Signs of A Functioning Alcoholic

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Signs of A Functioning Alcoholic

To many people, the stereotypical alcoholic is someone who is noticeably drunk most of the time.

They might be isolated from their friends and family because of their drinking. They may have lost their job because they were hungover and may even be homeless carrying around a bottle in a brown paper bag. While some people with alcohol abuse disorder may fit this mold, not everyone qualifies. Some alcoholics you may never suspect.

Functioning Alcoholic Definition

A functioning alcoholic is someone who abuses alcohol but is still able to maintain the appearance of a mostly normal life. Instead of hitting “rock bottom” like losing their job from drinking too much or getting a DWI, functioning alcoholics may be highly successful and lead a seemingly normal life. Often, functioning alcoholics are able to hide their drinking problems by drinking consistently but not to the point of being drunk or by drinking heavily only at night or on the weekends. Many functioning alcoholics often do not see that they have a problem and refuse to get alcohol abuse treatment. It is estimated that 19.5% of alcoholics in the United States are functioning alcoholics.

Signs of A Functioning Alcoholic: What to Look For

Because their drinking habits are not as obvious, functioning alcoholics can be hard to recognize. Friends and family may only come to realize the problem after an alcohol-related incident occurs, but this could be too late. If you suspect that your loved one may be going a bit overboard with their drinking, we want to help. Our PHP addiction treatment in Palm Beach has plenty of experience with alcoholics, so we are outlining all the signs of a functioning alcoholic that you need to look out for.

The most common signs of a functioning alcoholic include:

  • Drinking alone
  • Drinking to reduce stress
  • Drinking in the morning or throughout the day
  • Frequent blackouts
  • Trying to hide drinking or making excuses about drinking habits
  • Joking about alcoholism
  • Experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Drinking at every occasion
  • Missing functions or neglecting responsibilities because of drinking
  • Using alcohol to cope

If your loved one is exhibiting these signs of a high-functioning alcoholic, you need to get them help immediately. Our alcohol detox in South Florida is the first step to helping them overcome their addiction and changing their life for the better. After detox, they will enter into one of our treatment programs that includes various therapies for a comprehensive approach to healing. We also offer dual diagnosis treatment for those who are struggling with mental health issues alongside their substance abuse problems.

If your loved one needs professional addiction help, do not wait to act. Call us today at 561-220-3981 to learn more about our programs at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and how to get your loved one help.




National Institute of Health – Researchers Identify Alcoholism Subtypes


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