A Guide to Functional Alcoholism

While alcoholics are often seen as lazy freeloaders, that’s nothing but a stereotype. In many cases, those struggling with alcohol dependence delay seeking help because they’re worried about how other people view them. Other alcohol users may deny that they have a drinking problem, and this is usually the case when living with a functioning alcoholic. These individuals lead full lives, yet they suffer from the detrimental effects of alcoholism.

Which Groups Suffer With Functional Alcoholism?

From ground-floor employees to top executives, functional alcoholics are found in every walk of life. While the disease may affect anyone, some career fields have high rates, such as:

  • Nurses and doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Teachers
  • First responders
  • Journalists

A person can be dependent on alcohol but not have a problem with abuse. They can be a great student, a caring parent, and a fitness buff, but if they need alcohol to get through the day, they’re an alcoholic.

The Signs of Functional Alcoholism

For many with functional alcoholism, problem drinking is typically concealed from colleagues, friends, and family. Their personal and career successes hide underlying suspicions and issues. Common warning signs include:

  • Rationalizing consumption
  • Needing a drink to relax after a hard day
  • Becoming defensive when confronted about drinking
  • Drinking in secret
  • Participating in risky behaviors such as drunk driving and unprotected sex

Many functional alcoholics aren’t seen as having a problem because of the successes they’ve achieved. They differ from low-functioning alcoholics in that they are better at hiding their addiction.

The Effects of Alcoholism on a Person’s Life

When a person’s drinking habits stay hidden for too long, the addiction only gets worse. Gradually, alcoholism’s effects begin to seep into a person’s daily life, relationships, and career. However, it’s never too late to get help. There are numerous treatment programs across the country that offer support, therapy, and aftercare for those suffering from alcoholism.

Take Control Today

No one has to deal with alcoholism alone. It’s not easy to decide to quit drinking, but it’s always worthwhile. Going through an alcohol treatment program is a way to invest in one’s life and future. Contact a treatment expert for further details.