When people think of someone with alcohol addiction, they may picture someone who is constantly stumbling about in a drunken stupor; a caricature they may have seen in a movie. However, the reality is that alcoholism can look different in every single person. Some people may even be behaving normally, and it can be nearly impossible to tell they’re struggling with alcoholism. This is known as functional alcoholism, which describes nearly 20 percent of alcoholics in the United States.
Functional alcoholism refers to people who are abusing alcohol in private but seem high functioning or normal to others on the outside. Despite common characteristics associated with alcoholism, high-functioning alcoholics can keep a steady job and are in stable relationships or have families.
However, it’s important to remember that just because a person can maintain stability or a sense of normalcy in their lives, that doesn’t mean alcoholism is any less toxic. Our team has decided to provide a list of signs of functional alcoholism; if any look familiar to you or remind you of someone you love, now may be a good time to admit you need help.
Some common signs of functional alcoholism to be aware of include:
- Drinking during the day: People with an addiction to alcohol may begin drinking in the daytime to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay, which can result in people hiding their alcohol at work or around friends and family to appear normal. If you are day drinking or you know someone who is trying to hide their day drinking, this may be a sign of alcoholism.
- Drinking more often alone: People with alcohol issues may still drink with others and at social events, where it is acceptable to consume alcohol, but when they begin drinking alone out of necessity and to avoid judgment from others, it becomes a problem. If you’re finding yourself drinking alone, it’s helpful to ask yourself why.
- Drinking to cope with things like stress, depression, or other negative feelings: It’s not uncommon for people to crave a beer after a long, stressful day at work, but frequent and heavy drinking can lead to alcohol dependence and increase your tolerance. If your loved one is consuming heavy amounts of alcohol as a coping mechanism, this could be a sign of alcoholism.
In addition to these signs, people who have a family history of alcoholism are more likely to be classified as functioning alcoholics. Despite not experiencing or showing outward symptoms of alcoholism, people can still experience health problems and other side effects like difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and depression. Getting help as soon as possible is crucial for your health and safety, as calling a recovery center now can be what prevents you from doing something dangerous, like getting behind the wheel while drunk.
Begin Your Recovery Journey with Us
At Mount Sinai Wellness Center, our patients are able to recover from alcohol addiction in the comfort of nature, just 55 miles outside Atlanta. Being away from the bustle of everyday life in our inpatient programs allows patients to look inward and focus on taking the first steps towards sobriety with a quiet determination. You won’t be completely alone in our program; our center also boasts a team of certified doctors and support staff who can be at your side throughout your stay.
We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have to alleviate your concerns, and we also offer treatment for dual diagnoses if you’re also struggling with a mental health disorder. You can trust our team to help you towards a better future.
Contact Mount Sinai Wellness Center if you’re ready to address your addiction online, or call our team today at (800) 353-4673. We offer a treatment program specially designed to treat our patients who are struggling with alcoholism.