Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) or alcoholism, doesn’t always show up in the stereotypical image of someone visibly struggling with alcohol addiction. Many functioning alcoholics appear to have their lives together while struggling with their drinking in private.

However, it’s important to recognize the signs of a functioning alcoholic and to know when to get them the help they need to get better.

Indicators of a Functioning Alcoholic

Functioning alcoholics have no problems maintaining their jobs, relationships, and daily responsibilities which makes it challenging to recognize their addiction.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • High tolerance for alcohol – Functioning alcoholics can drink a lot in one sitting and hold their drink well without seeming intoxicated.
  • Regular alcohol use – They may drink alcohol regularly, sometimes daily, in moderate to large amounts.
  • Denial and secrecy – High-functioning alcoholics may deny or downplay their drinking. They may even make excuses for their drinking or hide their habit from others.
  • Minimizing consequences – They may minimize or gloss over the consequences of their drinking e.g., missed obligations, financial difficulties, strained hangovers.
  • Difficulty cutting down – Although they may recognize the need to cut down on their drinking, functioning alcoholics may find it difficult to cut down.
  • Consistent drinking rituals -They may have established drinking routines e.g., always having a drink after work or before heading for a party.
  • Maintaining appearances – Functioning alcoholics may often go to great lengths to maintain outward appearances of functioning well in their personal or professional lives.

When Clinical Addiction Help is Necessary

You’ll know a functioning alcoholic needs clinical addiction treatment when they:

  • Have lost control of their drinking – The individual may start drinking more or earlier during the day or they may unsuccessfully try to quit drinking.
  • Are experiencing health issues – Excessive drinking over a long time may eventually result in physical and mental health issues e.g., liver disease, depression, or high blood pressure.
  • Have strained relationships -The individual’s drinking starts to cause conflicts, emotional distress, and isolation from their family and close friends.
  • Start neglecting their responsibilities – The person may drink to the point where they start neglecting their work, family, or other responsibilities.
  • Have made several failed attempts to quit – They have repeatedly tried to cut down or quit drinking unsuccessfully.
  • Are experiencing withdrawal symptoms – Reducing their alcohol consumption leads to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms e.g., tremors, nausea, or profuse sweating
  • Escalate their drinking – As their tolerance level increases, the individual may escalate their drinking to dangerous levels, putting their health at risk.

Help is Available at Grand Falls

At Grand Falls Center for Recovery, we recognize that early intervention and appropriate clinical addiction treatment can help functioning alcoholics regain control of their lives and break free from alcoholism. By combining detox services with psychological therapy in our treatment programs, we aim to give patients the comprehensive support they need to overcome addiction. If you or a loved one needs alcohol rehab treatment in Missouri, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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