Although many individuals with alcohol dependence display signs of inebriation, others can moderate their symptoms, going through the motions of a normal-seeming life. What is high-functioning alcoholism? Individuals who struggle with it may secretly drink and prevent alcoholism from derailing their education, work, or domestic lives. Unfortunately, when the consequences of their reliance on drinking finally catch up to them, the results can be fast and catastrophic.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we approach alcohol addiction treatment in a nuanced, personalized fashion, accounting for the unique needs of those with high-functioning alcoholism. If you need alcohol addiction treatment in Gulf Breeze, FL, call our team today at 833.551.2304 or through our web portal.
What’s the Connection Between High-Functioning Alcoholism and Alcohol Use Disorder?
Individuals living with functioning alcoholism can often carry about basic living tasks such as paying their bills, doing their jobs, and caring for friends and loved ones without displaying traditional symptoms of a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, these signs do not always indicate the true severity of a person’s reliance on alcohol. These individuals may lean on excessive drinking as a coping mechanism to meet the demands of their lives.
What Are the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?
One of the reasons those with functioning alcoholism can keep it hidden for so long is the relatively small amount of alcohol required to develop a physical dependency. Women who rely on more than one drink and men on more than two drinks per day may exhibit signs of an ongoing problem. However, our culture largely tolerates this degree of alcohol consumption, meaning dependence can go unnoticed. Individuals may not show signs of 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 difficult for someone else to notice exactly when drinking has progressed from ordinary consumption to unmanageable.
Although high-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, such as 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.
Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment Today at Gulf Breeze Recovery
Despite the complex nature of high-functioning alcoholism, help is available. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we recognize substance use disorders can take on various guises. However, the earlier an individual starts treatment, the easier and more successful recovery will be. Our 12-step approach helps those in recovery address the underlying causes of their alcohol dependence. Doing this work in addiction treatment can allow them to develop healthier coping mechanisms and make more effective decisions to improve their lives.