Functioning alcoholics, what does that mean? Is there such a thing?
People who drink but are meeting their obligations at work, school, or home are often considered functioning alcoholics. Compared to the stereotyped down in the gutter, sloppy drunk who has his booze in a brown paper bag wandering the streets with no home, you may think well yes, that is a functioning alcoholic.
The problem is the disparity between the two. One you spot and know, that person is an alcoholic or in days gone by referred to as a wino. The other, unless you know how much they drink, you think oh he is just having a drink on his way home after a long day, or after he mowed his lawn, he has a cold one to cool down.
The biggest issue with saying someone is a functioning alcoholic is that it does not help them see the problem their drinking is causing to their body. They may not own up to the damage done to their relationships, or the less than stellar job they do at work.
Signs of the functional drunk
Not sure if someone is an alcoholic? What are the signs? The following are signs that your family member, friend, or work colleague has a drinking problem.
- Needs a drink to unwind or relax
- Drinks alone or in secret
- Drinks as a reward
- Blacks out from drinking
Here is the thing, someone with a drinking problem does not have to drink every day; they can also binge drink on the weekends, at the office party, or family cookout. Even a person who does not have alcohol before a particular time, for example, 5 pm, can be an alcoholic.
Many people who see the person who drinks often but still meets their obligations do not abuse their partner or kids and do not become mean when drunk as not having a drinking problem; for many, that is not the case, there is a problem.
Recovery is possible
The alcoholic first has to admit there is a problem. Then he or she must be committed to change and enter recovery with an open mind to learn the tools and techniques that they need to achieve and maintain recovery.
Admitting there is a problem is the hardest part. It sometimes requires intervention. If you think that your loved one needs an intervention, seek help from a professional to understand the correct way to intervene.
At 449 Recovery, we can provide you the advice you need for an intervention of your loved one. Call us today (855) 435-7449 to learn more about interventions as well as our detox program that is monitored continuously.
449 Recovery is committed to helping your loved one achieve and maintain recovery by teaching them the skills they need to handle life without alcohol or substances. It is our goal that each patient learns what triggers them and how to cope with them so they can reduce the risk of relapse.