Addiction is often diagnosed in combination with several other psychological illnesses, which are examined during addiction counseling. One of the most common is depression. However, there are different types of depression, like high functioning depression, that are a bit more tricky to detect. 

High functioning depression is known for having similar characteristics as traditional depression, but with lessened severity. This makes it more likely to go undiagnosed, internally experiencing symptoms while externally hiding their suffering. When high functioning depression sufferers do express their symptoms, it comes across as only moderate emotions of sadness and hopelessness. 

A notable characteristic, however, is that this version of depression tends to be long-lasting. High-functioning depression, although considered less severe, is much more long-term and can be equally dampening. The symptoms like low self-esteem, fatigue, and hopelessness, contribute toward worsening addiction and can be much more difficult to treat. 

high-functioning depression

Understanding High-Functioning Depression

Unlike traditional depression, high functioning depression increases the pressure to uphold the emotional well-being of those who suffer. The feelings of inadequacy and despair are still observable, but being less intrusive prompts subtle changes in behavior. Minor changes in behavior may be observed and are opposed to obvious psychological turmoil. Such outward distress that’s observed with a traditional diagnosis of depression, is not as recognizable as in high functioning depression.

While “high functioning” depression is an appropriate descriptive term, the proper terminology for the illness is persistent depressive disorder (PDD). Furthermore, according to the DSM-5, another term for PDD is Dysthymia. While high functioning depression comes with different challenges, like an addiction it can be managed with professional care. Alternatively, if left untreated it will persist over time and could impact the severity of addiction, calling for immediate intervention. 

High-Functioning Depression Is Very Common

Despite being less noticeable initially, high functioning depression is often noted in combination with substance abuse. High-prompts functioning depression, being reasonably more common, tends to slip past a confirmed diagnosis more than it should. Because this type of depression is constant, instead of cyclical, it is clinically difficult to identify. 

Treatment centers that specialize in addiction place extreme importance on mental health, and are equipped with sufficient resources to diagnose. Specifically, by understanding high functioning depression symptoms and being aware of those that are more likely to be affected. For example, over 14.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with a form of depression each year. Of those, 3 million are said to be suffering from high functioning depression. 

To narrow it down even further, high functioning depression is twice as likely to affect women over men. While this does not suggest that males are specifically immune, it does indicate gender distinction. Coupled with the number of women addicted to substances, and being able to conceal dependency, effective evaluation is categorically necessary. 

High-Functioning Depression Symptoms

The tricky part about accurately identifying high functioning depression is becoming aware of someone trying too hard to behave “okay.” Granted, no one has it all together all of the time, because that would be unreasonable. But people with high functioning depression are constantly fighting one battle with the other. Not only are they suffering from a constant state of depression, but also need to cautiously fake feeling emotionally well. Understanding what depression feels like is a major turning point, but the routine of hiding behind addiction prevents effective treatment.

However, because high functioning depression is still depression, it is not asymptomatic. Some recognizable high functioning depression symptoms include:

Although high-functioning depression is often concealed from others, frequently making excuses to not have the time is a red flag. The constant upkeep to hide PDD is responsible for the most predominant symptom, which is frequent emotional exhaustion. 

Because of that, it can be up to the individual to come forward about their depression and needing help. Unfortunately, many individuals first come forward needing addiction treatment, before addressing the underlying illness that triggered substance abuse. 

High-Functioning Depression And Co-Occurring Illnesses

High functioning depression isn’t only suspected along with chronic cases of addiction. It has been known to accompany the diagnosis of anxiety and bipolar disorder, making dual diagnosis treatment even more detrimental. When more than one illness prevents adequate treatment for the other, dual-diagnosis treatment is a rehab option. 

Although a substance use disorder can co-occur with many different psychological illnesses, depression is often at the forefront. Around half of those that suffer from addiction are diagnosed with a chronic psychological condition, such as high functioning depression. Alternatively, substance abuse as a means to self-medicate is unfortunately abundantly common. Self-medication is common in many co-occurring illnesses, such as anxiety, or impulse control disorders. 

Considering how long-term high-functioning depression is, developing an addiction within a significant time is often observed. Identifying a dual diagnosis in cases where individuals have high functioning depression can make or break addiction treatment. This is why professional rehab is the best option for addiction and ongoing psychological support. 

