Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic

By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: November 8, 2019

Do you suspect a family member is a high functioning alcoholic? Would you like to get them help at a medical detox center in Jacksonville, FL, or a city close to home? Perhaps you saw the signs of a high functioning alcoholic and are ready to put alcohol abuse behind you. Well, it may be relieving to know you can recover from alcohol addiction. There are treatment centers like Lakeview Health with detox programs designed for men and women to safely withdraw from alcohol.

Alcohol Addiction Affect Millions

An alcoholic or someone struggling with alcohol addiction usually has trouble controlling the amount of alcohol they drink. Alcoholics typically drink everyday excessively or in binge drinking patterns. They also spend a great deal of time drunk or intoxicated. This habit describes approximately 14.5 million people aged 12 or older who had an alcohol use disorder in 2017. Approximately 3.4 million of them were young adults aged 18 to 25. This number likely included those who displayed signs of a high functioning alcoholic.

Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic

Alcohol addiction can happen to anyone, including the wealthy or professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and politicians. But not everyone addicted to alcohol allows the problem to disrupt their life. In fact, some persons continue to function as normal at work, school, or in their social circles. They tend to drink just enough to satisfy cravings and avoid withdrawal symptoms. Because they hide their addiction so well, spotting the signs of a high functioning alcoholic is challenging.

Take a closer look, and you may spot these four high functioning alcoholic signs:

1. Drinking in Secrecy

High functioning or secret alcoholics often drink behind the scenes while continuing to maintain their careers and responsibilities. The individual usually drinks alone to hide the amount of alcohol they consume. They may also hide when drunk or going through withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting or anxiety.

2. Denying the Addiction

Another one of the glaring signs of a high functioning alcoholic is denial. An alcoholic may know they have a drinking problem, but refuse to admit it. Because alcohol use disorder is a brain disorder, it changes the way the person thinks and behaves. They cannot control drinking or are unable to see how it affects their lives. However, those closest to you may notice your mood or behavioral changes, slurred speech, or unusual euphoria.

3. Justifies the Drinking Habit

Unlike others, functioning alcoholics manage to keep their lives together on the belief that drinking serves a good purpose. For you, drinking is a way to relax or get through the day, especially if your job or life is stressful. But this only justifies the habit and prevents you from getting help.

4. Increase Social Life or Social Withdrawal

While the signs of a high functioning alcoholic may not be easy to identify, the person’s social life may be a giveaway. The individual may start going out more often, especially at night or appear happy, sociable, or talkative after a social event. On the other hand, he or she may isolate themselves spending more time alone or preoccupied with getting the next drink.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If you spot the high functioning alcoholic signs and already went through alcohol detox, the next step is alcohol addiction treatment. Treatment is intended to help change thoughts and manage emotions that fuel alcohol abuse. A dual diagnosis treatment center can also help address co-occurring disorders that trigger alcohol use. The programs Lakeview Health offers take an integrative approach, which starts with detox and ends at aftercare. Here are examples of the programs that provide levels of care to match the stage of addiction recovery:

It’s Okay to Admit Alcoholism and Get Professional Help

We believe that the most effective way to help someone lose dependence on alcohol is to treat the “whole person.” As such, our qualified treatment professionals will tailor a recovery plan that suits your needs. Treatment is delivered in gender-specific settings either at The Star – men’s addiction rehab center or The Rose – women’s addiction rehab center. If you think Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, FL, can help you win back your sobriety, please call us at [Direct].