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

Signs You May Be A High-Functioning AlcoholicEven 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. 




  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

    Thinking About Rehab?

    Learn More About Our Alternative Residential Recovery Programs

      Alternative Drug & Alcohol Treatment Rehab
    • Admissions
    • About Us
    • Contact
    • Talk to someone about your options

      Talk to someone about your options

      Blue Pig Media