The treatment for a high-functioning alcoholic is the same as for any other type of addict, Benton says. Ask your doctor about getting help — whether it’s from a therapist, psychiatrist, or other addiction specialist. Organizations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine can guide you to help, too. The classic picture of an alcoholic is someone who always drinks too much and whose life is falling apart because of it. Still wondering whether or not you or your loved one may have an alcohol use disorder? Denial of a drinking problem because of a lack of severe consequences, such as missing days or showing up late for school or work. After a detox period that usually lasts from 7-10 days, a person will need to move into outpatient or inpatient treatment.However, what this often fails to capture is the reality that there is no single set of characteristics that can accurately describe every alcoholic. We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a judgement-free call today with one of our compassionate rehab specialists. How COVID-19 Has Impacted Alcohol AbuseAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the numbers of alcohol abuse have continued to rise, causing concern across America. Seek specialized help and let professionals guide you in your recovery. Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making.

what is a high functioning alcoholic

5 Risks When Drinking Alcohol In The Summer SunSummer is a wonderful time to go outside and enjoy outdoor activities. However, when these activities include alcohol, it can be a dangerous mix. Individual therapy, combined with marriage or family counseling, can strengthen your self-esteem and help you build a healthy, sober relationship. High-functioning alcoholism affects everyone in a household – not just the drinker.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alcohol Abuse?

High-functional alcoholics account for 19.5 percent of total U.S. alcoholics. Statistics from the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that 31 percent of college students show signs of alcohol abuse and 6 percent are dependent on alcohol. Doctors hope that the new definition will help identify severe cases of alcohol use disorder early, rather than when the problem is fully developed. Unfortunately, even when functional alcoholics begin to recognize that they have a drinking problem, they still resist reaching out for help. By the time they admit the problem, their withdrawal symptoms—which can begin within a few hours after their last drink—can become more and more severe. American Addiction Centers offers a range of treatment services in facilities across the country to help treat alcohol use disorders. With our help, patients don’t only appear to function normally, but feel and experience life to its greatest potential as a sober and recovering individual.

  • For men, it is four or more drinks per day or more than fourteen drinks per week.
  • Functional alcoholics differ from those who struggle with alcoholism, primarily in how alcohol affects their lives.
  • Not fitting a predetermined image of an alcoholic, such as being able to maintain a well-groomed appearance.
  • Despite widespread depictions of alcoholics as severely disheveled or constantly drunk, nearly 20 percent of alcoholics in the U.S. are believed to be what experts call high-functioning.

Also known as functional alcoholics, these people do not drink much during the day. They drink moderately, just enough to keep their cravings under control. With that, they can also stop the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol use. A high-functioning alcoholic may be able to handle a steady work-life balance, despite their addiction.

What Is A Functioning Alcoholic? Signs Of High

This means that over time an individual will build a physiological tolerance to alcohol, resulting in them needing more of the substance over time to produce the same desired effect. Delay of treatment coupled with progression of alcohol abuse can result in more damage being done over an extended period of time, especially to relationships and their physical and mental health. High-functioning alcoholics are individuals who are able to maintain their careers, relationships, and other obligations while displaying signs of alcoholism. The same is true of high-functioning addicts or individuals who may suffer from high-functioning depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Such individuals are able to maintain their day-to-day lives, and in many cases even thrive, yet exhibit symptoms of their respective addiction or mental health disorder. In each respective case, high-functioning individuals pose a variety of challenges with respect to recognition of a problem, seeking treatment, diagnosis, and recovery.

what is a high functioning alcoholic

Continuing to drink despite knowing that you have a physical or mental health issues related to your alcohol use. High-functioning alcoholics are no less “sick” than alcoholics who have difficulty maintaining a job and relationships, or end up in legal trouble. Alcoholism causes changes in the brain that can affect a person’s ability to quit on their own. Heavy drinking for women is three drinks per day or seven or more per week.

Consequences Of Functional Alcoholism

Our treatment facility is accredited by the Joint Commission and LegitScript Certified. Unfortunately, being able to drink and still maintain their responsibilities doesn’t mean a person is free of alcoholism. Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease, and it causes a person to drink no matter what compulsively.The admissions team is ready to walk you through our personal treatment programs and help find what’s right for you. It is hard to see the signs of functional alcoholism in those closest to you. Learning more about high-functioning alcoholism is the first step in understanding how to help you or your loved one.

what is a high functioning alcoholic

Here at Genesis Recovery, we believe that your loved one can begin again and doesn’t have to settle for a life defined by alcohol. Our alcohol addiction program can help your loved one get the help they need.As one can see, alcohol abuse can come in many shapes and sizes, but in all cases can lead to a variety of problems. High-functioning alcoholism is still alcoholism, and high-functioning alcohol abuse is still alcohol abuse. Ultimately alcohol affects all individuals the same way regardless of sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. While high-functioning individuals and high-achievers may have a harder time detecting that a problem exists, there are always red flags and indicators along the way.

What Does It Mean To Be A Functioning Alcoholic?

Although many people can be severely affected by their drinking, others may – at least temporarily – remain high-functioning in their daily lives. This, too, can still pose serious dangers to health and may require treatment within an alcohol rehab program.Millions of Americans struggle with alcohol dependence and addiction. Long-term alcohol abuse and heavy drinking cause a host of adverse consequences and health issues. In these instances, it can be relatively easy to spot if a person has a drinking problem. Some individuals with alcohol dependence can also be skilled at hiding their problem and appearing functional. The following article will explore the definition of a high-functioning alcoholic, and where such persons can go for help. Our residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Scurry offers an effective and restorative program in Texas for alcoholics to detox and overcome addiction. So how and when does one know if they or a loved one has a problem with alcohol.

what is a high functioning alcoholic

If your loved one is a high functioning alcohol, don’t wait to get them help. With the right alcohol treatment, they have the opportunity to break away from their self-destructive behavior. We offer 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs.

Victims Of Alcohol Related Violence

When others are around them, they have no idea that there is a drinking problem. That leads many to wonder about the signs of a high functioning alcoholic. At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, our talented staff of counselors and therapists can help individuals recognize and overcome their alcohol abuse issues.This often means doctors ask patients about problem areas in their lives, as well as any “bad habits” they want to address. CT scans, blood tests looking for B12 levels, and liver functioning tests can also pinpoint and measure issues and symptoms caused by chronic drinking. Seeing the scientific and medical evidence might also help your loved one realize they have a problem, which can encourage them to get help and enroll in a recovery program. Healthcare-wise, most functional alcoholics are likely to receive help if quality health muster immediately. A dual diagnosis is a treatment used when individuals simultaneously suffer from more than one disorder. Dual diagnosis treatments are generally offered when two problems are present simultaneously.Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. They are usually able to manage areas of life including jobs, homes, and families. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine.