All types of people from all types of different backgrounds can have alcohol use disorder. Studies conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Alcoholism in family systems Abuse and Alcoholism report that in 2019, 25.8% of people ages 18 and older reported that they participated in binge drinking in the last month.
Children are especially sensitive and can suffer long-lasting emotional trauma when a parent or caretaker is an alcoholic or heavy drinker. It’s not always easy to tell when your alcohol intake has crossed the line from moderate or social drinking to problem drinking. Drinking is so common in many cultures and the effects vary so widely from person to person, it can be hard to figure out if or when your alcohol intake has become a problem.
Treatment Options For Those With Alcohol Use Disorder
Some may ask, “If their lives are not impacted by their alcohol use, then why is their alcohol use a problem? They are excelling in their careers, taking care of their children, connecting with their spouse, etc.” The answer is that their lives are always impacted in some way. While the consequences of their alcohol use may not be so apparent at the time, there is bound to be some area of their life that is indeed being impacted now or that will be impacted in the future. For example, interior physical damage caused by alcohol to the liver, pancreas, heart, and brain are often left unnoticed until it may be too late. Or in some way the individual’s relationships with their loved ones may slowly deteriorate over time as they spend more time drinking and less time being present and connecting with others. It might not look like it is a problem, but functional alcoholics are alcoholics just the same.
While high functioning alcoholics may be able to hold down a steady, good job and maintain their finances and avoid alcohol-related legal issues, they are still putting their health and well-being at risk. When picturing someone struggling with alcohol addiction, it is common to imagine a disheveled, homeless person, or someone who has lost their home, family and other possessions due to their alcohol abuse. These stereotypes are only the end result of a much longer process, and they can mislead functioning alcoholics because their lives have yet to fit these stereotypes. Someone described as a high-functioning alcoholic may appear outwardly healthy both mentally and physically.
Early alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin within six to 24 hours after a person’s last drink. For a functional alcoholic, day-drinking can be a way to prevent these withdrawal symptoms. It may also be a way for people to relieve cravings for alcohol throughout the day, which can be a sign of psychological addiction. When most people hear the term, “alcoholic,” they are likely to picture a person who is unable to function in day-to-day life. They may have issues holding down a job, or being able to afford a house or a rental. But in many instances, some people with alcohol use disorder are able to function while still struggling with an alcohol dependency issue.
Nearly 20% of alcoholics are highly functional and well-educated with good incomes. It may be necessary to plan an intervention to encourage a high-functioning alcoholic to get treatment.
The Challenge Of Helping Functional Alcoholics
High-functioning alcoholics often damage their personal relationships and spiral other people’s lives into functional alcoholic husband chaos. It may be a source of enlightenment to him just how far-reaching his alcohol abuse has become.
But still. I be fully functioning & be drunk as fuck lmfao Will cook an entire meal, text in full sentences, remember to wash my makeup off & do a full beauty regimen, take a whole shower AND remember to grease my skin. A true functioning alcoholic no matter how much I’ve drunk.
— CapriSun 🧃 (@SlimTheSaavage) December 5, 2021
Many individuals seeking treatment to overcome the alcoholism use disorder do not fit the criteria underlined below. The expert usually classifies them as functional alcoholics while they can truly be called functionally attached to alcohol or functionally dependent on it. As individuals seem to lead a relatively normal life, I think it is more likely that there have been fewer cases than reported in most cases. This concerns me because the statistics I acquired suggest that there may be fewer cases. High-functional alcoholics account for 19.5 percent of total U.S. alcoholics.
Signs That You Are A High Functioning Alcoholic
We offer 100% confidential assessment and therapy tailored to your individual needs. Angry or defensive reactions when someone brings up the possibility of alcoholism. In recovery, the best lessons are found in the experience, strength and hope of others’ recoveries. Check out our new webinar series that unites recovery speakers from across the country in order to share a collective set of strategies and expertise. Lying to themselves or others about the amount or strength of the drinks they consume. Justifying drinking as acceptable if drinking expensive wine and liquor or at upscale events. Experiencing a strong urge to drink in certain situations where alcohol isn’t available.
- You have a persistent desire to cut down or stop your alcohol use, but your efforts to quit have been unsuccessful.
- Put yourself first this holiday season by getting substance use or mental health disorder treatment at Casa Palmera.
- Many alcoholics succeed at work and in school and have great relationships.
It is a fellowship of young people whose lives have been affected by the drinking problems of family members or friends, whether they are currently in their life drinking or not. By participating in Alateen, teenagers can meet other young people with similar experiences. Friends and family members sacrifice their own needs to maintain a sense of normalcy at home. Classic codependent behaviors include making excuses for a high-functioning alcoholic’s actions. For example, you might say that they are too sick to attend a party or gathering.
Children Affected By Addiction
If you drink alcohol often, your body will build a tolerance for it. This means that with time you will have to drink more to reach a specific level of intoxication.
Many high-functioning alcoholics can function at work and in social situations. However, in many cases, they cannot hide their alcohol use problem from the people closest to them. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. Moderate drinking can become a problem when you drink in every situation. This includes needing a drink to sleep, wake up, calm down, or when you are anxious.
Does Alcohol Impact Everyone The Same Way?
Sometimes, they may even appear as high-achievers, or occupy positions of power in their careers. Outside successes can also cause loved ones to overlook the functioning alcoholic’s dependence on drinking. Our reviewers are credentialed medical providers specializing in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the medically reviewed badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. At this point, an individual’s life is centered around managing the consequences of their alcohol abuse. People may continue to compare themselves to the stereotypical alcoholics who have lost it all and assure themselves that is not who they are.
This can lead to behaviors such as hiding alcohol at work, sneaking drinks on work breaks, or drinking upon waking in the morning to feel ‘normal’. As a result, being able to fulfill job duties adequately does little to discourage them from continued patterns of alcohol abuse. The third stage of alcoholism is usually identified when others begin to show concern for someone’s drinking habits. For those struggling with alcohol abuse, stage three is all about managing the consequences of their drinking. The second stage of alcoholism is defined by the mental obsession with the next drink. But, those struggling with alcohol abuse may see drinking as the only way to relieve stress. While the appearance of their drinking may seem functional, there might be hidden consequences as a result of their alcohol use disorder.
In most cases, functional alcoholics find themselves in the chains of thirst , which in uncontrolled levels may lead to some symptoms if they have not taken alcohol. It is important to remember to confront high-functioning alcoholics when they are sober. During an intervention, you should be assertive and clearly explain how your loved one’s alcoholism has negatively impacted you, them, and everyone else you both know. After all, you are trying to help this person and convince them to seek treatment.
I saw it today I'm not functioning I can't😭😭
— TAE'S OST COMINGPEU'S DAY🎂JK_ki_Padosan⁷💜 (@The_Night_Owl97) December 7, 2021