Open Accessibility Menu
Identifying a High-Functioning Alcoholic

Identifying a High-Functioning Alcoholic

Silver Ridge

When adults suffer from substance abuse, over time, they can begin to develop ways to hide their addiction and go about their daily lives as seemingly normal as possible; this can be especially true for alcoholics. The main problem is that if this scenario occurs it can be more difficult to notice the issues unless you know the underlying signs.

In order to address their addiction and get them help as soon as possible, it's important to be able to identify the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic.

What Is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

People are impacted by compulsive alcohol use in different ways. While the stereotypical view of a person with alcoholism may be of someone who is struggling at work, home, or whose life is spinning out of control, this is not always the case. The term "high-functioning alcoholic" describes a person who generally appears to be fine and in control of their life despite frequent alcohol abuse. High-functioning alcoholics are the types of drinkers who present the appearance of having a normal life by continuing to perform well in their careers or with other tasks, maintaining positive relationships, and/or avoiding any serious run-ins with the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, there is not much research on high-functioning alcoholics since they are less likely to seek treatment for their drinking or even acknowledge that their drinking is a problem. Despite seeming "normal," however, people with functional alcohol addictions are often still fundamentally struggling in the same manner as those with more recognizable or obvious issues.

Common Signs of High-Functioning Alcoholism

They Turn to Alcohol to Handle Stress

Those who struggle with this addiction may constantly turn to alcohol in an effort to reduce stress, anxiety, or to feel happy. In fact, they often end every day by drinking in order to wind down or feel better after a long day of work.

They Drink on Their Own

While it's one thing for an adult to have a glass with dinner by themselves, high-functioning alcoholics constantly drink alone. This can be due to their need to consistently ingest alcohol or to cope with everyday circumstances.

A key factor in this quality is that a high-functioning alcoholic may not struggle with financial, medical, or personal problems. This can throw others off, since these factors don't fit the societal stigma that surrounds alcoholism.

They Have a High Tolerance

When an adult consistently drinks, their body develops a higher tolerance for alcohol. In many cases, they are not often able to tell if they are no longer physically sober because they need to consume more drinks in order to feel the effects.

They Joke About Their Drinking

High-functioning alcoholics will often not realize, much less admit, that they have a drinking problem. As a result, they often make jokes that diminish the seriousness of their substance abuse problem in an effort to downplay the gravity of the situation.

Silver Ridge is a highly structured and organized inpatient rehabilitation center designed specifically to make the addiction recovery process smoother for patients. Our addiction treatment programs are developmentally specific for midlife adults.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, know that help is available. Call us at (855) 945-7788 or complete an online form to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment program in Asheville.


Focus, Healing, and Recovery

Life at Silver Ridge is purposely designed to provide the safest and most restorative healing environment on the East Coast. If you would like to learn more about Silver Ridge or begin addiction treatment today, please call (855) 945-7788 or fill out the form and one of our admissions staff will be in touch with you soon.

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Sivermist
    Sivermist Sivermist

    Offering luxury residential treatment at a private residence in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • REAL Recovery
    REAL Recovery REAL Recovery

    Providing high-quality, adventure-based and personalized care with four sober homes for men ages 18-28 in Asheville, North Carolina.

  • High Focus Centers
    High Focus Centers High Focus Centers

    The premier provider of structured outpatient behavioral health and addiction treatment programs in New Jersey.

  • Rehab After Work
    Rehab After Work Rehab After Work

    The leading provider of outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs in Pennsylvania.

  • Pyramid Healthcare Inc
    Pyramid Healthcare Inc Pyramid Healthcare Inc

    A premier provider of behavioral healthcare founded in 1999 offering a full continuum of recovery services for adults and teens at 24 locations in PA.

  • The light program
    The light program The light program

    Treating individuals in crisis or struggling to function through mental health Intensive Outpatient programs at locations in southeastern Pennsylvania.

  • Seeds of hope
    Seeds of hope Seeds of hope

    Providing specialized Intensive Outpatient eating disorder treatment for teens and adults in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  • Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP
    Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP

    Providing comprehensive Employee Assistance Program services to employers nationwide.

  • Mazzitti & Sullivan
    Mazzitti & Sullivan Mazzitti & Sullivan

    Providing behavioral health services in central Pennsylvania since 1983, now operating five different locations.

  • Tapestry
    Tapestry Tapestry

    Tapestry Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

  • Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare
    Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare

    Serving the Atlanta, Georgia area adolescents and adults suffering from Mood Disorders.

  • October Road Inc
    October Road Inc October Road Inc

    Serving the Asheville, North Carolina area with high-quality mental health and substance abuse treatment since 2006.

  • Walden
    Walden Walden

    Offering treatment & support options in Southern Maryland for those struggling with addiction and mental health.