Are you concerned that someone you love has a problem with alcohol, but you can’t quite tell? You see that they are functioning well at work, paying their bills on time, raising a family, and other signs of “normalcy.” But you also see this person consuming increasing amounts of alcohol. Are they dependent? Are they what is colloquially known as a “functioning alcoholic?” It’s entirely possible. It is crucial for people who are functioning alcoholics to seek professional addiction treatment, even though they are able to carry on with their daily responsibilities.
TruHealing Centers’ alcohol addiction treatment center program has professional staff members who provide support throughout treatment and teach you the skills that a high-functioning alcoholic may need to abstain from drinking. Learn more by calling us today at [Direct] or use our online form to reach out.
How Can I Tell If My Loved One Is a Functioning Alcoholic?
Just because your loved one is responsible, leads a productive life, and may even be a high achiever professionally, it does not rule out alcohol use disorder. In fact, we may even overlook the warning signs in deference to someone’s success. However, a high-functioning alcoholic needs treatment just as much as someone whose alcoholism has derailed their life.
A person who is a high-functioning alcoholic may:
- Make jokes about drinking and alcoholism to diffuse tension in certain situations
- Talk often about drinking, the next drink, or visits to the liquor store to “stock up” for the week
- Go to the bar every day after work or pour a drink upon walking through the door at home
- If home, drink steadily, with or without signs of drunkenness
- Become irritable if work or other commitments prevent or delay drinking
- Engage in seemingly uncharacteristic risky behaviors
- Become angry if you bring up the topic of their drinking
- Lie about or hide alcohol consumption
- Experience occasional memory loss
- Have relationship problems directly connected to alcohol consumption
Functional alcoholics do not seek treatment because they are in denial. They don’t experience the embarrassing or tragic consequences they believe go hand in hand with alcohol addiction. Therefore they conclude that they are not addicted. They’ve never been arrested; they have not suffered financial setbacks; they successfully hold down a job—how can their drinking be alcoholism?
It can be challenging for what we call high-functioning alcoholics to realize they need addiction treatment.
How Do I Know if My Loved One Needs Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
No one can drink heavily over long periods of time without consequences. Eventually, it will catch up with them. A functioning alcoholic may drink as much or even more than an alcoholic who can no longer function. Their tolerance is so high that they drink ever-increasing amounts to feel the “buzz.” Eventually, the sheer quantity of alcohol they consume daily will have an impact on their health.
If you suspect someone is addicted to alcohol but denies it, ask if they experience signs of withdrawal when a drink is withheld. For example, if they go too long without a drink, do they experience:
- Increased heart rate
- Sweating or clamminess
- Extreme pallor
- Brain fog
Sometimes the tangible evidence of withdrawal is what wakes someone up to the fact that there is a problem.
If and when you can have a conversation with your loved one about their alcohol consumption without their doubling down on denial, pushing back, and getting angry, broach the subject of alcohol addiction treatment.
Find Support to Overcome Alcoholism at TruHealing Centers
TruHealing Centers offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs for alcohol use disorders, including medically supervised detox, long-term outpatient therapy, residential therapy, and aftercare. Our evidence-based therapeutic programs are run by compassionate professionals. Your loved one will receive an individualized treatment protocol to launch a successful recovery journey.
With fifteen locations in several states, TruHealing Centers can help your loved one today. Call us at [Direct] or fill out our online form to reach out with questions or get started.