The stereotype of the out-of-control alcoholic who can’t get their life together is not always accurate. Functional alcoholics are usually able to hold down jobs and maintain interpersonal relationships while also drinking to excess.
Because it can be more challenging to identify signs of alcoholism when a person is highly functional, it’s crucial to know what to look for. By being aware of the following signs, you can take immediate action to help yourself and others when it comes to problematic drinking.
An Inability to Have Just One Drink
Functional alcoholics often start the evening by saying they only intend on having one or two drinks. As the night progresses, they will consume much more than they intend and end up quite inebriated. This indicates a lack of control over their drinking habits, even when the person desires to drink less or wants to abstain from drinking for an evening.
Blackouts when drinking result from the brain’s inability to move memories from short-term to long-term storage. With fragmentary blackouts, a person may remember a few things here and there from the evening. With en bloc blackouts, memories never actually form, so a person can’t remember what they said or did when drinking. The more a person drinks, the more blackouts they’ll experience.
Excuses for Drinking
People with functional alcohol issues typically have a reason for drinking. Maybe they’re stressed due to a work project or perhaps they’re experiencing conflict with their spouse. However, most of life’s obstacles will spur a functional alcoholic to drink, as alcohol is being used as a primary coping mechanism.
Substantial behavioral changes are a clear indication of alcoholism. For example, a person who’s usually happy and upbeat may become depressed and dour. In the same token, a normally reserved person may act more outgoing and aggressive when drinking. These behavioral changes signal that alcohol is having a profound effect on a person.
No matter the severity of a person’s alcohol dependence, our team of counselors at Duke City Recovery Toolbox can help. Our alcohol abuse programs can be customized to meet your unique needs, which is key to a successful recovery. People in Albuquerque can also find help for drug abuse and dependence from our trusted and compassionate team. Please call (505) 224-9777 to schedule an appointment or contact us today for more information.