What is a Functioning Alcoholic?
By: AndreaBergman
Published: May 21, 2020

When many individuals think of alcoholics, they tend to imagine someone who is incapacitated and unable to function properly. However, many people don’t realize that there is such a thing as a functioning alcoholic. But what is a functioning alcoholic, and does someone in your life fit the criteria? If you believe your loved one is struggling with alcoholism, it’s time to seek the help of an alcohol addiction treatment center for help.

What is a Functioning Alcoholic?

This term is used to describe someone who is able to maintain an appearance functioning properly while under the influence of alcohol. They are able to maintain their education, career, and family life without faltering due to their alcohol consumption. However, while they are able to maintain their responsibilities, they are still quite dependent on alcohol to function.

Helping a Functional Alcoholic

When it comes to helping someone who is struggling with alcoholism, it can be a hard subject to broach. For those who are able to function while drinking, it can be harder to get them to see they need help. Some might believe they’re fine as they are because nothing is being neglected in their life. Others might simply deny they have a problem at all. However, when you seek out family support for addiction, you will receive the support you need to talk about treatment with your loved one.

Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic

When you’re trying to determine whether you or a loved one is a functioning alcoholic, it’s important to take a hard look at drinking habits.

Consider if you or your loved one do the following:

  • Drink more than intended
  • Have a high alcohol tolerance
  • Drink to deal with stress
  • Drink before and during any activity

If you can answer yes and you know you’re still able to function daily, you or your loved one fits the criteria for a functioning alcoholic. While the above signs are more subtle because the person is able to carry on normally, they’re still important to know and identify in order for help to be sought out.

Help for Alcoholism

When you ask what is a functioning alcoholic, you might want to ask how long can someone continue like this. The unfortunate answer is that overtime, regardless of if the person is able to meet their daily responsibilities, the persistent drinking will take a toll on the person and cause serious health problems. Over time, the individual will need more alcohol to continue to feel its effects, which can lead to them showing even more signs of alcohol addiction. This means that help for alcohol addiction is imperative. Without a variety of addiction treatment programs and therapy services, the road to recovery can feel impossible. Through these treatment modalities, individuals will learn why being a functioning alcoholic is detrimental to their health and how to function without consuming alcohol.

Programs and therapies that can help during this journey include the following:

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Through Lakeview Health

What is a functioning alcoholic? An individual who needs the help and support of Lakeview Health to recover from their alcohol dependence. Just because an individual is able to function while under the influence doesn’t mean they don’t need professional help to overcome their alcoholism. At Lakeview Health, we provide the full continuum of care individuals need to achieve their goals of lasting recovery. Our men’s and women’s facilities create safe and welcoming spaces for those who wish to break free from their harmful alcohol dependence.

If you or a loved one is in need of addiction treatment, contact Lakeview Health today.

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