4 Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic

Alcoholism is a deadly disease that impacts millions of people, but not all forms of alcoholism are the same.

There are many people who are considered functioning alcoholics, meaning that they are able to operate in society, perform their job duties, and maintain relationships despite their addiction. Here are some signs of functioning alcoholism.

Drinking Alone

Social drinking is relatively common in modern society and the vast majority of people who drink do so among family or friends. However, functional alcoholics are more likely than others to drink alone.

There is nothing wrong with drinking alone from time to time, but when it becomes part of someone’s overall relaxation needs or a virtual requirement of someone’s routine, you may be crossing into the threshold of addiction.

Drinking At Work

Generally speaking, drinking at work is hugely frowned upon. There are many reasons for this: It can impact performance, lead to unsafe working environments, and potentially expose someone to major professional or legal liabilities. However, a functional alcoholic is likely to ignore these consequences and drink anyway.

This may be compounded by a stressful work atmosphere or having a social circle of friends at work who also enjoy drinking. Indeed, it may become part of one’s work habits. However, that’s obviously not a good thing.

Drinking at work is almost always a bad idea, and doing so at work on a repeated basis may be a strong indication that someone is a functional alcoholic.

Drinking to Intentionally Alter Your Mood

Drinking to Intentionally Alter Your Mood

Many people enjoy having an occasional drink as part of an effort to relax or unwind at the end of a long day. However, there is a big difference between having an occasional nightcap and getting upset, then running for a drink. People should not turn to alcohol on a regular basis as part of an effort to intentionally cheer themselves up, calm themselves down, or build up confidence before attending a big presentation.

Alcohol doesn’t actually steady anyone’s nerves or help someone get to sleep. In fact, it can damage your sleep cycle and contribute to anxiety over the long run. Regularly turning to alcohol as a mood-altering substance – but still fulfilling all of your professional obligations – may mean that you are a functional alcoholic.

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Breaking Promises to Stop Drinking

There comes a time in the life of many alcoholics when they realize that they have a problem. As such, they make a pledge to family members or friends: I’ll stop drinking. However, sometimes, that promise isn’t enough, and it’s broken.

Swearing to someone who you care about that you will stop drinking – only to break that promise – is a sign that you have a serious problem. It means you lack the ability to control your drinking and get it under control.

As noted by the experts at AION Health Group, functioning alcoholic signs “may not seem like your typical alcoholic, but this type of alcoholism is quite prevalent and can start early in life through binge drinking.” People who are functional alcoholics still need help and support.

Featured image credit – fizkes/Shutterstock

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