If your life is still running along smoothly even though you are abusing alcohol you may feel like you don’t have a substance problem. Sadly, many people do have an alcohol addiction problem, but because they appear on the outside to be just fine, they aren’t coined “alcoholics.” These individuals who appear to have it all together but in reality have a problem with alcohol abuse are considered to be “high-functioning” alcoholics. These days, those that misuse alcohol are officially said to have “alcohol use disorder.” This disorder has a range of being mild to severe.
Are You In Denial About Your Drinking?
If you think you have even a slight problem with drinking or have alcohol use disorder which is mild, the issue remains. You have a problem drinking. When you are still able to hold your life together, it is easy to brush your drinking problem under the rug or for others to overlook it. You may know deep down there is a problem, but you find a way to justify it by telling yourself that because you can hold down a job and pay your bills you can’t be an alcoholic. There is any number of excuses that a high-functioning alcoholic can use to justify their alcohol use because outside of alcohol they are productive and responsible.
When you make these excuses you are in denial. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol abuse will catch up to everyone at some point, even high-functioning alcoholics. No one can withstand prolonged excessive drinking and not have it make an impact on their life.
Watch Out For These Signs Of A Drinking Problem
Heavy drinking is defined differently for men and women. Women are considered heavy drinkers if they exceed three drinks per day, or seven a week. Men must exceed four drinks per day and fourteen per week. If you are unsure where your drinking falls, think about how these numbers measure up to your alcohol intake. If you find that you are engaging in heavy drinking, you are at risk.
Other than physically witnessing a loved one drink heavily, other behaviors should be warnings of a problem. These red flags include:
- Joking about your problem with alcohol.
- Missing out on important responsibilities in daily life at home, work, and school.
- Have legal problems from your drinking.
- Depend on alcohol to function in a leisurely way.
- Drinking when you are alone especially at off times of the day like the morning.
- Get drunk almost every time you drink even when you don’t intend to.
- Blackout or forget about what you did when you were drinking.
- Deny drinking, hide alcohol, and get furious with those that engage you about your drinking habits.
- Have loved ones also make excuses for your drinking and behavior.
Health Impacts Of Heavy Drinking
Even though functional alcoholics appear on the surface like they are in control and doing fine looks can be deceiving. Functional alcoholics are not only putting themselves in danger but they can also put others at risk. They may drive with children or other family members while drunk, they can blackout while watching young children, or they can engage in high-risk sex.
The bodies of heavy drinkers also become degraded over time. Liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, brain damage, memory loss, and high blood pressure are all negative health outcomes of heavy drinking. Their behaviors like driving while drunk puts them and others at risk of serious car accidents which can result in catastrophic injuries or death. Heavy drinkers are also more prone to suicide and homicide. Alcohol abuse is a prevalent problem in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect, as well as a serious concern for pregnant women who may cause their babies to have fetal alcohol syndrome.
If you are struggling with your alcohol use or if you think you could have a problem with your relationship with alcohol the medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place can help. Discovery Place’s Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center’s team is here to give you the tools you need to overcome your alcohol use disorder. Call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center today at 1-800-725-0922.