When most people think of alcoholics, they picture people who drink so much that their lives are falling apart. Due to this, you may be offended if someone calls you a functioning alcoholic. Having a drinking problem, however, doesn’t always mean that your life is in shambles. You could still have an alcohol problem and a happy home life and successful career.
What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?
Also called a functional or high-functioning alcoholic, this is someone who can keep a steady job and pursue a career. A functioning alcoholic can also care for their children, maintain friendly and social relationships, and pay bills on time.
Functional alcoholics could even have high positions in companies. Their success might make themselves and others overlook their drinking problem. They may think that they aren’t alcoholics because they have great jobs, lots of friends and comfortable financial status. Some functioning alcoholics make excuses such as not suffering setbacks because they drink.
However, it’s how well functional alcoholics handle their roles while under the influence of alcohol that becomes a concern. Experts warn that people can’t drink heavily and keep up with major responsibilities without it catching up to them.
Another worry is health risks. The moderate amount of alcohol that one person drinks could have more risks than the excessive amounts that another person drinks. It can cause some types of cancer, brain damage, liver disease, memory loss and pancreatitis.
In addition to excuses and denial, many drinkers aren’t aware of what a moderate amount of alcohol is. According to U.S. dietary guidelines, moderate drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that low-risk drinking for women is having up to three drinks a day or seven a week. For men, it’s up to four drinks a day or 14 a week. However, people can still develop alcoholic or health issues under these guidelines.
Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic
You might wonder, “Do I have an alcohol addiction?” If you drink more than the U.S. dietary guidelines, you might be an alcoholic. However, this isn’t the only way to tell.
Other signs of alcohol addiction include drinking in the morning or alone and getting drunk without intending to. You could also forget what you did while drinking or need alcohol to feel confident and relaxed. You may have a problem if your loved ones worry about your drinking but you deny it.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Steps to Recovery
An alcohol addiction treatment center is available for a functioning alcoholic. The outpatient programs that Steps to Recovery offer give patients a lot of flexibility. They can still go to school and work and keep up with their responsibilities at home.
Our extended pre-admissions assessment also lets our staff get to know the patients before treatment starts. Some other perks that Steps to Recovery patients enjoy include:
- comfortable environment
- customized treatment plans
- range of therapies
- three-to-one staff-to-client ratio.
Alcohol may not ruin your life, but it could be causing problems that you don’t see. If your family is concerned for you, contact us for more information. We can help you address the underlying cause of your drinking. Dial 866-488-8684.