Living With High-Functioning Depression

High-functioning depression can be just as much behavioral as it is emotional. By breaking the cycle of negative, depressing, and addictive triggers, including their responses, beneficial conduct can fill the place. This practice is known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and is an essential therapeutic program incorporated into addiction therapy.

Once an individual is in the routine of concealing their long-term high-functioning depression, these behaviors become nothing but coping mechanisms. Although these individuals may seem happy, prepared, intelligent, and successful, inside they are struggling with a persistent sense of sadness. 

The internal negativity slowly eats away at their ability to function and increases the need to hide their depression. This is often when a turn to substance abuse and addiction arises. Initially, as an attempt to ease symptoms, tolerance and dependence can occur very quickly, and addiction worsens depression symptoms. Fortunately, rehab is designed to incorporate therapeutic methods to interfere with these associations.

Treatment Options For High-Functioning Depression

Being able to identify a high functioning depression when struggling with an addiction can be difficult, but rehab can help. In knowing how to help someone with drug addiction and depression, these professionals expedite healing from an already grueling illness. However, depending on the severity of the illness, and the duration of addiction, the intensity of treatment can vary. Typically, when treating high functioning depression and substance abuse, the first step is detox. 

Detoxing Provides Clear Perspective on High-Functioning Depression

While actively abusing substances, addiction worsens through cycles of crashing, withdrawal, and drug use. During this time, symptoms of high functioning depression blur into withdrawal, making it harder to notice. Some addicts fail to recognize that they are suffering from high functioning depression, until clean and in treatment. 

That’s why it is important, to begin with, detox, and reevaluate once completely sober. The process of detoxing is conducted in a safe and comfortable environment. It is often in the same center as treatment will be provided. This is important to be able to swiftly move directly into therapy and counseling. By speeding up the diagnosis of high functioning depression, the individual can receive treatment without unnecessary psychological stress, during an already delicate time. 

Inpatient Treatment for Addiction and High-Functioning Depression

Inpatient treatment is increasingly useful in cases where a dual diagnosis is expected. By remaining within the facility for the duration of treatment, the temptation to immediately relapse is off the table. This also gives counselors, doctors, and therapists time to evaluate the mental and emotional state of the addict. 

As established, high functioning depression is easier to diagnose after detox, but still may not be obvious at first. Risking the time an individual has between detox and treatment, all before understanding the effects of their depression is contradictory. Instead, while in the comfort of the program’s residential area, the individual can receive the care that they need. While receiving addiction treatment they will participate in onsite therapy, to evaluate and assess high functioning depression that co-occurs. 

How to Help Someone With High-Functioning Depression

Being that high functioning depression is so hard to identify, it may be difficult to notice your loved ones suffering. But just like other types of depression, it is important to let your loved one know you’re there as support. High functioning depression and addiction, like any other illnesses, are confusing, both for the one suffering, and those around them. 

Depression is a lonely illness in more ways than one. Especially with high functioning depression, it can feel like no one understands because of the ongoing facade. It can cause a person to push away from those that care about them, especially when self-medicating. High-functioning depression often pushes a person to destroy even their closest relationships. Whether out of confusion or embarrassment, this is incredibly emotionally damaging. 

Family therapy is available through rehab to begin to repair these special relationships that have been damaged along the way. They help to provide the suffering individual with a sense of peace, reconciliation, and a sense of community. While helping to build their support system, treatment for addiction and high functioning depression moves forward. This will be important moving forward, especially to avoid relapse. 

Aftercare For High-Functioning Depression and Addiction. 

After completing treatment is when the most important steps must be taken. Maintaining one’s sobriety while constantly being aware of their mental state can be tolling if not prepared. Especially considering that one illness may have a profound effect on the other, determination and diligence are required. 

Rehab is designed to help those suffering from high functioning depression and substance abuse, focus on future efforts. Along with keeping up with therapy and checking in regularly with counselors, sticking to a routine helps tremendously. An aftercare program is designed to collaborate these helpful reinforcements. 

Meetings And Therapy To Maintain Wellness With High-Functioning Depression

Although many illnesses can be cured, both a substance use disorder and high functioning depression are chronic. Without constant upkeep to maintain sobriety and psychological health, relapse into one or both is increasingly likely. The easiest way to manage both illnesses is to incorporate helpful practices into a routine. 

There are many ways to do this and the most popular is participating in a 12 Step program. These sessions encourage regular physical and emotional check-ins, to be constantly aware of your mental status. What’s more, is the sense of community that comes with regular attendance. Especially for those with high functioning depression, regular social interaction can deter solitude, which contributes to relapse. 

