What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

When thinking about what alcoholism looks like, the stereotypical alcoholic only counts for a small percentage of the 14.5 million Americans with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). In truth, alcohol abuse impacts different people in vastly contrasting ways due to a wide range of factors. High-functioning alcoholics are increasingly common. 

While it may be harder to spot a high functioning alcoholic, loved ones with this type of alcohol abuse still need support. Peaks Recovery can provide a range of alcoholism treatments, but you must first identify the problem.

What Is A High Functioning Alcoholic?

Unlike a stereotypical drink, high functioning alcoholics are individuals who seem capable of leading a ‘normal’ life despite their dependence on booze. For example, they will still turn up to their job, maintain friendships and relationships, and manage their other responsibilities. In many cases, they are yet to experience any noticeable physical or mental repercussions of drinking. 

Nonetheless, they are still gripped by alcoholism. If they do not receive the drug rehab treatment that they need, they will soon slip into a more uncontrollable situation. With close to 100,000 people dying due to alcoholism each year, high functioning alcoholics are at risk even when they maintain their lifestyle.

What Makes Someone A High Functioning Alcoholic?

Statistics into high functioning alcoholics is limited due to the fact that many individuals go through life without ever admitting their condition or seeking help. However, it is clear that they come from a range of backgrounds. Millennials are particularly prone as they cannot allow alcoholism to impact their careers or ability to maintain a home.

High functioning alcoholics can develop alcoholism without losing control of their daily lives due to high tolerance levels. Moreover, over half of the adult population drinks at least once per month. So, high functioning alcoholics will be able to drink publicly without receiving comments from friends, relatives, or colleagues. When drinking daily, many people become very good at making any short-term impairments go unnoticed.

Likewise, accessibility to alcohol has grown, making it far easier for someone to drink each day. In addition to hiding their drinking habits from people and stores, they become very good at hiding it from themselves. Denial can take many forms, such as creating other excuses for why they missed an event or ignoring their drink-driving until they are caught.

Signs That Someone Is A High Functioning Alcoholic

The harsh reality is that very few high-functioning alcoholics will seek help by themselves. Consequently, there is a huge pressure for loved ones to stay vigilant to the symptoms. It may be harder to see, but signs of alcoholism are still present. Here are some of the issues you may notice in a high functioning alcoholic:

  • They have lied about how much they drunk,
  • You have seen them top up non-alcoholic drinks with a spirit,
  • They don’t seem drunk on social occasions even when others do,
  • They always opt for social events where drink is available,
  • There are times in the day where they become secretive.

High-functioning alcoholics will additionally experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking, which confirms an alcohol use disorder even if they function quite well. If you suspect that a loved one has a problem with alcoholism, monitor the situation for a few days and then talk to them about it.

Once your loved one admits that they are a high functioning alcoholic, help is available from our alcohol rehab center. Get in touch to learn more about inpatient programs and alternative solutions today.

Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is a serious problem, even in the early stages. Thankfully, dedicated alcohol rehab treatments can help you or a loved one overcome the dependence. 

Contact Peaks Recovery to discover your options today.