For many people, the vision they hold in their mind of an alcoholic is someone who drinks too much and is generally drunk much of the time. Many times, we also assume alcoholics are unemployed or have difficulty holding a job or are homeless and their life has completely fallen apart because of alcohol use.
The problem with stereotypes like these is that they don’t reflect reality. Functional alcoholics are a group within the alcoholic spectrum that look nothing like stereotypical alcoholics. They go to work every day, hold down a job and pay their bills. They go out and see friends. But people in this category also live with an addiction to alcohol.
Is Functional Alcoholism Common?
Functional alcoholism is relatively common, but rates can vary on multiple things, including the type of work that a person performs. It appears to be higher in people who are working in high-stress jobs, such as in the medical, legal and executive fields. Armed service members, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and paramedics also deal with high-stress jobs, which could lead to higher rates of alcoholism. It’s difficult to know for sure, because alcoholics are very skilled at hiding their addiction.
How Do Functioning Alcoholics Hide Their Addiction?
Functioning alcoholics use different ways to hide the fact that they have a substance abuse issue. It can take family and friends some time to figure out that they have a serious problem.
- They may hide bottles of alcohol around the house or in their vehicle to avoid detection. Some functioning alcoholics may hide a bottle in their desk at work.
- Some functioning alcoholics drink instead of eating at mealtimes. They may also use lunch or dinner as an excuse to start drinking.
- They can drink heavily but may wake up without a hangover.
Signs Of Functioning Alcoholism
The following are signs that a loved one may be an alcoholic. The more signs that fit your loved one’s behavior, the more likely there may be a problem.
- Needs alcohol to feel confident or to relax
- Drinks in the morning
- Forgets what they said while intoxicated
- Denies drinking or hides alcohol
- Becomes angry or upset when confronted about drinking
- Misses work, gets into fights, has been arrested or has lost friends due to drinking
Full-Spectrum Help For Alcohol Addiction
With our dedication to privacy for our clients, The Dunes East Hampton is the perfect choice when you are looking for a luxury treatment program for high functioning alcoholics. We have worked with a number of executive clients and people working in high-stress occupations. We help our clients get to the heart of their addiction and provide them with real-world relapse prevention skills as well as mental health treatment.
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