How to identify a high-functioning alcohol user?

Can an addition to alcohol be camouflaged? For some, masquerading alcoholism is a piece of cake, as they show no signs of being addicted to the substance. Generally, people picture an alcohol user as an individual who is mostly drunk, disoriented, in debt, homeless and probably without a job. However, there exists another class of alcohol users who appear normal to the outside world, in spite of their addiction. Commonly known as “high-functioning alcoholics,” this class of individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) believe they can control how much they drink, and hence, lead seemingly happy lives.

Apparently, most high-functioning alcohol abusers are high achievers in their careers, have a flourishing social life, drive good cars, live in posh neighborhoods and have a stable personal life. Given their successful life, it is extremely difficult to spot these people, especially by their friends, family members and co-workers as someone who consumes alcohol to excess. However, there are certain striking features that keep an alcohol user aloof from non-drinkers.

Signs and symptoms of high-functioning alcoholism

Listed below are some of the behavioral traits found in high-functioning alcohol abusers:

Drinking during meals

The moment the high-functioning alcohol users are out of their highly demanding professional roles, they look forward to indulging in drinking. They prefer having a drink or two when it is the time to have a meal. They often lose interest in eating and take this opportunity as an excuse to start drinking.

Remaining sane even when drunk

Generally, when one gets drunk beyond the threshold, he or she might appear wobbly with a slurred speech. However, high-functioning alcohol users appear quite normal even after having multiple drinks. They can still manage to have relevant conversations without stumbling or appearing belligerent.

Waking up without a hangover

Most people experience a hangover from drinking excessively during the previous night. This hangover is uncommon to the high-functioning alcohol users. They can guzzle down multiple drinks and still appear normal the next morning.

Not being able to live without alcohol

A high-functioning alcohol user is hooked on alcohol and needs it almost every day. If for some reason, such as travel, work-related commitments and family issues, they have to avoid drinking, they do not respond normally and often get angry, irritable and upset.

Giving lame excuses

If confronted by someone close, such individuals will always try to act rationally by stating the reason behind their drinking problem. He or she might say that their job is extremely demanding and stressful, or the kids are difficult to manage or they had a tiff with their partner, and so on.

Alcohol does not discriminate

What starts as an occasional drinking session might gradually develop into a dependency. Alcohol can alter the brain chemistry of an individual and predisposes him/her to develop serious illnesses, such as multiple forms of cancers, liver disorders and cardiac complications. In fact, alcohol doesn’t discriminate; alcohol addiction can happen to anyone, irrespective of age, gender, class or race.

The number of people developing an addiction to alcohol is rising exponentially, making it the fourth prominent preventable causes of death in the U.S. It is indispensable to identify risky behaviors and health effects associated with alcoholism and seek help from well-managed alcohol addiction treatment centers in the U.S. that offer a holistic approach to helping people embrace sobriety. If you or someone you know, is suffering from any alcohol-related problem, contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline for more information. You may chat online or call our 24/7 alcohol addiction treatment helpline at 866-281-3014 to find out more about the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in your vicinity.