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What is High-Functioning Alcoholism?

mom and daughter in kitchen cutting vegetables

Do you consume alcohol every day? Do you often have an alcoholic beverage with your lunch? Are you able to complete your daily tasks? Many high-functioning alcoholics are unaware that they meet the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism. Our team at Tennessee Wellness Center is here to explain high-functioning alcoholism and when it may be time to seek help, even if you feel your daily life is unaffected by your alcohol consumption.

What Constitutes High-Functioning Alcoholism?

A high-functioning alcoholic is someone who is a heavy drinker but who is able to complete tasks in their life such as hold a job, raise children, make necessary errands, and more. In other words, they are able to function throughout life while also meeting criteria for alcoholism. They may crave alcohol or drink daily, but still manage their other life obligations.

Additionally, high-functioning alcoholics may have built up a strong tolerance for alcohol. This means that they can drink multiple drinks without showing signs of intoxication, because their body has become used to processing high amounts of alcohol.

Signs of high-functioning alcoholism include:

  • Feeling strong urges to drink
  • Hiding alcohol consumption
  • Becoming defensive when someone brings up their drinking habits in conversation
  • Drinking during the day, like at lunch
  • Justifying drinking by showing it does not affect their daily activities and obligations

Do High-Functioning Alcoholics Need Treatment?

Unfortunately, many people wait to seek treatment until their drinking habits have caused major turmoil in their lives. However, anyone who feels reliant on alcohol should seek treatment– no matter how it is impacting their life. Long-term, heavy alcohol use can cause severe health problems.

Start Your Recovery with Tennessee Wellness Center

Do you believe you may be struggling with high-functioning alcoholism? You’re not alone– a significant number of American adults are in the same situation. The important part is coming to terms with your reliance on alcohol and seeking treatment to achieve sobriety. That’s where our team at Tennessee Wellness Center can help. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs and compassionate staff, click here.