Getting Professional Help For High-Functioning Depression

Whether you have an addiction, high functioning depression, or both, getting professional care is the best option. Rehab and detox centers that are designed with complete psychological wellness in mind offer the best restorative conditions. Reach out to gather more information on how to get help for yourself, no matter how long you have suffered. 

Specialists know how to help someone with drug addiction and depression but can only start once the decision is made. That decision is to get sober and take control over your high functioning depression and mental health. Getting better starts with the commitment to yourself to get sober. Today is the day to choose you. 


Smoking embalming fluid is a rather unusual method drug users will partake in to get high. You may have only heard about this on the news following a violent drug-induced crime. Embalming fluid and PCP involve severe side effects and cause users to act in unpredictable, dangerous ways. Here is what you need to know about the use of embalming fluid and “wet drugs.” 

What is Embalming Fluid

Embalming fluid is a chemical mixture used by funeral homes and similar businesses to prevent bodies from decomposing after death. The chemicals that make embalming fluid include methanol, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, and others. These chemicals are sanitizing agents that work to preserve and disinfect bodies after death. This process aims to maintain the appearance of a body for viewing at a funeral and medical research in labs. 

How Are People Using It?

Embalming fluid cannot be taken by itself in pure form. It works as a carrier or solvent for a drug called PCP (phencyclidine), also known as angel dust. PCP is a hazardous and potent drug, often influencing its users to do bizarre things. PCP may be used on its own, but people use embalming fluid to dissolve PCP. Following that, users may dip cigarettes in the liquid for an enhanced high. This may also be referred to as a “wet drug.”  

PCP and Embalming Fluid

PCP and embalming fluid are not the same, but they do produce similar effects. PCP is an illegally made hallucinogen that is growing in use. The chemicals needed to produce PCP are generally easy to buy and inexpensive. It also does not require a chemist or lab equipment to produce. 

PCP comes in two forms, liquid, and powder. It cannot be dissolved in water; therefore, it requires a solvent like embalming fluid. Since PCP is often made in makeshift labs, it is not uncommon for the drug to contain contaminants.

Effects of Smoking Embalming Fluid

Embalming Fluid

As mentioned before, the high produced by PCP is similar to embalming fluid. Individuals that tend to smoke embalming fluid are unaware of the severe risks associated with the process. Not only are the risks long-term, but they may be deadly. Occasional use may even lead to long-term health consequences.

The effects of “wet drugs” are typically inconsistent since the history of how the drug was produced is unknown. Effects users usually look for in wet drugs include:

  • Adrenaline rush
  • Self-delusions, sometimes involving superhuman strength
  • Euphoric feeling
  • Hallucinations
  • Dissociation with reality

Wet drugs do sometimes make users feel superhuman strength. For example, individuals under the influence of PCP and embalming fluid have broken handcuffs after being apprehended by the police. Users report using the drug combination to escape from reality, which follows suit with many other hallucinogenic drugs. 

Risks of Smoking Embalming Fluid

It is impossible to predict the risks and effects of wet drugs since they are so inconsistent. In regards to PCP, many toxins included in the production process do not get filtered out. Common dangerous effects of wet drugs include:

  • Lack of feeling, including the ability to feel pain
  • Aggressive and violent behavior
  • Schizophrenia-like symptoms, including delusions and paranoia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Suicide due to strong delusions 
  • Memory loss and total blackouts 
  • Impaired coordination

Physical Risks of Smoking Embalming Fluid

Individuals who smoke embalming fluid often report not remembering becoming violent after committing a crime. Many news reports involving horrific crimes are linked to wet drugs. The main reason an individual would choose embalming fluid over PCP is simply that it is more accessible and even legal. PCP does involve several risks, but embalming fluid is even more toxic. The physical dangers of smoking embalming fluid include:

  • Brain damage
  • Cancer
  • Immediate coma
  • Destruction of body tissue
  • Lung damage
  • Seizures
  • Death 

Where Do Dealers Acquire Embalming Fluid?

Embalming fluid is generally associated with morgues and funeral homes. Chemical companies do sell it, though, which makes it easily accessible. Many dealers will find a person involved in the industry and acquire it through them. People within the industry may be employed by a hospital, funeral home, or government morgue.  

Treatment Options for Addiction

Addiction to dangerous drugs requires a supervised detox. In any situation involving addiction and treatment, a proper detox is essential. But for example, PCP detox is incredibly dangerous, and there are several risks involved. 

