While alcoholism is a devastating illness that can destroy lives, a few people who struggle with it manage to hold down stressful jobs and big responsibilities. From the outside, these so-called high-functioning problem drinkers seem to have it all together. They can drive nice cars, live in great communities, and make a significant income.
Just because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're immune to the effects of alcohol. They're still at risk of hurting themselves and others around them. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a financier handling large sums of money are each at-risk of triggering terrible disasters if they stay on their dysfunctional course.
Below are a few clues that can really help in recognizing these time bombs:
1. They consume alcohol instead of eating.
Problem drinkers will often remove and replace meals with a couple of drinks, lose interest in food altogether, or use mealtime as a reason to start consuming alcohol.
2. They can wake up without having a hangover, even after numerous drinks.
Consuming alcohol routinely over a substantial period of time can trigger the body to become addicted to alcohol. Commonly high-functioning alcoholics are able to drink a great deal without the same hangover that plagues the random drinker.
3. Abstaining makes them cranky, anxious, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is forced to avoid consuming alcohol, his or her body often reciprocates negatively, as they are dependent on the tranquillizing effects of alcohol. Sudden quitting can induce tension and anxiety, uneasiness, perspiration, a quickened heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns transform noticeably while under the influence of alcohol.
Problem drinkers may change noticeably when they drink. A typically mild-mannered person may become aggressive, or make impetuous decisions.
5. They cannot have just two drinks.
An alcoholic has trouble stopping, and may even finish others' drinks. Alcohol will never be left on the table, and there is always a pretext for one more round.
6. Periods of amnesia or "blacking out" are prevalent.
Many alcoholics will take part in activities that they have no recollection of the next day. They may not seem significantly intoxicated at the moment, but they're unable to remember events that happened.
7. Efforts to talk about drinking behavior are met with hostility and denial.
When confronted with matters involving their drinking, alcohol abusers will typically retreat to denial or aggression, making discussion hard.
8. They typically have a good explanation for why they drink.
If flat denial or hostility is not the opted for mode of avoidance, most problem drinkers will have a seemingly rational explanation for their actions. Stress and anxiety at the workplace, troubles in the home, or an abundance of social functions are prevalent excuses to explain their damaging behavior.
9. They hide their alcohol.
Many problem drinkers will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a workspace or in their car. This sort of hidden drinking is a significant red flag and there is no other explanation for this behavior other than alcohol addiction.
Let's keep our community productive, safe, and sober by keeping our eyes open for questionable behavior in order to get these troubled colleagues, family members, and neighbors the assistance they need.
Indications of a High Functioning Alcoholic
From the outside, these so-called high-functioning alcoholics appear to have it all together. They can drive nice cars, live in great communities, and make a substantial income.
Just because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're invulnerable to the effects of alcohol. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with unsteady hands, or a financier managing considerable amounts of money are each at-risk of triggering horrible disasters if they stay on their destructive course.
ADDITIONAL HELP WITH DRINKING . . .
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