How to Spot, Recognize, and Treat, a High-Functioning Alcoholic

A 2018 survey revealed that 86% of adults have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. With those kinds of numbers, is it any surprise that alcohol is one of the most socially acceptable drugs?

A high-functioning alcoholic doesn’t fit the classic stereotype. They might be successful at work and have a lot of healthy relationships, which leads people to believe that they don’t have a problem when in fact they do.

Despite being embraced by society, alcohol is unhealthy when you drink it in excess. Do you find yourself having several alcoholic drinks throughout the week? Does your loved one drink even while on the job?

Let’s further discuss how to recognize and treat high-functioning alcoholism.

Signs That Your Loved One is an Alcoholic

Some say alcohol becomes a problem when it starts interfering with your life. It’ll cause relationship problems and stifle your ability to perform on the job.

While that’s true, it only tells half of the story.

Alcohol use becomes problematic when it’s often and in large amounts. Regardless of how it impacts work and home life, it’s still unhealthy for your body.

High-functioning alcoholics often look like they have their lives together. Sometimes, their substance abuse actually helps them outperform their co-workers. They don’t even seem buzzed after a few beers.

Here are some other signs of functioning alcoholism:

  • Significant memory loss
  • Serious withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink
  • Drinking in the morning
  • Suffering legal consequences like a DUI arrest
  • Hiding alcohol use from family or friends
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of interest in food

Recognizing the problem is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. It’s difficult to spot in a society that encourages drinking.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

Drinking a lot will increase your body’s tolerance, but tolerance will not lower your BAC level. That means you could get arrested for a DUI without feeling intoxicated.

After your arrest, you’ll need to perform a DUI evaluation. It’s crucial that you tell the truth about your alcohol use and the extent of your drinking. Here are some of the most common treatment methods available for alcoholism:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Medication to help with withdrawal symptoms
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Alcohol education
  • Support groups

If it’s your first DUI, then you may be eligible to avoid jail time. Use this time to educate yourself about the real implications of your day drinking.

How to Help a Functioning Alcoholic

Do you suspect your loved one is a functioning alcoholic? If so, then it’s important to approach the situation with empathy.

Understand that medical intervention might be necessary. Don’t force your loved one to go cold-turkey. Instead, encourage them to seek out care at a proper facility.

Getting Medical and Mental Help

It takes time and repetition to create a functioning alcoholic. In the same way, it takes time and repetition to escape that kind of lifestyle. Getting help is the first step towards recovery.

At Braden Counseling Center, we strive to help those arrested for a DUI in Illinois. Are you interested in learning more about our DUI counseling services? Reach out to us at one of our five locations in Sycamore,Geneva, Rochelle, Bartlett, or Elgin today.

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