The Hope House is a luxury rehab dedicated to providing the best personalized care to achieve long-term recovery. Our beautiful facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona are staffed with addiction experts and masters-level clinicians trained to help clients learn how to live healthy, sober lifestyles. In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can cause fever, seizures, hallucinations, agitation, and confusion.

high functioning alcoholic treatment

For example, a computed tomography scan tests for liver enlargement, which can occur after years of chronic drinking. Your doctor may order this test if your blood tests indicate abnormal liver functioning. For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. Neither nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose. Helpline Informationto speak to a treatment support specialist about recovery options.

What Is A Functional Alcoholic?

The person with the suspected substance use disorder is asked to go to treatment immediately or specific consequences will be put in place. Individuals who might fall into the “functional” subclass of alcohol use disorders are often not readily going to admit that their alcohol use is problematic for them. In addition, these individuals often require corroboration from family members or friends to engage in their behavior. Alcohol was abused more often than any other substance among recovery treatment attendees, as reported by a 2017 survey from Recovery Brands.

  • A high-functioning alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks an unhealthy amount of alcohol while maintaining some level of professional and personal success.
  • High-functioning alcoholics are often unaware of their behavior’s impact on those closest to them.
  • This may be difficult because the person may think he or she is healthy.
  • However, that does not mean they have no problem with alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorder.
  • Long-term abuse of alcohol leads to a number of harmful effects on the brain, body, and relationships.
  • A functioning alcoholic, as opposed to a chronic or severe alcoholic, is able to maintain control over his or her life despite problem drinking.

It can be difficult to acknowledge that a friend or loved one is struggling with an alcohol addiction. After recognizing that someone needs help, it is important to approach them about their behavior.

High Functioning Alcoholic Parent

Blackouts may precede or follow some bouts of risky behavior and negative interactions with others. After such instances, you may not recall your actions, which may lead you to refuse to believe they occurred in the first place. Blacking out is a sign of dangerous levels of alcohol that can negatively affect your brain over time; in addition, behaviors you engage in while blacked out may provide severe physical injuries or legal consequences. If you consider yourself a high-functioning alcoholic, you may keep your friends and family unaware of your reliance on alcohol, or downplay alcohol’s role in your life. In most cases, however, this is an illusion that may actually be increasing your stress levels and having a negative effect on your overall health. Even functioning alcoholics who never experience major problems are not living their best life.

high functioning alcoholic treatment

Many alcoholics succeed at work and in school and have great relationships. Nevertheless, high-functioning alcoholics have an addiction disorder which requires treatment. ” self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder . The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an AUD. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

Basically, the alcoholic simply can’t remember these episodes because the brain has either stored these memories improperly or has not stored them at all. It is important to immediately and accurately document in writing what has transpired. Record all the events that led to sending the employee home, especially if any disciplinary action is necessary. It is important to work with the EAP and employee relations staff and keep them informed of Alcohol detoxification such events because the quality of the information they receive from you impacts on the quality of their advice and service. The counselor may be able to assist in any immediate assessment or may be at least able to talk to the client immediately. Even if the EAP counselor is unable to see the employee immediately, EAP personnel should be informed of the situation. You should refer the employee to the EAP after the employee returns to duty.

Warning Signs Of Alcoholism

After all, they have managed to maintain the appearance of success despite their addiction. But most high-functioning alcoholics have friends or loved ones who help them cover up the consequences of their drinking.

high functioning alcoholic treatment

Look for the medically reviewed badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information. By definition, anyone with any substance use disorder needs professional intervention. By definition, anyone with an alcohol use disorder suffers serious issues with controlling their use of alcohol. By definition, anyone with an alcohol use disorder must display the symptoms of the disorder. New research using the updated diagnostic criteria could conceivably generate an entirely different classification scheme.

If You Or A Loved One Are Concerned About How Much You Are Drinking, This Could Be A Sign Of High

Without intervention, it is only a matter of time before a high-functioning alcoholic becomes non-functioning. This interferes with your ability to think, speak, remember, make decisions, and learn new things. Sustained drinking habits can also cause mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, or dementia.

Organizations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine can guide you to help, too. Functional alcoholics may seem to be in control, Benton says, but they may put themselves or others in danger by drinking and driving, having risky sexual encounters, or blacking out. The classic picture of an alcoholic is someone who always drinks too much and whose life is falling apart because of it. Chris Elkins worked as a journalist for three years and was published by multiple newspapers and online publications. Since 2015, he’s written about health-related topics, interviewed addiction experts and authored stories of recovery.

High-functioning alcoholics are often secretive and difficult to communicate with. Many live in denial, thinking they have their drinking under control. But the lies and betrayal that stem from their addiction can severely damage their relationships effects of alcohol with those closest to them. For many, the crossover point is imagined to lie in the moment alcohol begins to impact functionality. As Pete Hamill once said, “If I was able to function, to get work done, there was no reason to worry about drinking.

As soon as the patient is stabilised on their detox regime, they take part in the treatment community, attending all the therapy groups, activities and educational lectures of our inpatient programme. This is followed by an individualised treatment plan devised by the multidisciplinary team of professionals involved in the patient’s care and tailored to the patient’s personal needs and diagnosis. While it’s understandable that arguments about drinking will crop up unexpectedly when you love an alcoholic, it’s better to wait until you have a cool head and clear thinking to try and convince someone to enter into treatment. It is all too easy to use accusatory language (such as “you don’t care about me”) but speaking with “I” is much more effective (e.g. “I feel as if you don’t care about me when you are drinking”). At some point in a discussion about alcoholism, your loved one will contradict themselves.

Many high-functioning alcoholics are in denial about their problem because they have avoided the negative consequences of drinking. Functional alcoholics differ from those who struggle with alcoholism, primarily in how alcohol affects their lives. If you’re the loved one of someone in either group, it’s important to know how to deal with an alcoholic effectively if you want to help them get well. High-functioning alcoholics deny their drinking is a problem, swayed by their success. Here’s how to identify the warning signs, avoid codependency and seek support.

high functioning alcoholic treatment

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics noted that nearly 60% of violent incidents against a domestic partner or family member were committed under the influence of alcohol. During this stage, individuals are drinking every day, usually to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. However, many people still believe they are “functioning” because they are able to get up and go to work. Although they still have a job, their performance is probably not what it used to be. They may also feel like it takes everything they’ve got to feel and act normal.

Outpatient treatment is not as expensive as inpatient treatment and may last anywhere from one month to a year. The alcoholic does not initially have to want to get help to go into treatment. Many people go into treatment because of some kind of threat such as loss of a job or possible incarceration. However, even the individual that is forced will eventually have to personally accept the need for treatment for it to be effective.

They have identified that social stigma is the largest barrier as well as privacy concerns. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2005 study also identified “stigma” as the top reason that only 20% of those with alcohol/drug addiction sought treatment. In the mind of HFAs and their loved ones, alcoholics are medical treatment for alcoholism unemployed, have poor work performance, have poor academic records and are typically homeless. Therefore, the fact that high functioning alcoholics are functioning well on the outside allows them and their loved ones to deny their alcoholism and to falsely feel that they are “better than” a lower functioning alcoholic.


After several weeks, she stated that she had never realized how much she had been drinking, and discovered for herself the connection between her heavy drinking patterns and her sleep problems. While these types of alcoholics may not struggle to hold down a job or maintain a relationship, long-term alcohol abuse Alcohol detoxification will cause a range of health consequences. People who drink heavily for years on end increase their risk of developing certain cancers and liver disease. Essentially, a high-functioning alcoholic is a person who is addicted to alcohol but has yet to really suffer from the negative consequences of their drinking.