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One of the symptoms of an alcohol problem or Alcohol Use Disorder is when individuals make “rules” around their drinking. Recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs) is an ongoing process and those fortunate to have long-term recovery share one thing in common—an ability to recommit. In certain circumstances, they might even reason that alcohol actually helps them perform better than being sober. Some alcoholics truly believe this, as being intoxicated helps them feel more confident in their abilities, while others are intentionally using it as a cover for the amount they drink.

Although you might not hit all the criteria for the condition, and the impact on your life may appear minimal, AUD is a chronic and progressive condition. This means the negative impact on your life will likely grow, and the condition will not get better on its own without treatment. There are no official diagnostic criteria for what it means to be high functioning. For this reason, it is hard to determine exactly how many people might have high-functioning AUD.

Non-high functioning signs

These achievements often lead to an increase in personal denial as well as denial from colleagues and loved ones. A doctor can check a person’s drinking levels and recommend further treatment options. We’re here 24/7 high functioning alcoholic to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a call today from a treatment provider. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today.

  • Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website.
  • High-functioning alcoholics drink because they “need to drink,” not always because they want to drink.
  • Reminding yourself that you can’t “fix” your loved one — but you can be there for them — can help you cool off, says Elhaj.
  • A high-functioning alcoholic will usually appear healthy despite consuming large amounts of alcohol.
  • Without treatment, their alcoholism can get progressively worse.

Eventually, alcoholism can cause serious health problems, including liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and mental health disorders. It can also have a negative impact on personal relationships, work, and other aspects of life. According to a government survey, about 20% of alcoholics in America are high-functioning https://ecosoberhouse.com/ alcoholics. They take care of their families, always pay their bills, and avoid trouble with the law. Most high-functioning alcoholics are mature, middle-aged adults. In fact, their families and friends might not even know they are alcoholics if they show no signs of having a substance use disorder.

How to Know if I’m a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

Researchers through the National 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. The picture of someone struggling with alcohol abuse disorder is often one where people struggle to live life normally as they battle a dependency on alcohol. For many people struggling with addiction this is true, but for someone with functioning alcoholism this isn’t the case. If you’re experiencing 2 or more of the above symptoms of alcohol addiction, you may be a high-functioning alcoholic or may have AUD. Contact a health professional to further evaluate your situation, and take this alcohol addiction self-assessment.

  • However, a doctor should recommend the best type of treatment for each person since the severity and presentation can vary from person to person.
  • High-functioning alcoholics are more likely to develop some types of cancer, high blood pressure, liver and pancreas problems and memory loss.
  • A test recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT).
  • For instance, the alcoholic may be denied visitation rights or may be faced with a marital separation if he decides not to seek help.