Coping with a High Functioning Alcoholic 

What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

The term ‘high-functioning alcoholic’ is used to describe a person who consumes unhealthy quantities of alcohol whilst maintaining their personal and professional lives. The person may be able to maintain their level of job or progress as well as time with family and friends, whilst struggling with alcohol addiction.

Often high-functioning alcoholics will mask the severity of their addiction from family and friends for a variety of reasons and many deny to themselves they have an issue with alcohol. Some high-functioning alcoholics justify the drinking by believing its the route to their success, by making them more charming and accepted. However, they’re not always aware of the harm their behaviours having on the loved ones close to them. 

Signs & symptoms of a High-Functioning Alcoholic

If you’re concerned a family member or friend is a high-functioning alcoholic or is addicted to alcohol, here are some signs to look out for: 

  • Often drinks alone
  • Drinks large volumes of alcohol
  • Drinks very regularly
  • Drives whilst under the influence of alcohol
  • Has lost memories whilst or after drinking
  • Uses alcohol to increase their confidence
  • Jokes about having an issue with alcohol
  • Becomes frustrated or angry when asked if they have a problem with alcohol
  • They have a higher tolerance to alcohol
  • Has recently lost close friends
  • Blacks out during a drinking session
  • More argumentative

These are a few symptoms to be aware of, there are many more. If you are concerned about their drinking, contact our team to discuss how you can help them on their journey to recovery.

It’s still a problem

Although high-functioning alcoholics are considered to be able to achieve success professionally and personally, they are still living with an addiction which is impacting them physically and mentally.

Alcohol misuse can contribute to developing liver damage, permanent memory loss, multiple types of cancer, stroke and brain damage.

What to do next

Confronting a person you believe to have an alcohol problem can be difficult, you are unaware of how they will react. Talk to our team for advice on helping them get the treatment they need to get back on track.

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