Knowing when alcohol consumption has become a real problem isn’t always easy. Too often, a person thinks they have to be falling down drunk daily and unable to function in life because of their alcohol consumption in order to have a real problem. These people might need to ask themselves an important question: Am I a high-functioning alcoholic? If the answer is yes, it’s time to face the facts and get the vital help they need.
What Is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?
A high-functioning alcoholic is someone who abuses alcohol while continuing to maintain a great deal of their personal life. This includes career, school, family life, personal obligations, hobbies, and more. Some people may not be able to maintain all of those areas, but they are capable of presenting themselves to others as having control over a great deal of or all of their lives. They do all of this despite the fact that they are addicted to alcohol.
The fact that this person can live in a way that fools many others often helps them avoid admitting to themselves that they have a problem. They believe that as long as they can do things like continue to show up at work, take care of their families, or meet other responsibilities, they can’t be a real alcoholic.
Despite what their outer appearance may be to others, the high-functioning alcoholic still drinks excessively, even though they likely hide some of their alcohol consumption. Many of them drink moderately during the day and do not appear inebriated to others. They may drink enough to keep from having withdrawal symptoms and keep a buzz going. Others manage to hold off on drinking until later in the day.
These people often believe that alcoholism is defined as drinking excessively all day without being able to control it. As a result, because they do not do this, they fool themselves into thinking their drinking is under control. A person who asks themselves, “Am I a high-functioning alcoholic?” likely needs a deeper examination of their alcohol intake and if it has crossed a line.
Am I a High-Functioning Alcoholic?
Because a stereotype exists about what alcoholism looks like, it can be hard for someone to accurately find the answer to “Am I a high-functioning alcoholic?” Some questions to ask yourself include:
- Do I drink moderately part of the time in order to feel a buzz until I can drink a larger amount?
- Do I often drink heavily at certain times, such as in the evening, on weekends, or when I’m alone?
- Do I have a reputation as someone who can party hard?
- Do I sometimes wish I could drink during certain situations, or drink more than I do, such as at work, school, with family and friends, or while participating in social events?
- Have I maintained good health but worry that continued drinking may compromise that?
- Do I hide evidence of how much I drink?
- Do I spend a lot of money on alcohol, even trying to hide the amount spent?
- Have I avoided repercussions for drinking alcohol at places like work so far but know it’s risky behavior?
- Do I typically consume five or more drinks per sitting?
- Did I start drinking alcohol in my teen or college years but the amount escalated later in life?
Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
In order to determine “Am I a high-functioning alcoholic?”, a person needs to look for certain signs. Loved ones can also use the following list to see if the person they care about may fit this description. Signs and symptoms of having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) include:
- Drinking consistently, whether throughout the day, once a day, or several days per week
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
- Having tried to stop drinking but couldn’t do it
- Often having hangovers
- Loved ones have expressed concern about your drinking levels
- Spending a lot of money on alcohol
- Choosing social functions based on the availability of alcohol or bringing your own supply to them
- Negative repercussions related to drinking at work, home, school, or elsewhere
- Suspecting you have a drinking problem but convincing yourself it’s not that bad
- Risky behavior when drinking, like driving, unsafe sex, and more
Treatment for High-Functioning Alcoholics
If you are starting to realize “I am a high-functioning alcoholic”, you may not know what your next step should be. The first step in treating alcohol use disorder involves going to rehab. This process lasts from five to ten days and allows the person to rid their bodies of residual toxins built up as a result of alcoholism. From there, a person may enter a residential program, which requires living in a treatment facility for 30 days or more.
Other people transition into outpatient care. This allows them to receive treatment after they return home. For many individuals, sober living homes offer the best next step after leaving detox or residential treatment. Sober living homes consist of residences in which several people in recovery from substance abuse live and work on their sobriety.
These people often receive outpatient care during their time in a sober living home. Choices for this type of care include individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, family therapy, and more. Many programs include holistic treatment options and planning for aftercare. The more treatment a high-functioning alcoholic receives, the better their chances are of staying sober.
Get Help For High-Functioning Alcoholism in Atlanta
Have you reached the point where you realize you are probably a high-functioning alcoholic and don’t know where to turn? You have more resources than you may realize. Creekside in Atlanta offers sober living residences that allow people in recovery a safe place to reside while they work on their sobriety. Our modern, tastefully-decorated homes are gender-specific and located in popular areas of town. We provide you access to outpatient care that helps you stay focused on a healthy new life.
Visit our admissions page now and see how easy it is to get started.