Are You a High-Functioning Alcoholic? A Complete Guide to Recognizing Symptoms


Alcoholism doesn’t look the same for every person. Some alcoholics don’t look the part. Read on for a guide to symptoms of a high-functioning alcoholic.

Let’s face it, you’re reading this because you’re concerned about the amount you drink. That’s a good first step if you do have a problem. That said if you didn’t have a problem you could just stop.

Not all alcoholics are homeless,  jobless, and constantly in trouble. Almost 20% of people with a drinking problem lead relatively normal lives and even successful ones.

Here’s how to tell if you’re a high-functioning alcoholic, or not.

You Use Drinking as a Coping Mechanism

Alcohol is not a panacea for all that ails you and if you’re drinking to cope with pain, loss or stress, you may have a problem.

Despite its association with merriment, alcohol is a depressant and will ultimately make things worse. It slows down your brain activity to produce a false sense of goodwill. You can rest assured that your neurons will be working overtime to catch up when the effects wear off. Contact an alcohol intervention specialist to resolve your problem of alocohol addiction before it becomes too late!

Bottom line, most people feel out of control when they indulge in a drink, alcoholics feel more together and in control.

You Feel That You Need a Drink

Using an excuse to drink is another red flag. If you feel that you need alcohol to relax, to sleep, or to have a good time, you’ve got a problem.

Drinking one drink after another isn’t the only sign of alcoholism. A perceived need to have that drink every night before bedtime is another one.

You Drink Alone

Drinking is a social activity meant for special occasions or relaxing after work with friends and family. Most people don’t even think of drinking outside of these circumstances.

If you have to reach for the bottle at the end of the day or any time in between, you could be a functional alcoholic. Especially if you’re hiding the fact, or you have no desire to drink the way most people do.

You Drink Too Much

While everybody’s tolerance level for alcohol is different, experts have drawn a line when it comes to alcoholism. Normal levels of alcohol consumption are:

  • For women, three drinks in one day or seven drinks a week
  • For men, four drinks in one day up to fourteen drinks in a week

Any more than that and you’re crossing over into the league of full-blown alcoholism. Find out more about alcoholism and the treatment options available before it’s too late.

You’re Becoming Immune to Alcohol

As the disease of alcoholism progresses, your body adapts to the ongoing abuse and becomes more tolerant of its effect. You’ll eventually need increasing amounts of alcohol to get the same effect.

Stay Informed

Why stop if drinking if it’s not affecting your life in a negative way? Eventually, even functional alcoholism will catch up with you.

It takes longer for the high-functioning alcoholic to reach rock bottom. Don’t wait until you’re there before you ask for help. Reading articles like this one is the first step.

If you found this piece informative and helpful, keep reading our blog for more interesting health snippets and facts about the world around you.


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