Identifying a High-Functioning Alcoholic
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.