Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic
High functioning is a phrase that is often used to describe an alcoholic who manages to lead an apparently normal life despite their addiction. They go to work, spend time with friends and family, and engage in other activities without making it seem like there’s a problem. The signs of a high functioning alcoholic vary, but they’re important to know.
If your loved one is addicted to alcohol, then it’s only a matter of time before serious negative consequences to their health and wellness occur. Reach out for alcohol detox programs before it gets out of hand.
1. Turning to Alcohol for Relaxation or Social Lubrication
A high functioning alcoholic may use drinking as a way to relax, as they may not feel right until this substance is in their system. Another way that they use it to impact their mood is for social lubrication at events. They might feel anxious about talking to new people or being in social situations. Alcohol becomes something that they turn to in order to function in these situations.
2. Day Drinking
Drinking during parts of the day that are not typically associated with alcohol can be another telltale sign. Usually, day drinking consists of alcohol consumption before noon, although it can take place during any period that is unusual and not socially accepted.
3. Unable to Stop at One Drink
In some cultures, having a drink with dinner or during other mealtimes is commonplace. There are social events where this type of alcohol intake is also acceptable. However, one of the signs of a high functioning alcoholic is being unable to stop at a single drop. Instead, they keep them coming and may end up drunk or blacked out due to the higher intake.
4. Drinking Alone
Drinking is often seen as a social activity, where light consumption is included as part of that interaction. However, drinking alone has a different reason. The high functioning alcoholic may be unable to get through the day without drinking, or they depend on their alcohol to deal with difficult situations. They could end up hiding liquor in containers or mixing it into soft drinks.
5. Has Unexcused Absences at Work, School, or Social Events
Does your loved one have a pattern of missing out on scheduled activities and they never seem to have a valid excuse? They may be sneaking out to the bar or liquor store during these times, or simply hiding somewhere at home to drink. The more you question what is going on, the more defensive they are likely to be.
6. Getting Charged with DUIs
A single DUI could indicate a bad mistake made at one point in your loved one’s life. A series of these charges indicate that something more serious is going on. DUIs are massively disruptive to a person’s long-term prospects and could lead to death for themselves or other parties.
The blood alcohol content of a high functioning alcoholic can lead to them acting normally, but failing to pass the field tests given during a DUI stop.
What to Do for the Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic
As a high functioning alcoholic drinks more, or as they get older, their body will begin to show the impacts of excessive drinking. Their liver and heart can experience serious issues, and their immune systems take a major hit as well. They’re not able to recover from illnesses as easily as they could before.
The signs of a high functioning alcoholic are cause for significant concern. Alcohol addiction recovery programs are available to help your loved one through:
- Removing the chemical dependence on alcohol
- Medical detox program to prevent complications
- Building coping mechanisms to replace using alcohol
- Providing supportive alcohol addiction treatments
- Setting up your loved one for long-term recovery