Alcoholism does not always look the way it does in television and movies. The reality is, alcohol abuse may not cause someone to fall over at the bar or see their lives fall apart at home. But this doesn’t mean functioning alcoholism isn’t causing significant damage.
According to the National Institutes of Health, functional alcoholism is often found in middle-aged and well-educated people. They likely have stable jobs and stable families too. Yet, these individuals have a dangerous alcohol addiction that is being masked by an ability to remain functional in their work and at home. Functional alcoholism permits those afflicted to consume a large amount of alcohol but not appear intoxicated. The risk of dependence, organ damage, and impairment is high because of the tolerance for alcohol they have developed. This means it will take more and more drinks to get the buzz they are after. If you believe your loved one is exhibiting signs of functioning alcoholism, reach out to Midwest Recovery online today or call us at 833.627.0039 to learn about our alcohol addiction treatment programs.
What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?
A functional alcoholic, sometimes referred to as a high-functioning alcoholic, is not an actual medical term. Instead, these words are commonly used when describing an individual who regularly abuses alcohol but not at the expense of their ability to function in everyday life. If you are worried that a loved one may be suffering from functional alcoholism, there are some signs to look out for. Here are the red flags of functional alcoholism:
- Does your loved one have a drink as soon as they come home from work?
- Do they make casual jokes about how much they drink?
- Is the conversation often about alcohol or drinking?
- Is drinking now something they do alone, not only socially?
- Are mealtimes seen as an excuse for your loved one to drink more?
- Are they engaging in high-risk behavior, like binge drinking or driving while drinking?
- Does your loved one get easily annoyed or nervous if something prevents them from drinking?
- Do they sometimes try to deny or hide their drinking?
- Have they gotten angry with you if you question their drinking habits?
- Does your loved one not remember portions of their life because they were drinking?
- Have you witnessed signs of withdrawal if they are not able to have a drink?
The idea of being ‘functioning’ means that they will rarely miss work or other engagements and can outwardly manage their home and family life. Functioning alcoholics may also look physically healthy and mentally happy to the naked eye, but beneath the surface could be struggling with obsessive thoughts, an inability to stop drinking even if they want to because of severe withdrawal, and insatiable cravings.
Getting Your Loved One The Help They Need
Thankfully, there is help available for you and your loved one. Nearly 15 million adults in America suffer from alcoholism, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. And some of those millions of Americans may be battling functioning alcoholism. Sadly, because drinking is legal and not only socially acceptable but often celebrated in songs and on the big and small screen, many people with an alcohol addiction never seek out the help they need.
Alcohol is an extremely addictive drug, and as such, trying to quit on your own can have dire consequences. This is why it is so vital that your loved one has access to a top-quality alcohol addiction treatment center like the one at Midwest Recovery.
If someone you care about is battling alcohol addiction, Midwest Recovery can help get them started on the path to recovery.
Learn More at Midwest Recovery
If someone you love is suffering from functional alcoholism, learn how the dedicated alcohol addiction treatment team at Midwest Recovery can help. Contact us using our secure online form or call us at 833.627.0039 today.