What is a Functional Alcoholic?
About 29.5 million people ages 12 and older struggled with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2021. Although millions of people struggle with alcoholism, there are varying levels of severity when it comes to alcoholism. Someone who struggles with alcohol addiction, but is still able to function relatively well is called a functional alcoholic. Although functional alcoholics do struggle with alcoholism, it can be difficult from the outside looking in to notice whether or not that person is struggling with addiction. Keep reading to learn more about what is a functional alcoholic, what are the common signs of a functional alcoholic you need to look for, and more.
At Rise in Malibu, we are a luxury drug rehab committed to helping patients overcome addiction and regain control over their lives. With a variety of drug and alcohol treatment programs, we offer several different treatment services to ensure we can help as many people as possible get the help they need to maintain long-term sobriety.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact us today to learn how we can help you on your road to recovery.
What is a Functional Alcoholic?
So, what is a functional alcoholic?
A functional alcoholic, otherwise referred to as a high-functioning alcoholic, is someone who struggles with alcohol dependency and addiction; however, they are still able to function and live a relatively “normal” life despite drinking excessively. Therefore, someone who is a functional alcoholic is typically able to continue their daily responsibilities from school to work, family life, and other commitments while also being able to drink large amounts of alcohol to fuel their alcohol addiction.
Many functional alcoholics are able to continue excessively drinking in secret, without people usually noticing they have a drinking problem. This is because again functional alcoholics are still able to function well in society, despite being addicted to alcohol. Even though an alcoholic is able to function and complete daily responsibilities does not mean they do not have an addiction. It’s essential that functional alcoholics seek professional treatment to overcome their addiction and maintain long-term sobriety. Otherwise, functional alcoholics risk their addiction becoming worse and worse, which can potentially be life-threatening.
Common Signs of a Functional Alcoholic
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between someone who drinks frequently vs someone who is a functional alcoholic. Below are some common signs of a functional alcoholic to look out for:
- Frequent blackouts from drinking too much alcohol.
- Hiding how much alcohol they consume.
- Denying they have a drinking problem.
- Not fitting the typical mold of an alcoholic/ still being well groomed despite drinking excessively.
- Drinking during lunchtime on a regular basis.
- Drinking as a reward or to cope during a stressful situation.
- Continued drinking despite negative mental or physical consequences.
- Being able to balance various life responsibilities, despite drinking excessively.
- Lying to yourself about how frequently you drink and how much you drink.
- Obsessing over when you can drink next.
- And More
The primary takeaway between a functional alcoholic and other types of alcoholics is functional alcoholics, from the outside looking in, appear to have their life together. In other words, functional alcoholics are able to balance their daily responsibilities relatively well, despite drinking excessively and struggling with addiction.
However, just because you can still balance your life’s responsibilities doesn’t take away the reality that a functional alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. Therefore, it’s critical that functional alcoholics seek professional addiction treatment to overcome alcoholism for good and take back their lives.
Help Is Available
Now you know more about what is a functional alcoholic. Millions of people struggle with alcohol use disorder. And, of those millions of people, there are many people who are considered functional alcoholics. However, just because you appear to have your life together, despite struggling with alcoholism, doesn’t mean you don’t have an addiction.
At Rise in Malibu, we are a drug rehab committed to helping patients safely and effectively overcome addiction for good. We offer a range of comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment services so patients can receive tailored treatment plans to best support them along their recovery journey.
No more suffering in silence with your addiction. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you on your road to recovery.