The Signs And Symptoms Of A Functioning Alcoholic

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 19th November 2021

The Signs And Symptoms Of A Functioning Alcoholic

Someone who is struggling with alcoholism may be experiencing all varying manner of signs and symptoms which can alert you to their problem.

However, these signs and symptoms can be hard to identify due to the fact that many alcoholics will attempt to hide their addiction. This is particularly true of someone who is a functioning alcoholic.

Living with, or being close to, a functioning alcoholic can be incredibly stressful. Not only can it be hard to live with the destructive behaviours of a functioning alcoholic, but it can also be very difficult to watch someone who you are close to seemingly retract into themselves and push those close to them away.

Many people can worry about how to talk to a functioning alcoholic and how to help a functioning alcoholic in denial; however, below you should hopefully find appropriate information to assist you in approaching and helping a functioning alcoholic. Cassiobury Court’s alcohol rehab will also be able to provide you, or your loved one, with the alcohol addiction treatment that you need to overcome your addiction.


What Are The Warning Signs of A Functioning Alcoholic?

As mentioned previously, alcohol addiction can be incredibly difficult to identify in a person if they are a functioning alcoholic. Someone who is a functioning alcoholic may be able to uphold a perfectly good social life and hold down a decent job.

However, by keeping a watchful eye on someone who you are concerned about then you will be able to identify the key warning signs that someone is a functioning alcoholic — one who may be in dire need of professional treatment before their addiction spirals out of their control.

Some warning signs to be aware of include:

  • They are drinking alone and at strange hours of the day.
  • The amounts of alcohol that they consume are excessive, perhaps even growing larger by the day.
  • They frequently justify their alcohol consumption as a reward or as a part of a celebration.
  • They are unable to enter social situations without consuming alcohol, often also completely avoiding social situations where alcohol will not be made available.
  • Some functioning alcoholics may also go out of their way to consume expensive alcoholic drinks as a way of proving that they do not have a problem.
  • They may have a flippant attitude in regards to their heavy alcohol consumption or even make jokes about their drinking.
  • There may be evidence that they are struggling to remember days or nights due to their excessive alcohol consumption.
  • They may become short-tempered, impulsive, or even aggressive after they have consumed alcohol.
  • If they are unable to consume alcohol for more than a day or two then they may start to exhibit sudden mood fluctuations.
  • They store alcohol in strange places where they think they others may not be able to find it.
  • They have previously claimed that they will cut down on the amount of alcohol that they consume, yet they have not made good on this promise.


How To Talk To A Functioning Alcoholic Or A Functioning Alcoholic In Denial

If you think that you have identified that someone you are close to may be suffering from alcoholism, then you should be very careful about how you approach them about this issue.

A lot of people suffering from alcoholism will not respond well to being approached about the seriousness of their addictive disorder, hence why the utmost caution should be taken in talking with a functioning alcoholic.

Cassiobury Court may be able to help you by providing you with guidance through a family and friend referral scheme which you can take advantage of by calling our helpline. However, you will also find below some techniques which should be employed when approaching an alcoholic:

  • Talk to them about their alcohol consumption when they are sober – talking to someone when they are able to better understand the physical and emotional toll that their alcohol consumption is taking on their body will hopefully get them to make their situation more seriously.
  • Speak with compassion about their issue – you do not want the person you are talking to, to feel as though they are being attacked. The fact is that most alcoholics feel a deep-seated sense of shame and/or guilt in regards to their addiction.
  • Explain how their addiction is affecting those closes to them – it can be valuable to not simply explain what the person is doing to themselves, but rather explain how their drinking is negatively impacting those closest to them.
  • Do not accept any excuses or false promises about their addiction – some alcoholics will immediately resort to making false promises about how they will change. However, these are often lies, they need to get professional support and so you need to try and stay firm on this stance.
  • If they become confrontational/angry, step away from the conversation – you will always be able to try and approach them about this issue again in the future. You will already have a planet the idea that their loved ones think they need professional help and that is all that you need to do if the other person becomes hostile, do not put yourself in harm’s way.
  • Be aware that the individual to who you are talking to likely wants to stop drinking – despite this being true, they may find it hard to talk about their issue right now. You simply need to try and convince them that they need to believe they can put this issue behind them with professional help.


Treatment For A Functional Alcoholic

Cassiobury Court may be able to find a place in our alcohol rehab for anyone who needs our help. Our residential drug and alcohol addiction rehab will be able to get you through alcohol detox & withdrawal thanks to our detox clinic.

Following withdrawal, you will be able to experience physical and psychological treatments which will help you to address the underlying issue which causes you to develop an addiction in the first place. You will learn about the facts about alcohol and the facts about giving up alcohol.

If you, or someone you know, are ready to take advantage of effective alcohol addiction treatment then reach out to Cassiobury Court today.

John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 19th November 2021

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.