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Are You a High Functioning Alcoholic?

You probably think most people drink. Maybe you make exceptions for really religious people and those with allergies. Of course they don’t drink. But, for the most part, it seems like everyone drinks. A couple glasses of wine with dinner, a couple of beers with pizza, a couple of cocktails after a rough day. Sound familiar?

And, you know what an alcoholic is, too. They are people in rumpled clothes, whose breath reeks of cheap booze and they stumble and slur their way through life. Their home is broken. Their job is on the verge of being lost. And, they probably have a DUI or two.

You might think that you sit somewhere between the couple here and there drinker and the alcoholics, but you may actually be an alcoholic and not have come to terms with it yet.

If you read what follows and you believe that you are a functioning alcoholic, you need treatment. Although you may be meeting the requirements of your life, you are placing your health at great risk. For help locating treatment and resources, contact at 800-481-6320 today.

Alcoholism Subtypes

According to a new study by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), analyses of a national sample of individuals with alcohol dependence revealed five distinct subtypes of the disease:

  • Young Adult
  • Young Antisocial
  • Functional
  • Intermediate Familial
  • Chronic Severe

The NIAAA reveals 19.5 percent of U.S. alcoholics fall into the functional subtype. “Typically, middle-aged, well-educated, with stable jobs and families. About one-third have a multigenerational family history of alcoholism, about one-quarter had major depressive illness sometime in their lives, and nearly 50 percent were smokers.”

Drinking Level Definitions

High Functioning Alcoholic

High functioning alcoholics are often able to maintain employment and do well at their jobs.

Up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men is—according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—moderate alcohol consumption.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA) defines heavy drinking as “drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.”

If you find that you fall into the heavy drinking category, you may be experiencing denial about the severity of your drinking problem.


Drink count is not the only indicator of a problem. If you experience many of the following situations, consider that you may have a problem.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have difficulty viewing yourself as an alcoholic because you don’t fit the stereotype?
  • Do you believe that you are not an alcoholic because you are a success?
  • Do you use alcohol as a reward and/or justify drinking to relieve stress?
  • Does one alcoholic drink set off a craving?
  • Do you obsess about the next drinking opportunity?
  • Do you exhibit personality changes and/or compromise your morals when drunk?
  • Do you repeat unwanted drinking patterns and behaviors?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may have a serious problem, but you may be ignoring it because:

  • You are able to maintain consistent employment and/or gain an education
  • You are well respected for job/academic performance and accomplishments
  • You sustain friendships and family relations
  • You have romantic relationships
  • You appear to the outside world to be managing life well
  • You are skilled at living at separating your professional and your drinking life
  • Your appearance contradicts the alcoholic stereotype
  • You have experienced few tangible losses and consequences from your drinking (often by sheer luck)
  • You have recurrent thoughts that because you have not “lost everything,” you have not hit bottom

Just because you do not appear to be a classic alcoholic does not mean that you are not one.

Living with an Alcoholic Husband: The Decision to Seek Help

Alcohol addiction is a dangerous chronic disease and it causes as much damage to the functioning lawyer as it does to the homeless man drinking out of a paper bag. It’s time to stop the denial and to make the effort to end your destructive relationship with alcohol.

You don’t need to hide anymore. It is time to contact people that can connect you with top-notch treatment. Contact at 800-481-6320 and speak with experts who can help you to leave your hazardous drinking in the past.

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