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What Are the Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic?


Did you know that almost 15 million people in the USA have suffered from alcohol use disorder at some point?

Sadly the pressures of life and other illnesses often combine to drive people towards damaging addictions like alcohol abuse.

If you are concerned that a person that you love has an alcohol problem, what can you do?

One of the first things you can do is to educate yourself about the signs of a functioning alcoholic. Why not read on to find out more?

What Is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

A high functioning addict is not easy to identify. Acquaintances may report that the person is responsible and able to hold a job and a normal schedule. However, this is just a facade.

In their personal life, a high functioning alcoholic is as much a slave to the addiction as any other type. They may drink to escape problems, anxieties and even do so in large quantities on a regular basis.

If you are concerned that a loved one has an alcohol problem, there is no one test you can perform to identify it. However, there are questions that you can ask to gain information.

Questions That You Can Ask

If you suspect that a person, perhaps unknowingly, has an addiction problem, why not consider the following questions:

  • Has the person's use of alcohol ever interfered with or strained your relationship with them?
  • Do they become defensive when you talk with them about alcohol?
  • When and how often do you observe them drinking alcohol?
  • Do they drink to the point of losing control?
  • Has drinking impacted other areas of their life including legal consequences?

Looking at the overall picture, you may be able to see patterns emerge. A person may have suffered negatively because of drinking alcohol, such as a DUI. However, if they did not learn from the mistake and change their drinking habits, this could be a sign of addiction.

If you are living with someone you suspect to be a high functioning alcoholic, you may be able to answer some questions simply by observation. Others you may have to ask directly.

Lifestyle Patterns to Watch Out For

A person may claim that their drinking is not affecting their work or relationships with others, and so there is no need to change. However, this is not true. Much of the physical damage of alcoholism is seen later in life.

For this reason, if you suspect that you have a high functioning alcoholic spouse or other loved one, you should urge them to get help. Be aware that a person with high functioning alcoholism may not be aware that they have a problem.

If you want to intervene and make them are of their high functioning addiction, you may want to note some specific lifestyle patterns and draw their attention to them. These could include:

  • They are not fulfilling their potential in the workplace because of their drinking habit
  • They experience mood swings when they are not able to drink at the time they expected to
  • They make constant commitments to abstain, but do not keep their word
  • They drink socially, but also they drink when alone

Noting these behaviors and kindly bringing them to the attention of your loved one could be enough to help them to realize their problem.

What You Need to Know About the Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic and Much More

If you are concerned about the health of a loved one, it pays to research the signs of the addiction of the plague that afflicts them. By looking out for the common signs of a functioning alcoholic, you will be in the best position to be able to help them understand their situation.

If you are interested in subjects like this, then why not check out more? We write and publish articles like this each week on our blog page.

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