While a functioning alcoholic may feel like their addiction is not a problem, they often are unaware of how alcohol affects their life. From long-term health problems to issues at home, alcoholism can cause severe repercussions in an individual’s life. The only way to prevent these problems from happening is to get treatment and stay sober.
Different Kinds of Alcoholics
In a 2007 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), researchers found that there were several types of alcoholics. Functional alcoholics represented 31.5 percent of the total number of alcoholics. The other types include young antisocial, intermediate familial, chronic severe and young adult.
Some researchers estimate that the majority of people with alcoholism classify themselves as a functioning alcoholic. These individuals are often able to succeed in their lives and may be in denial about their addiction.
The Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic
Unfortunately, society does not always believe that a functioning alcoholic has a problem because they are so successful. The individual, their co-workers, and their loved ones may be in denial. The individual cannot view their drinking as an addiction because they do not fit the stereotype. Because of this, they may avoid getting help.
Other than being in denial, this type of individual may be respected in their field. They have a kind of double life where they seem to manage their professional life well but drink secretly at home. They compartmentalize different parts of their life. When this type of person hits rock bottom, they may be unable to recognize it.
They may try to rationalize their drinking by saying that they only drink at the bar or at a specific time. This helps the individual feel like they have control over their drinking. They may ask friends to cover for them or isolate themselves for drinking. In addition, they may break personal or professional commitments because of hangovers or drinking sessions.
Why Is Treatment Necessary?
Like any addiction, a functioning alcoholic may deal with isolation, binge drinking, and increased tolerance. Sooner or later, their body will suffer from the physical effects of drinking. They may use drinking as a coping mechanism instead of learning constructive ways to handle stress. Over time, they will deal with personal, health, workplace and family problems caused by their drinking.
Once someone realizes that they need help, there are options available. Treatment centers are available that offer inpatient and outpatient programs. After starting treatment, patients can learn how to become and stay sober. At the treatment center, patients can get help through various programs, including:
- Group and individual therapy
- Drug and alcohol detox
- Residential treatment centers
- Art, music and equine therapy
- Anger management
- Medical supervision and support
Conquering an addiction is not easy, but help is available. With the right treatment program, individuals can learn how to live healthier, happier lives. If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, rehab options are available. To learn more about different treatment options for a functioning alcoholic, call Beaches Recovery today at 866-605-0532.