5 Facts About High-Functioning Alcoholics

high-functioning alcoholics

5 Facts About High-Functioning Alcoholics

Most of us when we hear the word “alcoholic” think of a drunk person slurring words. He embarrasses himself in public, can’t hold down a job, and his life is falling apart as a result. Not all alcoholics fit into this particular mold though. In fact, there is such a thing as high-functioning alcoholics. High-functioning alcoholics are people who abuse alcohol on a regular basis. However, they manage to live relatively healthy lives, are successful at work, and have families who love them. If you recognize the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic in yourself or a loved one, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Do You Know a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

If you have a friend or family member who seems to plan their day around drinking, they may be a functioning alcoholic. In accordance, if they have multiple drinks to your one drink, they may be a high-functioning alcoholic. Unfortunately, high-functioning alcoholics (HFA’s) are experts at concealing their drinking from others. They are often well-liked individuals with good jobs and a tight-knit social circle. It is very easy for others to overlook the problem.

How to Recognize the Signs of High-Functioning Alcoholics

The following are five facts about high-functioning alcoholics you should be aware of:

  1. High-functioning alcoholics can be well-educated individuals with loving friends and family members. The number one myth about high-functioning alcoholics is that they can’t hold down a job or be successful. People think that they can’t maintain close personal relationships because of their problem drinking. On the contrary, HFA’s are often socially active individuals with good jobs and families who love them. In fact, one study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in 2007, found that 19.5% of alcoholics in the United States fall into the subtype of “functional” alcoholics. Functioning alcoholics are, as a rule, well-educated, middle-aged individuals with stable jobs and families.
  1. HFA’s do show signs of alcoholism. It’s true that high-functioning alcoholics may seem like they have it all together. However, if you look a little closer, you’ll begin to notice some of the warning signs of alcoholism. Some of these red flags might include drinking alone or needing to drink to feel confident or relaxed. It might also include hiding the evidence of their drinking from others. 
  1. High-functioning alcoholics are not in control. High-functioning alcoholics are often well-educated, intelligent, successful people. They are masters at hiding their problem drinking from others. A high-functioning alcoholic might be able to convince himself and others that he has his drinking under control. For alcoholics, the issue is that the alcohol controls them, not the other way around. 
  1. High-functioning alcoholics have a problem. Just because a high-functioning alcoholic may somehow manage to maintain obligations at home, work or school, that doesn’t mean that drinking is not an issue. He experiences cravings, just like a “typical” alcoholic. He goes through withdrawal and faces the tolerance that comes with a dependence on alcohol. 
  1. HFA’s can benefit from substance abuse treatment. The very definition of a high-functioning alcoholic is an alcoholic. For the most part, he manages to function effectively in his personal, professional, and social life. As such, an HFA can easily convince himself that he doesn’t fit the traditional stereotype of an alcoholic, and therefore, doesn’t need help. The truth is that an HFA, like any alcoholic, can benefit from an intensive substance abuse treatment program like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

High-functioning alcoholics face the same potential consequences of their problem drinking as “traditional” alcoholics. In fact, they are typically the last ones to seek treatment.  High-functioning alcoholics convince themselves that they are in control while they hide their drinking from the people around them. Being aware of the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic, and recognizing the fact that HFA’s face the same problems “typical” alcoholics do, you can help your loved one get the help he or she needs. Call the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss the available treatment options for high-functioning alcoholics.

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