Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on November 10, 2020.
Movies and TV are filled with countless stereotypes of alcoholics. These people stumble through life, messing up relationships, flunking out of school or facing severe legal consequences. Real life is seldom that simple. With nearly 15 million people struggling with an alcohol use disorder, many manage to live their lives hiding this serious condition. Some people refer to these individuals as high-functioning alcoholics.
Not everyone struggling with alcohol addiction hits rock bottom. They never appear hungover, they don’t get in fights and they’ve never been pulled over for driving under the influence. These individuals are often referred to as high-function alcoholics or functional alcoholics.
High-functioning alcoholism is when someone can maintain the appearance of normalcy while hiding an alcohol use disorder. Your loved one may have a serious addiction to alcohol and still maintain their personal life, keep up with their work responsibilities and seem completely healthy. Often, functional alcoholics drink moderately throughout the day to curb cravings or keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Others may binge drink at night or on the weekends.
How do you tell if your loved one has an alcohol addiction when they’re high functioning? While their condition may be harder to recognize, the red flags are there. Here are 12 twelve of the most common signs to look out for:
High-functioning alcoholism is not sustainable. Eventually, the consequence of their actions will catch up with them. It may come in the form of DUIs, trouble at work, relationship problems or severe health issues.
The best way to help your loved one is to encourage them to seek help before the disease of addiction progresses too far. When confronting your loved one, here are some things to keep in mind:
Whether your loved one is barely holding things together or they’re effectively hiding their addiction, alcohol use disorder is a serious disease that requires professional care. At Diamond House Detox in Sacramento, our alcohol detox and rehab center is committed to getting your loved one the help they need.
Freedom from addiction is possible. Contact us today to learn more about our private, inpatient alcohol detox facility.