Sober living

High functioning alcoholic: Signs, risks, and more

I sat down with Dan Lynch, a board registered interventionist, to learn more. “When you take steps to heal, it gives everyone permission around you to do the same,” says Spotorno. Instead, she recommends seeking more formal support with Al-Anon or therapy to help you create boundaries and care for yourself. Anger and frustration can be tough emotions when supporting someone with AUD. Reminding yourself that you can’t “fix” your loved one — but you can be there for them — can help you cool off, says Elhaj.

high functioning alcoholic

This includes times when many people give up alcohol, such as “dry January” or the period of fasting and penitence in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter known as Lent. It may also cause an individual to refuse to travel to areas where alcohol access may be limited. Someone with alcohol use disorder may struggle to cut back on drinking or quit, either when trying to do so themselves or when asked by others to try.

Do You Have a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

A typical alcoholic is less able to keep their problem with alcohol separate and hidden. A person who has a secret alcohol disorder is an individual who appears to be very normal. In nearly all cases, you won’t know this individual has an alcohol abuse and alcoholism problem until a significant event happens, such as a DUI, that makes them come face-to-face with their illness. High-functioning alcoholics will do what they can to drink while appearing sober.

high functioning alcoholic

This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care. Consider not drinking yourself (at least temporarily), high functioning alcoholic says Kennedy. You, too, might realize that your relationship with alcohol is negatively affecting your life. And you might find that you feel healthier and happier without it.

Intervention Help

If the consequences of high-functioning alcoholism have become overwhelming, and your loved one refuses to seek help for alcohol abuse, it could be time to plan an intervention. An intervention is a planned meeting in which the concerned parties confront the alcoholic about their behavior. People can have a varied reaction and tolerance to alcohol and that doesn’t necessarily mean they are alcoholics.

high functioning alcoholic

For this reason, these factors are a part of the diagnostic criteria. The participants in an intervention could include the alcoholic’s spouse or partner, children, parents, friends, coworkers, employer, friends and other individuals who have been affected. A substance abuse counselor, family therapist or spiritual advisor may also attend to provide an objective presence and keep the agenda on track.