Drinking at social events is so normalized in our culture that we do not notice the signs of alcoholism until it is too late. “Functioning alcoholism” is a colloquial term often used to describe those who are secretly struggling with alcohol addiction, but outwardly appear to live normal, productive lives with an active social circle. To know more about what is a functional alcoholic, reach out to Coalition Recovery at the earliest, as there is a high chance that you or someone you love may be exhibiting signs of functioning alcoholism without even realizing it.
Alcohol addiction is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Long-term drinking causes irreparable damage to the organs, damages relationships, and makes an individual more prone to injury, accidents, and even criminal behavior. However, functioning alcoholism isn’t an incurable disease. Call us at 727.513.5972 to get immediate help and relief with one of our specialized Alcohol treatment plans for alcohol addiction, which includes comprehensive aftercare planning.
What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?
At first, the term “functioning alcoholic” may sound like a misnomer. However, most of us have encountered people who enjoy drinking a lot but appear to hold onto steady jobs or have happy families. But that is only the lull before a storm- progressively, alcohol addiction gets worse until it is no longer possible to ignore the danger signs.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Here are the common signs of functioning alcoholism:
- The individual clearly likes drinking a lot. They may make plans to go to the bar after work or plan a binge-drinking session, or may occasionally miss work due to hangovers.
- Whenever they drink, they consume a large amount of alcohol. This is because their body has developed a tolerance after prolonged drinking. As a result, they need more alcohol to feel the same buzz.
- When asked if they have a drinking problem, they may be in denial, make excuses or brush it off as a joke. They may refuse to go in for periodic health check-ups.
- If repeatedly confronted about their drinking habits, they may get angry and aggressive. They may even hide the true extent of their alcoholism from friends and family or stockpile liquor.
- Although they may appear to be productive and can get the job done, there will be occasional slip-ups (missing a deadline, being irritable, showing up drunk to a meeting) which may progressively get worse.
- They may need at least one drink every day.
- If denied access to alcohol, they may get agitated, nervous, and be unable to concentrate as a result of withdrawal.
- They may also be in denial about relationship issues or problems at work. They may even engage in high-risk behaviors such as drunk driving, having unsafe sex, being drunk around children, etc.
- If left unchecked, functioning alcoholism can lead to a variety of mental and physical health problems, estrange the individual from loved ones, and result in unemployment and financial ruin.
Causes of Alcoholism
Often, functioning alcoholism hides deep-seated issues such as trauma, repressed issues, and mental health disorders that the individual may not be addressing.
The common causes of alcoholism include the following:
- Drinking at an early age – Regular drinking as a teenager may lead to a higher physical tolerance later in life.
- Family history – If children grow up in an environment where a family member is also an alcoholic, they may later develop a drinking problem.
- Mental health disorders – Those suffering from mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, clinical depression, bipolar disorder and the like, may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.
- Stress and trauma – The stress of jobs and family life, or a traumatic incident, may also lead to functional alcoholism
In order to treat alcohol addiction, it is important to discover the root cause of the addiction and address co-occurring disorders, with the help of both evidence-based procedures and holistic therapies, in addition to medication.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction and More at Coalition Recovery
For the last six years, Coalition Recovery has helped countless citizens to overcome their alcohol addictions and live sober and happier lives. We have also partnered with numerous universities to raise awareness about drugs and alcohol abuse on campus while offering specialized rehab programs for students, young adults, military veterans, members of the queer community, and working professionals.
Footprints Beachside Recovery exists to provide state-licensed, nationally-accredited addiction treatment to those in need through both part-time and full-time programs. We believe that the most effective substance abuse treatment is individualized to each client and combines both therapy and medication. Our team of addiction treatment professionals treats every client with respect and compassion while utilizing innovative approaches to treatment. And our aftercare programs ensure that every one of our clients has the tools they need for lasting sobriety.