With a high-functioning addict, you can toss aside the archetypal image of an “addict.” You won’t find these people pushing shopping carts up and down the sidewalks of skid row.
In early addiction the addict tends to live in the future; in middle and late addiction he begins to dwell more and more in the past.
And it is usually an unhappy, bitterly regretted past.
Because functioning addicts are so good at masking their struggles and covering their tracks, friends and loved ones often aren’t aware of a problem…until it’s too late.
As with everyone addicted to drugs and alcohol, high-functioning addicts are not a lost cause.
Using cocaine enhances the activity of several substances in the brain including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine; the enhanced actions of norepinephrine can cause the pupil to dilate.
Normally, the pupils, which are the dark part in the center of the iris, are around four millimeters in size.
But as the addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as to himself.
He becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest.
For example, a person who has abused alcohol needs to stay away from bars and heavy drinking venues to avoid temptation.