high functioning alcoholic - woman on a plane - summit bhcOften times, we have stereotypical images of what someone addicted to alcohol looks and acts like.

The person is sloppy, irresponsible, promiscuous, broke, mentally unstable, unemployed and unemployable, and maybe even homeless. While any number of these characteristics can be reality for a person addicted to alcohol, they are by no means accurate for everyone suffering from addiction. Addiction can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, ethnicity, or income level.

Some people are able to hide their addiction very well, at least at first. They may maintain promising and demanding careers, raise a family, and have a healthy social life – all while suffering from addiction.

A person who is a “high-functioning” alcoholic is often in denial of their addiction.

Because of the obvious indications of success, such as a great job and wonderful family and friends, the person–and their loved ones–may be unable to acknowledge a problem. This may lead to the person being addicted for a long time without their drinking ever being confronted. High functioning alcoholics are able to lead, in some sense, double lives.

They are able to maintain their work lives and keep up public appearances, but they are physically, mentally, and emotionally dependent on alcohol. Yet, with a careful look, it’s still possible to see signs of addiction. Consider how you would answer the following questions for yourself or a loved one who might be addicted to alcohol.

  • Are you able to have only one drink when you say you will?
  • Do you have a few drinks to everyone else’s one drink?
  • Do you forget things that you did or forget conversations?
  • Do you plan your day around having drinks?
  • Are you suffering physical symptoms of overdrinking, such as stomach issues?
  • Do you seem to always wake up with a bit of a hangover?

It is possible to be successful in all areas of one’s life and still be alcohol dependent. Eventually, the high-functioning alcoholic will begin to see the effects of alcoholism. Bodies begin to fail, relationships begin to suffer, and things can take a downturn quickly. If you think you or a loved one may be a high-functioning alcoholic, help is available and recovery is possible.

Contact us today if you think you or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol. Our expert staff can start you on the road to recovery.