High-functioning alcoholism is a deceiving condition that affects many people without them ever realizing it. It happens when someone consumes large amounts of alcohol to cope with difficult situations, but is still able to maintain their basic responsibilities and obligations such as work and family life. Despite seeming to be successful and in control, this type of alcoholism can have very serious health, financial, and social implications if left unchecked.
What Is High Functioning Alcoholism?
High-functioning alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol that allows the person to carry out their everyday responsibilities despite drinking large quantities of alcohol. This often means that the individual does not appear outwardly drunk or impaired but can still consume high volumes of alcohol without anyone noticing. This type of alcoholism is particularly dangerous because it can go unnoticed for years due to its hidden nature.
The Warning Signs Of High Functioning Alcoholism
High functioning alcoholics often do not display any outwardly visible signs of their condition, which makes it hard for friends and family members to recognize the problem. However, there are some warning signs that could indicate a person has a drinking problem.
• Drinking more than intended or on a regular basis
• Hiding how much they drink from family or friends
• Feeling guilty about their drinking habits but continuing to drink
• Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking such as headaches, nausea, sweating and shaking
• Making excuses for their drinking habits or denying them altogether
• Having difficulty controlling how much they drink once they start drinking
Another sign of high functioning alcoholism is developing tolerance. This means that over time, a person needs to drink increasingly larger amounts of alcohol in order to achieve the desired effect. They may also experience blackouts where they cannot recall what happened while they were drinking. These blackouts can be quite dangerous and should always be taken seriously.
Finally, people with high functioning alcoholism may also experience difficulties at work or school due to their drinking habits. They may show up late for work or miss deadlines due to hangovers or being under the influence of alcohol. This can lead to serious consequences if left unchecked.
Treatment Options for High Functioning Alcoholism
The goal of treatment for high functioning alcoholism is to help the person reduce or stop their reliance on alcohol while also addressing any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to the addiction. Treatment options vary based on individual needs but may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), psychotherapy, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and alternative treatments such as yoga or meditation. MAT involves taking medications such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram which can help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. Psychotherapy can help address any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to the addiction, while support groups offer the opportunity for individuals struggling with HFA to connect with people who understand what they’re going through and offer advice from experience. Alternative treatments such as yoga or meditation can also help reduce stress levels which can lessen cravings for alcohol.
High functioning alcoholism is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly as it has severe health consequences if left untreated. If you are concerned about yourself or someone else you know exhibiting these signs of high-functioning alcoholism, it’s important to seek specialist help immediately so that appropriate steps can be taken towards recovery. With the right support network around them and professional assistance, individuals suffering from this type of addiction can get back on track towards living healthier lives free from alcohol dependence.