Judging from his own account, Rush Limbaugh is not exactly a model drug user. But it's undeniable that he remained productive, maintaining a busy schedule and preserving his edge in a highly competitive business, even while consuming large quantities of hydrocodone and oxycodone. Indeed, it looks like almost no one knew about his habit before his housekeeper ratted on him. His case illustrates that the strength of one's attachment to a substance and the practical consequences of that attachment are distinct issues. Just as there are "functional alcoholics," who continue to meet their professional responsibilities and even excel at their work, there are functional narcotic addicts whose habits may take a personal toll but do not interfere with their careers. The difference is that opioid users like Limbaugh are breaking the law simply by obtaining their drugs, so their habits may become public scandals even if they never affect their public performance.
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