In each respective case, high-functioning individuals pose a variety of challenges with respect to recognition of a problem, seeking treatment, diagnosis, and recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, Footprints to Recovery can help. Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment is evidence-based and tailored to your individual needs.

high functioning alcoholic

Both residential and outpatient day treatment programs are available for those in recovery. A doctor may also diagnose AUD by asking about your health history and drinking patterns. If you give permission, they may speak to your family or loved ones regarding how much you drink. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

What Are the Signs?

Overcoming an alcohol addiction can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Treatment centers offer inpatient and outpatient programs and allow for detox under doctor supervision. Community groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can provide ongoing emotional support.

Do alcoholics have a personality type?

Generally, alcoholics seem to have the same kinds of personalities as everybody else, except more so. The first is a low frustration tolerance. Alcoholics seem to experience more distress when enduring long-term dysphoria or when tiresome things do not work out quickly. Alcoholics are more impulsive than most.

Until you check into rehab, avoid bars, liquor stores, and other places where alcohol and drinking abound. Finally, be willing to admit that you have a problem and firmly resolve to make a change in your life. Thousands of people have conquered high functioning alcoholic alcoholism and you can do it too. Sleep issues and sexual dysfunction can be results of high-functioning alcoholism, too. Health-related consequences include liver damage, brain damage, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Are Gambling Withdrawals Real?

People with high-functioning alcoholism tend to drink every other day and consume five or more drinks per sitting. They are also the most likely of all the alcoholic subtypes to be college-educated, and the least likely to use illegal drugs. As one can see, alcohol abuse can come in many shapes and sizes, but in all cases can lead to a variety of problems. High-functioning alcoholism is still alcoholism, and high-functioning alcohol abuse is still alcohol abuse. Ultimately alcohol affects all individuals the same way regardless of sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

Not everyone who drinks excessively develops an alcohol use disorder or becomes an alcoholic. Approximately 90% of people who drink to excessive levels will not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of AUD. But if you don’t want others to know you’re in recovery, you can attend outpatient treatment or attend anonymous support group meetings. Some experts prefer the term “currently-functioning alcoholic” because odds are such people aren’t going to remain functional forever. They may never get fired for being hungover, have a falling-out with friends or get pulled over for driving under the influence. The side effects might not catch up to them until old age, when chronic alcohol abuse takes its toll on their liver, heart and brain.

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Options

Or the functional alcoholic might constantly make excuses for not being somewhere. While the term „alcoholic” was used in the past but is now viewed as outdated and stigmatizing. Today, healthcare professionals would say that a person has an alcohol use disorder . Continuing to drink despite knowing that you have a physical or mental health issues related to your alcohol use. It can lead to liver disease, pancreatitis, some forms of cancer, brain damage, serious memory loss, and high blood pressure. It also makes someone more likely to die in a car wreck or from murder or suicide.

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