Detoxing from certain drugs typically involves withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the drug, the symptoms can range from being uncomfortable to deadly. Withdrawal symptoms of PCP and embalming fluid are generally not life-threatening, but the symptoms may be overwhelmingly unpleasant. These symptoms often lead users to relapse to avoid withdrawing. Some of the withdrawal symptoms of wet drugs are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Intense drug cravings

At CNV Detox, we offer a range of programs designed to fit various clients’ circumstances. We understand the vulnerable times that come with recovery, and we strive to provide as much support and assistance as possible. 

Medical Detox

Treatment Options for Addiction

Our medical detox program treats alcohol and drug dependence. Dependence is similar, but not the same thing as addiction. CNV Detox defines dependence according to the withdrawal symptoms that occur when an individual stops using a substance. Our non-medical detox program does not involve the use of medication to treat withdrawal and its symptoms. It generally provides emotional support and assistance during the detox process. 

Whether you are looking for PCP detox or detox for another addiction, we can help. When committing to treatment, detox is generally the first step. In a successful detox, the patient is guided through a process that rids the toxins from their body. This is a crucial step because it sets the foundation for long-term recovery. 

The detoxification process may require medical assistance. Otherwise, it is a natural process. The type of detox program each client begins depends on the severity and particular substance they are addicted to. Each person has a unique experience when detoxing – which is why we recommend a proper detox program with a medical professional. 

Inpatient Treatment

Following detox, clients are directed toward a program that will best fit their needs. Inpatient treatment is a live-in facility involving a variety of support and therapy programs. People in inpatient treatment do not only stop using substances but they are encouraged to work with therapists to find the root causes that feed into their addiction. 

At CNV Detox, our inpatient program offers a substance-free environment with unlimited clinical and medical support around the clock. Inpatient drug rehab is a good idea for people experiencing:

  • High risks of relapse
  • Mild to severe SUDs (Substance Use Disorders)
  • Dependence on multiple substances
  • Dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental health disorders)
  • A need for long-term treatment at a place where the patient is avoiding domestic abuse, drugs, or other issues occurring at home

Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), are all-day intensive rehab programs that allow participants to go home at night. Therefore, clients in this program have a clear daytime schedule so they can receive treatment. People within PHPs do not have a daytime job, as much of their days are spent attending treatment. Many individuals live in a sober home while participating in a PHP. 

Smoking Embalming Fluid

PHPs generally take up around six hours a day and most days out of the week. Many people in PHPs attend treatment for an extended period since the program is a step down from standard inpatient treatment. With that being said, PHPs are the highest level of outpatient treatment. Treatment methods involved with PHPs are similar to inpatient programs. Some treatment methods may include:

  • Behavioral therapies
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Detox
  • Medical services
  • Medically assisted therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Support groups
  • Aftercare

Holistic Treatment

Holistic treatments focus mainly on the mind and body. In addiction treatment, holistic therapy helps unravel difficult conditions like depression, anxiety, and more. Holistic treatment does not attempt to target and cure symptoms. It mainly looks to find the root causes of symptoms leading people to addiction. 

People may look to holistic methods after feeling failed by traditional methods. At CNV Detox, we’ve found that holistic treatments work best in combination with conventional and proven treatments. Therefore, we take an approach of addressing our client’s emotional and physical well-being while offering them traditional rehab programs. Some common forms of holistic treatment are:

  • Meditation
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Massage and acupuncture
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Adventure and exercise therapy   

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis, commonly known as co-occurring disorders, is a condition characterized by two conditions happening simultaneously. Co-occurring disorders usually include substance addiction and other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more. 

When dealing with dual diagnosis, it is best to treat the client for both co-occurring disorders. Therefore, our dual diagnosis treatment program aims to find how the disorders are working with each other to cause harm to the individual. Dual diagnosis treatment is available in both outpatient and inpatient settings. If requiring dual diagnosis treatment, you should expect to participate in different forms of therapy such as:

Find Help With CNV Detox Today

If you are suffering from an addiction to PCP, embalming fluid, or other types of wet drugs – you can still find help. At CNV, we have experienced staff, counselors, and medical professionals to help you reach your goal of maintaining and sustaining recovery. We will not only work with you to achieve sobriety, but we will assist you in working through any emotional, behavioral, or physical trauma you may have. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact us today.

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