Although many individuals with a chronic reliance on alcohol display open signs of inebriation, others can moderate their symptoms, going through the motions of a normal-seeming life. Studies indicate that anywhere from 20 to 75% of individuals struggling with an alcohol use disorder can do so largely in secret, preventing excessive drinking from derailing their education, work, or domestic lives for long periods. Unfortunately, when the consequences of their reliance on drinking finally catch up to them, the results can be fast and catastrophic.
At Gulf Stream Recovery, we approach alcohol addiction treatment in a nuanced, personalized fashion, accounting for the unique needs of those with high-functioning alcoholism. Call our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn more about our holistic, 12-step approach to lasting recovery.
Why Is High-Functioning Alcoholism Considered an Alcohol Use Disorder?
Individuals living with functioning alcoholism can often carry about the basic tasks of living such as paying their bills, executing their jobs, and caring for friends or loved ones without displaying traditional symptoms of a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, these signs do not always indicate the true severity of an individual’s reliance on alcohol; in fact, these individuals may be leaning on excessive drinking as a temporary means with which to meet all of these demands.
What Are the Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder?
One of the reasons those with functioning alcoholism can fly under their friends’ and families’ radar for so long is the relatively small amount of alcohol required to develop a physical dependency. In fact, women who rely on more than one drink and men on more than two drinks per day may be exhibiting the signs of an ongoing problem. However, our culture largely tolerates this degree of alcohol consumption, so these dependencies can go unnoticed without accompanying symptoms of distress.
Those who drink frequently may have developed a tolerance to the physical effects of alcohol, so they do not display open signs of intoxication, such as dramatic personality changes, slurred speech, or disorientation. Therefore, it can be very difficult for someone else to notice exactly when drinking has progressed from ordinary consumption to an unmanageable condition.
Although functioning alcoholism can be challenging to identify, here are some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate you or a loved one is developing a dependence on drinking:
- Being unable to consume alcohol in moderation
- Finding opportunities to drink alcohol during the workday
- Concealing the quantity of total alcohol being consumed (hiding containers, regularly sneaking alcohol into non-alcoholic drink containers, consuming other’s half-finished drinks)
- Justifying the amount of alcohol consumed as totally normal
- Drinking to a black-out state without displaying ordinary signs of intoxication immediately prior
- Using alcohol in unsafe situations, such as when driving a car or taking care of small children
- Being surprised by a DUI, a broken-off relationship, diagnosis of an alcohol-aggravated condition such as liver disease, or any other consequence of excessive drinking
If left untreated, functioning alcoholism can progress to the same medical issues as any other variety, including pancreatitis, diabetes, cancer, brain damage, memory loss, and a much higher likelihood of accidental death or suicide.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Gulf Breeze Recovery
Despite the nature of the problem, help is available. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we recognize substance use disorders can take on an enormous variety of guises. However, the earlier treatment is sought out, the easier and more successful recovery will be. Our 12-step approach is designed to help those in recovery address the underlying causes beneath their alcohol dependence, permitting them the ability to make more effective decisions for life. If you believe that you or a loved one requires alcohol addiction treatment, contact our team at 833.551.2304 today.