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High-Functioning Alcoholic
Jul 24, 2017
by Detox of South Florida

High-Functioning Alcoholic: The Issues Will Come Out Eventually

Most of the time, the world “alcohol” paints a picture of a person whose life is in complete disarray because of drinking too much. However, not all alcoholics may be categorized into such a stereotype. There is, in fact, another kind of alcoholic known as high-functioning alcoholics.

  • High-functioning alcoholics often appear to have everything going smooth sailing.
  • They may be drinking copious amounts of alcohol, but they simultaneously excel in their work and academics and also have good relationships with their family and friends.
  • Often, their success works against them by making them believe that their drinking is under control.
  • However, after a few months or years, the alcoholism can catch up with them.

It may be very challenging to deal with high-functioning alcoholics.

Often, they are in deep denial concerning their problems with alcohol. After all, they were able to manage an appearance of success despite their impending addiction. Also, many high-functioning alcoholics have loved ones who act like their accomplices by covering up for the consequences of their habits. These people unconsciously enable or encourage the behavior of their alcoholic friend by allowing him to continuously be destructive.

A high-functioning alcoholic is often educated and middle-aged, possibly married with a good family and has a successful career.

Contrary to the stigma of a lonely, desolate and destitute alcoholic, family members and friends may not be able to recognize that a drinking problem even exists.

All day these high-functioning alcoholics stay productive by going to work, going to the gym, and then go home and slug two bottles of wine or other liquor in excess. Often, family members consider this as their normal behavior since the person is still keeping up with his obligations.

High-functioning alcoholics may not be drinking every single day but they may engage in several episodes of heavy drinking or binging every few days. High-functioning alcoholics may not recognize their drinking problem. It is what leads to a double life separating personal and professional life with drinking life.

Although it may seem that this person has his life in order and on the surface does not appear to suffer from alcohol use disorder, high-functioning alcoholics are likely to have developed a tolerance to alcohol. Hence, the need to take in more amount each time just to get drunk.

Other warning signs you should watch out for are:

  • The inability to stick to limits on their drinking successfully.
  • The need to drink alcohol to relax or relieve stress.
  • Frequently jokes about alcoholism or alcohol use.
  • Engaging in hazardous behaviors when drinking such as driving under the influence or going for risky sexual encounters.
  • Show periods of sobriety with restlessness, mood swings, agitation, and irritability.
  • Justifies the drinking as a form of reward.
  • Drinking in secret or by oneself.
  • Periodic blackouts and memory lapses

Also, the person may go through withdrawal symptoms and feel hungover when they remove drinking alcohol from their habits. Many highly functional alcoholics are able to train themselves to be able to function normally despite the negative effects of alcohol on their body. This will also be made possible with the help of addiction treatment center.

Often, the signs of addiction are the loss of productivity in school or at work and the inability to fulfill work and family obligations consistently. However, a highly-functional alcoholic may not show similar signs. Over time, alcohol affects the brain negatively eventually making the person non-functional. As such, it may get more difficult to get tasks done through time.

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

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