If you have a loved one who drinks regularly, they may not believe they need help with their drinking behavior. However, there are some signs that drinking may be turning into a coping mechanism or dependence. Alcohol dependence can have far-reaching physical, emotional, and social effects. Alcoholism is an illness that can be difficult to diagnose and treat because alcohol is so prevalent in daily life. Unfortunately, when alcohol defines the moments of everyday life, it can lead to behaviors that affect the drinker’s safety, health, and community. However, symptoms can be managed with the right alcohol addiction treatment program. If you have been struggling with finding the right treatment program for alcoholism, consider treatment with Insight Recovery Center.
What is a Functioning Alcoholic?
You may have heard the term “functioning alcoholic.” This descriptor is used for individuals who can carry out daily tasks despite being regularly impaired by alcohol. A high-functioning alcoholic will perform many of the following tasks that many individuals with an alcohol use disorder may struggle with. Some of these tasks include:
- Complete Work or School Assignments
- Maintain Steady Employment
- Hygienic Upkeep
- Paying Bills
- Caring for Children
- Attending Social Activities
So, why seek help if there does not seem to be a problem? Many high-functioning alcoholics wear this term like a badge of honor even though it can be a serious detriment to their emotional growth. When alcohol is an individual’s main coping mechanism, they are not employing healthful options for coping. Over time, functioning alcoholics may find themselves overwhelmed by life events such as losing a job or a loved one that can cause their dependence to lead to major external consequences. Professional assistance can help these individuals from experiencing major repercussions, such as financial or legal troubles when these life events occur.
Behaviors That Indicate Functioning Alcoholism
Since a functioning alcoholic can complete many tasks daily, it can be hard to spot the behaviors that indicate dependence. Some signs may be more prevalent than others. Addiction in the workplace can be a strong indicator that an individual has a serious problem with alcohol use. If relationships are being affected by alcohol use, this can also point to dependence issues. These are some of the specific behaviors that may indicate an individual may be struggling with an alcohol use disorder:
- Denial of a drinking problem or avoidance of critical feedback about drinking patterns.
- High alcohol tolerance.
- Drinking as a coping mechanism or a reward.
- Risk behaviors such as drunk driving or drinking at lunch during the workday.
- Lying about the amount of alcohol consumed.
- Planning social events around drinking.
- Hiding alcohol consumption from family, friends, and co-workers. This can include physically hiding alcohol in the home.
- Being known as a person who can handle tasks despite alcohol use.
- Blackouts or binge-drinking behaviors, even if these instances are spread out over long periods of time.
- Drinking despite health conditions, mental health problems, or medications.
- Justifying drinking under certain conditions such as parties, networking opportunities, or according to the type of alcohol being used. This may look like: “I’ll just have one top-shelf drink” or “it’s just a beer.”
If you recognize some of these behaviors in your loved one, it may be time to talk with them about speaking with a professional. Insight Recovery Center provides many caregivers who can help to objectively determine whether drinking habits may be an indication of a disorder.
Treat Alcohol Dependence at Insight Recovery Center
If your loved one has been struggling with a need for comprehensive therapeutic options, consider Insight Recovery Center. Our experienced professionals can tailor a recovery program to individualized needs. Individuals can get the help they need in person or through our telehealth counseling options. Contact us today at 703.592.6946 or complete our secure online form if you feel someone you know needs professional support. Help your loved one gain insight with comprehensive community-based treatment at Insight Recovery Center.