What is a High Functioning Alcoholic? Definition & Signs

To learn more about addiction treatment and recovery resources, please contact a Recovery Advocate at The Recovery Village Atlanta Drug and Alcohol Rehab today. One of the symptoms of an alcohol problem or Alcohol Use Disorder is when individuals make “rules” around their drinking. Even if you are aware that your drinking has become a problem, it’s common to worry about what others might think.

high functioning alcoholic

The NIAAA offers a range of assessment tools and strategies to help people understand their drinking patterns, reduce their drinking, or quit completely. People who are concerned about their drinking habits, and those who are showing signs of an AUD, may wish to reach out for help and https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline-and-treatment/ support. According to the NIAAA, the majority of people with an AUD can benefit from some form of treatment. A person who appears to be managing their alcohol intake but is experiencing issues with their relationship to alcohol has what is now known as an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Is it Possible to Effect Change When a Loved One Has an Addiction?

The incredibly important first step is to recognize your need for help and move past denial. It can be hard to stop enabling someone you care about once you’ve recognized it. Try to talk openly to the person about your concerns, and encourage them to seek help from resources like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). If you’re trying to help someone you love, speaking to them openly and honestly can be one of the best things to do early on.

The consequences of alcohol use aren’t as severe in someone with functioning alcoholism, at least not at the moment. Second, many people with this form of alcoholism are actually using it to help them with mental illness. Researchers through the National high functioning alcoholic Institutes of Health found that as much as 25 percent of functioning alcoholics also suffer from depression. When you consider that mental illness can’t be treated alone and won’t just go away, it’s clear to see that your loved one needs help.

Recovery Coaching

Nevertheless, high-functioning alcoholics have an addiction disorder which requires treatment. Depending on the situation’s specifics and your concern, you could also work with a professional addiction treatment center or interventionist to arrange an intervention. During an intervention, loved ones come together to share how someone’s drinking is affecting them and show their support if the person decides to get help. The earlier an intervention is sought, the better the outcomes for many people. Also, if you seek help for yourself or a loved one early on, outpatient rehab can be effective.

  • An intervention is a planned meeting in which the concerned parties confront the alcoholic about their behavior.
  • Many times, alcoholism like this becomes a coping mechanism, helping to reduce high stress and becoming a crutch.
  • Anger and frustration can be tough emotions when supporting someone with AUD.
  • This limits their lifespan and impacts the quality of their lives.


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