Signs of Functional Alcoholism in Your Staff

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. RosGlas Recovery is a luxury therapy retreat staffed by a team of addiction treatment experts. The alcoholism treatment program at RosGlas Recovery is carefully tailored to each client’s needs and is designed to address the underlying psychological, social, and biochemical causes of alcohol addiction. Contact RosGlas Recovery today to give yourself or a loved one the best chance of long-term recovery from alcoholism.

  • If you’ve decided it’s time to make a change, The Hope House is here to help.
  • Now you have a general overview of what markers indicate a possible alcohol use disorder, how can you establish if someone is a high-functioning alcoholic.
  • However, these individuals still have to deal with the effects of alcohol abuse, including mental and physical health problems.

If you’ve answered yes to two or more of the above questions, there’s a good chance that you are misusing alcohol. If you can be open about your drinking, they may be able to help you safely get on the path to sobriety. Both residential and outpatient day treatment programs are available for those in recovery. If people with high functioning AUD do not get treatment, the disease may progress to a point at which their dependence significantly impacts their day-to-day lives. A doctor may also diagnose AUD by asking about your health history and drinking patterns. If you give permission, they may speak to your family or loved ones regarding how much you drink.

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This is why psychological counseling, such as talk therapy, is important if you’re recovering from AUD. This can help you learn new coping skills so you can turn to other behaviors instead of drinking in order to live a healthier life. Based on surveys and professional experience, she estimates that as many as half of all alcoholics are high-functioning types. She has a master of science degree from Northeastern University and is a licensed mental health counselor at Emmanuel College in Boston. In recovery from alcoholism for the last five years, she has written an enlightening new book about people like herself, “Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic” (Praeger Publishers). If you want to learn more about The Hope House and the next steps towards recovery, give our team a call today.

Our free email newsletter offers guidance from top addiction specialists, inspiring sobriety stories, and practical recovery tips to help you or a loved one keep coming back and staying sober. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery are support groups specifically designed for people in recovery from an alcohol-related condition.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Those with alcohol use disorder often struggle in secret or experience severe biological consequences that aren’t readily apparent to others. If you are in a relationship with a functional alcoholic – you need to take steps to protect yourself. Family recovery programs are essential to ongoing well-being for the family of alcoholics. As masters of deception (self and others), functional alcoholics can be difficult to identify.

This is understandable with any addiction –  the substance takes center stage and other responsibilities become progressively harder to meet. The most in-depth care allows you to live full time at a treatment facility. These setups can also work along with 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

What are my treatment options for high-functioning alcoholism?

Those struggling with active substance use may require detox in a medical environment. Detoxing involves purging the substance from the body and administering medicine to counteracts the harsh effects of withdrawal, such as seizures or severe confusion. The characteristics that make you exceptionally good in your career may contribute to your routine substance use. For example, it may be easy to overlook how your health and well-being are affected by alcohol use when your commitment to excellence in your field keeps you achieving great things.

characteristics of a high functioning alcoholic

Alcohol poisoning is a potential threat to high-functioning alcoholism, too. Injuries from accidents, burns, acts of aggression, and domestic violence are also possible. Sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies can be consequences of engaging in risky sexual behavior while drinking. Medical detox just means that you will go through the withdrawal process under medical supervision, but it doesn’t necessarily require you to check in to a treatment facility.

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We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. A high-functioning alcoholic can go about daily life and take care of their obligations (like work or school) primarily undetected. Someone described as a high-functioning alcoholic may appear outwardly healthy both mentally and physically. Their alcohol use habits rarely cause them to miss work or other obligations. They are typically able to successfully manage most aspects of life including their jobs, home life, and relationships.

characteristics of a high functioning alcoholic

Working alcoholics can still hold down a job and possibly excel in that job. They also tend to avoid legal and social repercussions of drinking, at least for a while. Often people think of an alcoholic as an individual whose life is falling apart. The fact is many people who have alcohol use disorders are keeping their lives together pretty well, even living highly successful lives.

These achievements often lead to an increase in personal denial as well as denial from colleagues and loved ones. High-functioning alcoholics often have great jobs, lots of friends, and a busy life. However, their high-functioning appearance is usually a mask, hiding their struggles. A functional alcoholic parent may not physically neglect or abuse their child – but emotional neglect can occur and leave significant scars.

What is the most severe form of alcoholism?

The end stage may be thought of as the most severe articulation of all the possible problems associated with alcohol use disorder. It is a circumstance of reversals; rather than living to drink, a person in the end stage likely drinks to live.

CBT helps patients peel back the metaphorical layers, allowing them to understand the factors contributing to their alcohol use disorder. Through CBT, those in recovery can also learn healthier ways to deal with possible triggers and cravings moving forward. People with high-functioning alcoholism may be managing their jobs, finances and relationships in their daily life, but alcohol use is still causing physical and emotional harm. If you or a loved one are struggling with a problem with alcohol use, reach out to Banner Health for support. If these habits sound familiar to you or you recognize them in someone you love, it may be helpful to seek advice from compassionate mental health professionals.

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