substance abuse for so many years, how can you just grow up and start being a mature adult all of a sudden? are those people addicts on some level?
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
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Yes I have a lot of experience. I grew up with a functional alcoholic single parent. She would teach school, pick me up, make dinner and drink herself to sleep. I have a friend that is a functional marijuana addict. He suffers from Bipolar and smoking pot stops his mania at night so he can sleep, but he doesn't do it during the day.

It's easy to verify if they are addicts. Just ask them to stop right now or take the drugs away and watch their facial experssion. A social drinker would have no problem waiting 2 weeks for another party an addict don't think so.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:18 PM
 
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Default Is your friend an addict in your view?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado xxxxx View Post
Yes I have a lot of experience. I grew up with a functional alcoholic single parent. She would teach school, pick me up, make dinner and drink herself to sleep. I have a friend that is a functional marijuana addict. He suffers from Bipolar and smoking pot stops his mania at night so he can sleep, but he doesn't do it during the day.

It's easy to verify if they are addicts. Just ask them to stop right now or take the drugs away and watch their facial experssion. A social drinker would have no problem waiting 2 weeks for another party an addict don't think so.
Your friend is using marijuana to cope witth his mania so he can sleep. If you take away his "sleep medicine" he will likely be upset, but I wouldn't call him a functional addict, I'd call him a functional Bipolar person. He is functional because of his marijuana use not in spite of it.

An addict, in my view, is someone for whom life consists of procuring and using their addidictive substance, it can be anything, not just an illegal drug. When your life is enhanced by a substance, as in your friend's case, you are fine. When the substance becomes your life, you are an addict.

Marijuana is not very physically addictive, about up there with caffine, and the withdrawal symtoms, if any, are similar, so addition is not much of a concern. Dependency however is still possible. Just try and prevent a coffee drinker from getting their first cup in the morning...still it is easier to stop a dependency than an addiction.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:38 PM
 
12,630 posts, read 18,549,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaconowner View Post
Your friend is using marijuana to cope witth his mania so he can sleep. If you take away his "sleep medicine" he will likely be upset, but I wouldn't call him a functional addict, I'd call him a functional Bipolar person. He is functional because of his marijuana use not in spite of it.

An addict, in my view, is someone for whom life consists of procuring and using their addidictive substance, it can be anything, not just an illegal drug. When your life is enhanced by a substance, as in your friend's case, you are fine. When the substance becomes your life, you are an addict.

Marijuana is not very physically addictive, about up there with caffine, and the withdrawal symtoms, if any, are similar, so addition is not much of a concern. Dependency however is still possible. Just try and prevent a coffee drinker from getting their first cup in the morning...still it is easier to stop a dependency than an addiction.
If coffee drinkers do not get their coffee they usually have massive headaches because their bodies need the caffeine. And to note Caffeine withdrawals are terrible if you are a heavy caffeine addict.
And as far as pot..........
Based on his review of the scientific literature, between 10 to 30% of regular users will develop dependency. Only about 9% will have a serious addiction.
pot has very few severe withdrawal symptoms and most people can quit rather easily. When present, withdrawal symptoms might include: anxiety, depression, nausea, sleep disturbances and GI problems.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...uana-addictive
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:43 PM
 
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I'd say im a functioning alcoholic. I drink before i go to bed and i usually drink right before i go to work and some nights ill go through a whole case of beer and still make it into work on time with no hangover or ill effects. then ill go out for lunch and have a 6 pack, drive back and like nothing ever happened
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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One good thing about DSM-5 is that if there is no impairment, the substance use won't be "diagnosable." Under DSM IV, we still diagnose people even if there's no impairment.

So even if a person has a physical dependency, and they use a substance every day, if there is no impairment in functioning or minimal impairment, it's not a disorder, and therefore can't be diagnosed.

A person doesn't have to be functioning perfectly to be a "functioning alcoholic" or "functioning addict;" they just have to be functioning in the range of the average person. I know plenty of people who take in substances daily but who function much better than some people who have no substance use issues. Could they use improvement in some areas of life? Sure. But so could I.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
A person doesn't have to be functioning perfectly to be a "functioning alcoholic" or "functioning addict;" they just have to be functioning in the range of the average person. I know plenty of people who take in substances daily but who function much better than some people who have no substance use issues. Could they use improvement in some areas of life? Sure. But so could I.
Agree with this^ perspective...

As to the stated topic/OP, my father was a "functional alcoholic", as he was described to me (by another relative who knew him better than I). Am unsure what sort of quantity or regularity of alcohol usage is implied (with "functioning alcoholic"), guess it's a judgment call. My father hardly ever got very drunk, he held down college professorships and he did not rack up driving offenses, so...maybe that's it.

Knew he drank, but it failed to register with me as being on the level of "he is a drinker/alcoholic". No signs of the intense "cause & effect" of his-apparent-chemical habit (such as one learns from a pamphlet checklist or scenes of a "very special episode" of tv show). To be fair, I wasn't constantly in his presence, so I wasn't aware of how he might be the rest of the time-in childhood, I only stayed with him on weekends. His occasional fits of temper frightened & confused me, but that sounds "normal/typical" with any parent & child. To me, he was just my dad, a guy with problems-nothing "out of the ordinary", so far as I could tell...until the very last few years, during which he rapidly declined (as his impairments proliferated & came to the forefront).

It had never occurred to me that his drinking influenced his behavior. Maybe it did, but on other hand, he might have behaved worse had he not drank, and there's no way to know (he's deceased, so this is a moot point). If he was using the alcohol for stress relief and mood management, those problems would still remain and require alternate solutions (and not everybody is equally able to acquire "healthier" coping mechanisms nor do they wish to become legally "addicted" to pharmaceuticals).
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Northern NH
4,551 posts, read 10,464,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OIF VET View Post
I'd say im a functioning alcoholic. I drink before i go to bed and i usually drink right before i go to work and some nights ill go through a whole case of beer and still make it into work on time with no hangover or ill effects. then ill go out for lunch and have a 6 pack, drive back and like nothing ever happened

I want to do more than function. I hope you think about what you are doing.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Well, I am on another page here. Addiction (which includes alcoholism) is a progressive disease and left untreated will get worse. This disease has no cure, it is only a matter of whether the person is clean/sober and working a strong recovery
program or not, that's it.

Functional addicts, IMO there is no such thing, the disease just has not progressed to the not able to manage their life stage yet. It will happen, jobs will be affected, relationships will suffer and legal troubles will arise.

Not my rules, just how it works.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,137 posts, read 14,638,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollydo View Post
Well, I am on another page here. Addiction (which includes alcoholism) is a progressive disease and left untreated will get worse. This disease has no cure, it is only a matter of whether the person is clean/sober and working a strong recovery
program or not, that's it.

Functional addicts, IMO there is no such thing, the disease just has not progressed to the not able to manage their life stage yet. It will happen, jobs will be affected, relationships will suffer and legal troubles will arise.

Not my rules, just how it works.

I agree with you for the most part. My Mom I referenced finally was forced to get sober and just got her 30 year chip in AA.
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