This same study also found that 14.5 million people ages 12 and older suffered from AUD in 2019 in the United States.Of those people, only about 7.3% sought any treatment for the condition. Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses.

If you think you or someone you know is a functional alcoholic, even someone with a mild alcohol use disorder, don’t wait until problems occur to seekalcohol rehab. DUIs, trouble at work and family drama can be avoided by seeking help before the disease progresses. It is important to remember to confront high-functioning alcoholics when they are sober. During an intervention, you should be assertive and clearly explain how your loved one’s alcoholism has negatively impacted you, them, and everyone else you both know. After all, you are trying to help this person and convince them to seek treatment. Emphasize to your loved one that they will suffer even worse consequences from their alcoholism in the future if they fail to change.

The Most Famous High-Functioning Alcoholics — Infographic

If you or someone you love has an alcohol abuse problem, it’s important to get help. Managing AUD is a lifelong process, so the earlier you or your loved one seeks help, the more likely you are to succeed in overcoming the disorder and limiting recurrence. Here are some potential signs of your functioning alcoholism, as seen by others.

He and his group of friends started experimenting with alcohol when one of their fathers left a six-pack of light beer unattended in the garage. From that moment, Josh was known for being able to drink the most, drink the quickest, and participate in the wildest of activities to get a laugh. The Association for Addiction Professionals represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. You need to drink more amounts of alcohol to get the same desired effects . In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine . Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction.

Treatment Programs for High Functioning Alcoholics

Another study by the RAND Corporation found that 41% of women had more “drinking days” during and since the pandemic than before. And according to another study by Harvard Medical School and UNC-Chapel Hill, women’s mental health is more at risk than their male counterparts. Women are twice as likely to suffer from alcohol-induced anxiety and depression. It is easy to hide the disease because you aren’t drunk and disorderly, but you can’t get through the day without an alcoholic drink. Since you are drinking in a socially acceptable manner, no one realizes the toll that alcohol abuse is taking on your body and mind. Alcoholism treatment programat RosGlas Recovery is carefully tailored to each client’s needs and is designed to address the underlying psychological, social, and biochemical causes of alcohol addiction.

What does it feel like to be a functioning alcoholic?

Functional alcoholics may seem to be in control, Benton says, but they may put themselves or others in danger by drinking and driving, having risky sexual encounters, or blacking out. Heavy drinking has a lot of other risks.

Due to some people’s ability to mask their AUD, it is difficult to find research on those that are high functioning. National Institute on Aging.How to help someone you know with a drinking problem. They are usually able to manage areas of life including jobs, homes, and families. Professional environment with people who make patient care their priority. Contact a medical professional to discuss your concerns if you believe you have an AUD.

SUN Behavioral Houston

In alcohol treatment, you’ll work with behavioral health and medical professionals who will help you address these challenges. You’ll begin healing from the mental and physical effects of addiction and learn a healthier way of life in sobriety. Until you check into rehab, avoid bars, liquor stores, and other places where alcohol and drinking abound. Finally, be willing to admit that you have a problem and firmly resolve to make a change in your life.

For example, interior physical damage caused by alcohol to the liver, pancreas, heart, and brain are often left unnoticed until it may be too late. Or in some way the individual’s relationships with their loved ones may slowly deteriorate over time as they spend more time drinking and less time being present and connecting with others. The consequences will show up in different ways at different times and in different severities for every individual, but they will show up in some way if the individual’s relationship with alcohol is unhealthy. The guideline for drinking in moderation is to consume no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.


If you or your family members have a drinking problem and are concerned about the long-term effects of alcohol abuse, please contact Ohio Recovery Center for information on our treatment options today. This means that a participant’s physical and mental health condition will need to be evaluated and used to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include various addiction treatment options. Alcohol addiction can be caused by high functioning alcoholic many factors, but a common one is multiple binge-drinking episodes. While binge drinking is not a direct path to alcohol addiction, it does put a person at greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. From the JourneyPure team where we get to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. People with alcohol use disorders don’t fall into either a highly-functional or dysfunctional category.

  • As such, there is often failure to recognize that their alcohol use is a problem leading to failure to get them help.
  • Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen for heavier drinkers.
  • This can lead to denial of alcoholism by the HFA, co-workers, family members, and friends.
  • That is the definition of addiction—the more you feed the habit, the greater the habit grows.

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