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What Is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

Alcohol is an accepted part of our culture. From wine clubs to craft breweries to brunch with mimosas, everywhere you turn, there are tons of opportunities to drink without anyone blinking an eye or raising an eyebrow. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy for some alcoholics to hide in plain sight. High-functioning alcoholics are those who hold down jobs, maintain relationships and seem to have it all together while hiding an Alcohol Addiction.

These individuals may seem fine on the surface, but Alcohol Addiction, whether it’s high-functioning or not, can have severe long-term consequences. This disorder doesn’t just affect the person struggling with alcohol — it also affects their loved ones.

Characteristics of a Functioning Alcoholic

The name “functioning alcoholic” describes a person who can drink excessively and still have a functioning lifestyle. Also called a functional alcoholic, people with this form of Alcohol Addiction can have successful careers, be married with a family and have a thriving social life while engaging in frequent binge drinking every few days.

Some functioning alcoholics don’t see their behavior as a problem. Since they keep up with their professional and personal obligations, friends and family members begin to view their drinking as normal. Other functional alcoholics keep their drinking completely separate from their work and family, leading a sort of double life.

Even if your excessive drinking never seems to impact your life, eventually, this kind of behavior will take its toll on your emotional, mental and physical health.

Signs That You May Be a High-Functioning Alcoholic

You or a loved one may seem to have life in order on the surface, but the adverse effects of Alcohol Addiction are bound to catch up with you. If you’re not sure whether you or someone close to you is a high-functioning alcoholic, here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • You need alcohol to relax or de-stress.
  • You drink alone or in secret.
  • You plan your day around your drinking.
  • You almost always drink more than you intend to in one sitting.
  • You feel the need to justify your drinking.
  • You use alcohol as a reward.
  • Sobriety makes you feel irritable, restless, agitated or prone to mood swings.
  • You engage in risky behaviors while drinking.
  • You’ve experienced blackouts or memory lapses while drinking.

Where to Find Help

While you may believe you’re able to walk the fine line between having a normal life and drinking excessively, the inability to control alcohol consumption is what defines Alcohol Addiction. Even if the consequences aren’t immediately apparent, abusing alcohol will hurt you and your family in the long run.

Don’t wait until things get past the point of no return. If you struggle with an addiction to alcohol, 7 Summit Pathways is here for you. We’ll work with you to get to the root of your Alcohol Addiction so that you can find healthier coping skills that will make Recovery possible.

Our experienced and compassionate team of professionals will create a customized treatment plan tailored to your exact needs. We understand the importance of work and family obligations, which is why we offer flexibility when it comes to maintaining your life outside of treatment.

Contact us today or schedule your appointment online to speak with us about your treatment options.