The High Functioning Alcoholic

Another sign of a functioning alcoholic is someone who may abstain from drinking throughout the week, but then binge drink on the weekends or binge drink at night after their work is done. A person with functioning alcoholism will try to hide their drinking habits from their loved ones and may become secretive or isolated from people. They may also lie about their drinking or refuse to recognize their drinking. Unfortunately, this blotting out of memory means functional alcoholics don’t experience guilt over the consequences of their actions if they can’t remember doing anything wrong.

high functioning alcoholic

Withdrawal can be disagreeable and disturbing enough that hostility and anxiety occur. Even though functional alcoholism might appear doable short-term, and long-term, it’s unsustainable. Furthermore, it’s also unsustainable to be in a relationship with a high-functioning alcoholic who doesn’t address their addiction and check into an alcohol and drug addiction rehab center. Often, husbands and wives are the sole parties aware of their spouse’s alcohol problems. It’s impossible to determine why one person becomes more severely addicted than another.

What Is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

If one of your loved ones often finds they can’t remember what they did the previous day as a result of drinking, they are experiencing blackouts. Functional alcohol seems immune to the ravages of heavy drinking. If you suspect that a loved one is drinking as a coping mechanism, this typically indicates they have some form of problem with alcohol. Many well-known people have publicly acknowledged their battles with alcohol and entered recovery before their lives were destroyed. Yet, a high functioning alcoholic needs help as much as a classic alcoholic.

This article explores the meaning of the term high functioning alcoholic, looks at the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder (AUD), how people can help friends and family, and more. Alcoholics have a stereotype, and the people who have a severe addiction to alcohol are the ones who get all the press and set the standard for what society pictures as alcoholism. This stereotype can also make it difficult for loved ones to recognize moderate alcoholism in a friend or family member.

High functioning alcoholic: What to know

According to a 2019 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism survey, nearly 15 million Americans age 12 and older have an alcohol-related disorder (AUD). While many assume it is easy to spot someone struggling with an alcohol problem, that is not always the case. Reach out to us today by filling out the contact form below with your name, contact information, and a brief message about your recovery journey.

  • As such, individuals who are high-functioning alcoholics are often not confronted by their family, friends or by their colleagues in relation to their behaviors surrounding their drinking.
  • The severity of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) is determined by the number of criteria you meet.
  • Support groups can help those in recovery by providing them with a much-needed support system.
  • Even though HFAs experience consequences for their lifestyle, these have not overcome denial.
  • Drinking doesn’t just affect the individual; it affects the entire family unit.

Under the surface, this form of alcoholism can cause severe psychological and emotional damage to the alcoholic and also their loved ones.. So how and when does one know if they or a loved one has a problem with alcohol. Although some individuals in recovery find value in admitting that they are an alcoholic, it is something that many find difficulty in coming to terms with.

Mental Health

It is not uncommon for individuals with AUD to experience conflict with family and friends, and have drinking negatively impact their job, schooling, and overall safety. For this reason, these factors are a part of the diagnostic criteria. There are many rehab centers and support groups, both online and in-person, for people who are working to achieve sobriety.

high functioning alcoholic

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