Functioning Alcoholism Warning Signs
A functioning alcoholic is someone who abuses alcohol without exhibiting the more obvious “falling down drunk daily” stereotype of alcoholism. These individuals often seem normal to others around them. Relatives and co-workers may not even recognize that a problem with drinking exists. Indeed, the functional alcoholic himself or herself may not see a problem with their drinking. They are often able to completely compartmentalize their “drinking life,” separating it from their professional and personal routines.
But the functional alcoholic usually shows some subtle, but revealing, signs. These signs may happen at different stages during the progress of alcoholism. or may occur alone or in combinations.
* They engage binge drink, or drink heavily, every few days.
* They associate often, or surround themselves, with others who like to drink.
* They think, and sometimes talk, about alcohol a lot. Drinking is never far from their mind.
* One drink is never enough, and they rarely leave anything in the glass and walk away.
* They hide bottles in “secret places” because they don’t want others to know how much they drink.
* When they do over-indulge, they excuse themselves and show no remorse or shame after they embarrassed themselves by drinking too much and behaving badly.
* They insist on drinking only expensive drinks because they believe (and often say) “only drunks drink the cheap stuff.”
* They’ve tried and failed, maybe repeatedly, to cut down or totally cut out drinking.
* They often say thinks like, “I work hard and I deserve a reward” after they’ve over-indulged.feel they work hard and deserve a drink as a reward.
* They sometimes “sneak” a drink early in the day, or at inappropriate times.
Co-workers, friends, and relatives are usually tempted to overlook these behaviors as long as the functioning alcoholic manages to take care of their everyday responsibilities. However, alcoholism is a substance abuse problem that needs to be addressed. If it’s not, an the alcoholic’s health is at risk.