Will high-functioning alcoholics benefit from going through alcohol addiction treatment programs? Yes, because it’s still an addiction despite problems with drinking alcohol being of different intensities and being called by different names. Whether it’s heavy drinking or high-functioning alcoholism, alcohol addiction treatment will help.
Most people will picture an alcoholic as someone who obviously drinks too much and whose life is falling apart because of addictive behaviors. However, that’s not always an alcoholic’s reality. There are some signs of alcoholism that are easy to hide. However, even without hiding their symptoms, some people seem to be living life normally even though they abuse alcohol. These people are functional or high-functioning alcoholics.
Someone can have a problem with drinking alcohol even though they have a life that seems perfect, a job that pays well, and healthy relationships. If you’re looking for professional help for a high-functioning alcoholic in your life, call Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392 or contact us online.
What Are the Signs of High-Functioning Alcoholism?
A functional alcoholic will not act the way most people would expect them to act. They might be productive, responsible, or in a position of power. They may have many achievements and be very successful career-wise.
However, they will also be in denial when it comes to their drinking. They might make excuses or incorrect assumptions, such as “I have a great life. Therefore, I’m not an alcoholic,” or “I only drink wine on important occasions.” They may think they don’t have a problem because they haven’t lost anything because of their drinking habit. However, few, if any, people can drink heavily and maintain major responsibilities over long periods. Eventually, addiction will catch up with them.
If someone has more than three drinks a day or more than a dozen in a week, they’re heavy drinkers and at risk of developing an alcohol dependency. Other red flags include:
- Denying drinking habits and hiding an alcohol stash
- Drinking alone in the morning
- Experiencing relationship problems due to drinking
- Experiencing memory problems
- Getting drunk unintentionally
- Having legal problems related to drinking
- Joking about alcoholism
- Needing alcohol to relax, feel confident, or feel normal
- Not maintaining home, work, or school responsibilities
Functional alcoholics may seem to be in control, but they may put themselves or others in danger due to their risky behaviors. For instance, they may be drinking and driving, having unplanned sexual encounters, or blacking out.
Where Can Someone Find Help for a High-Functioning Alcoholic?
High-functioning or not, all people who abuse alcohol need to rebuild their lives without alcohol. Anyone with an addiction will find it easier to recover with professional help. Therefore, functional alcoholics should be admitted into alcohol addiction treatment programs as soon as possible.
Why the rush to get better from addiction? Heavy drinking has many adverse health-related effects. It can lead to brain damage, high blood pressure, liver disease, pancreatitis, serious memory loss, and the development of some forms of cancer. Long-term alcohol abuse is also more likely to lead to a car accident, suicide, or murder. Alcoholics are also at an increased risk of domestic violence, child neglect and abuse, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
Some high-functioning alcoholics will look for help by themselves. However, some will need a push from their loved ones. An intervention may be necessary, but it’s better to do it with the assistance of a professional. Ask a trusted doctor about getting help. For instance, a therapist, psychiatrist, or addiction specialist can offer aid. Organizations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine can also provide guidance.
It is best to seek an evaluation at an addiction treatment facility and find recommendations for further care. They may find that they need in-depth care that requires living full-time at a treatment facility, or they may be disciplined enough to benefit from outpatient programs or 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.
What Can Patients Expect From an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program?
An addiction treatment facility will do a comprehensive assessment of each patient. Patients will be interviewed and tested to get more details about their general health and addictive behaviors. These details will help in customizing their detox process, addiction treatment program, and rehab aftercare plan. During intake, treatment experts may diagnose patients with co-occurring conditions.
Some patients may need to undergo medical detox. However, others will only need 24-hour care and supervision to get through their withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing from alcohol can lead to some very uncomfortable and distressing physical or psychological effects. Patients with severe alcohol addiction may develop delirium tremens (DTs). The latter is a severe withdrawal reaction that includes fever, seizures, and hallucinations. It can be fatal, which is why detoxing without professional help is a bad idea.
During or after the detox process, patients will engage in various forms of therapy and care, such as education sessions, behavioral therapy, family therapy, and more. Some programs will also include skill-building workshops to prepare patients for building a better life after addiction treatment.
Seek Treatment at Midwest Detox Center
Whether you or your loved one is a functioning alcoholic, when addiction symptoms are beginning to take their toll, it’s important to seek treatment. Midwest Detox Center can help with the first stages of recovery. Reach out to Midwest Detox Center by calling 833.647.0392 or contacting us online.