These days, the world is becoming wise to the fact that not all alcoholic people fit the stereotype of a homeless wino who has lost everything, or the person at an AA meeting telling the tragic story of how they lost their families due to drinking. In fact, it is estimated that a very high percentage of people who drink at an alcoholic level are what are known as ‘high functioning alcoholics’ – perhaps as many as 75%. These are people whose lives don’t seem to be seriously affected by their drinking, who have good jobs, good relationships, and look like they take care of themselves, but who are actually experiencing a problem in terms of their need to drink in certain situations.
The problem with high functioning alcoholism is that it usually leads to more debilitating levels of alcoholism as it progresses, and it causes long term physical damage. Also, high functioning alcoholics still often have a dependence on alcohol which can make an alcohol detox as dangerous for them as for the stereotypical ‘skid row’ alcoholic without help from a proper medical team or center like firststepdetox.com. If you are concerned your own drinking may be problematic, here are three signs you may be a functioning alcoholic:
Your Social Life Revolves Around Opportunities to Drink
You have a busy social life and lots of friends, but you always meet up at bars or with a glass of wine in front of you. Even lunchtimes can run to three rounds of drinks, and you don’t remember the last time you did something social that didn’t prominently feature drinking. This is not abnormal, especially for young urban professionals, but it can indicate a problem if your entire social world is strongly linked to drinking too much.
You Hide Alcohol or Lie About It
If you have been known to sneak alcohol with you and drink in secret, or to lie to people when they ask you how much you’ve had to drink or get defensive about it, this should trigger a warning sign in your head. After all, you are an adult, you can drink if you want without people batting an eye, so if you are covering up how much you drink it is likely to be because you know it is really more than is acceptable.
You Are More Interested in Alcohol Than Food
If you meet friends for a meal or snacks, you are not really interested in the actual food, only the fact there will be drinking. At home alone you may even skip meals altogether, and you have probably adopted the ‘liquid lunch’ as a norm. Food is not really that exciting to you as a reason to go out or get together, but alcohol is.
These are just three signs that your lifestyle is trending towards that of a high functioning alcoholic. If you are concerned about your drinking, it is best to talk to a medical professional or rehab center about the safest way to get over your problem in your own case.