Alcoholism is a serious and widespread problem that affects millions of people worldwide. However, not all alcoholics fit the typical stereotype of someone who has hit rock bottom, lost their job, or ruined their relationships due to drinking. Many individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse can maintain their day-to-day responsibilities and appear to function normally; hence the term “Functioning Alcoholic”.
Despite the outward appearance of success, functioning alcoholics often experience a range of negative consequences, from health problems to strained relationships and emotional turmoil.
At Alpine Recovery, a rehab center based in Colorado that offers Medicaid coverage, we understand the unique challenges faced by functioning alcoholics and provide comprehensive treatment to help them overcome their addiction and achieve lasting recovery.
Contact us at the Alpine Recovery Center for more information. We are the best Colorado Medicaid alcohol rehab programs. Call us at 720-704-2883.
According to a 2019 national survey, about 15 million Americans ages 12 and above are alcoholics. The way people struggling with alcoholism behaves has shaped society’s image of them. However, some alcoholics do not behave this way. Some of them still carry out their responsibilities and manage their career well.
What Is a Functioning Alcoholic, and How Do You Identify One?
A study shows that about 20 percent of people struggling with alcohol dependence are functioning alcoholics. A functioning alcoholic is an individual struggling with alcohol addiction but still manages to carry out their responsibilities. The term is synonymous with “high-functioning alcoholics.”
It can be hard to identify someone who is a high-functioning alcoholic. The reason is that these people appear to others like they are performing their duties well. Also, some deny that their drinking pattern is not a problem. Below is some functioning alcoholic behavior:
- Binge drinking
- Unexplainable mood changes
- Drinking while driving
- Drinking while at work
- Smelling of alcohol
- Taking alcohol in secret
Am I a Functioning Alcoholic?
A functioning alcoholic may not notice that they have a problem with alcohol. However, sometimes, people close to them are the ones that see that the individual is a functional alcoholic. Hence, knowing whether you are a functioning alcoholic depends on your signs and symptoms.
Can Someone Be a Functioning Alcoholic and Still Have a Problem With Alcohol?
Functional alcoholics may look as if they have their drinking pattern under control. However, they are struggling with alcohol dependence in reality. Hence, an individual can be a functioning alcoholic and still have a problem with alcohol.
Is It Possible for a Functioning Alcoholic to Quit Drinking on Their Own?
A functioning alcoholic can quit drinking on their own. Interestingly, some people quit drinking alone without any professional help. Some do this by reducing their intake gradually till they stop entirely. However, seeking professional services at a rehab center will make a recovery more manageable and successful.
How Does Functioning Alcoholism Differ From Other Forms of Alcoholism?
Functioning alcoholism is slightly different from other forms of alcoholism. For example, functional alcoholics do not appear the way people struggling with alcohol dependence do. Instead, they are well-educated, and they fulfill their obligations as the need arises. In addition, they are often successful in relationships and life.
Also, functional alcoholics may not hit “rock bottom” in their drinking endeavors as opposed to other forms of alcoholism. They seem to know how to manage their drinking pattern well and often deny needing professional help. Below are the different types of alcoholism:
- Young adult alcoholics
- Young antisocial alcoholics
- Chronic severe alcoholics
- Intermediate familial alcoholics
What Are the Long-Term Health Effects of Functioning Alcoholism?
Like other forms of alcohol use disorder, functioning alcoholism also affects the body. Alcohol is a substance that affects the central nervous system, which includes the brain. When an individual drinks alcohol, it goes into the stomach and then to the small intestine, where it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Hence, it circulates through the body and affects the major systems. Repeated alcohol use can be severe. Below are some of the long-term effects of functioning alcoholism:
- Liver damage
- Cancer of the liver, kidney, breast and stomach
- High blood pressure
- Brain damage
- Loss of memory
How Does Functioning Alcoholism Affect Relationships and Family Dynamics?
Functioning alcoholism can negatively affect relationships and family. When the condition worsens, people struggling with functional alcoholism may withdraw from their loved ones. As a result, they see their family members and friends as threats and may start totally when they see their loved ones trying to get help for them.
Also, it is common for people struggling with functional alcoholism to experience financial problems. The problem is a result of uncontrolled spending on alcohol. Job loss and poor choices can also be the cause of the problem. The financial difficulties affect not only the individual but the entire family.
In addition, people struggling with functioning alcoholism experience different waves of negative emotions. They often feel sad, anxious, and fearful. These negative emotions usually take their toll on the family members. Children of parents in this condition may also start experiencing negative emotions, leading to social withdrawal.
Can a Functioning Alcoholic Seek Help Without Jeopardizing Their Career or Reputation?
Functioning alcoholics can seek help without jeopardizing their careers. Different rehab programs allow functional alcoholics to get treatment during everyday activities. For example, they can benefit from the outpatient program and still go to work. In addition, rehab centers are always discreet about the identity of their patients. Hence, the reputation of functional alcoholics is protected when they seek treatment from rehab centers.
What Are Some Strategies for Helping a Functioning Alcoholic Recognize and Address Their Drinking Problem?
Functioning alcoholics may appear as if they have their drinking pattern under control. However, they might be struggling with alcohol dependence. Below are some strategies for helping a functioning alcoholic recognize and address their drinking problem:
- Talk to them about their drinking pattern
- Stage an intervention
- Encourage them to visit a doctor or plan a visit for them
- Encourage them to complete their treatment
Treatment for Functioning Alcoholics
Researchers say the alcoholic anonymous program is the best for functioning alcoholics. This is because the program was formed by people who came together to solve their drinking problem. Alcoholics Anonymous has 12 actionable steps, which are the guiding principles for the program. In addition, an individual struggling with functioning alcoholism can visit the rehab and undergo treatment.
Is There Medicaid Coverage for Alcohol Addiction?
There is Medicaid coverage for alcoholism. Medicaid pays for alcohol addiction treatment, including inpatient rehab, medication-assisted treatment, and outpatient rehab. As a result of Medicaid coverage, treatments for addiction are now available at low cost. However, it is important to note that Medicaid coverage varies by state. Hence it is important to know the requirements for your condition.
Get Help From Alpine Recovery Center!
Functional alcoholics must recognize that they have problems and seek treatment for their drinking problems. Fortunately, there are treatment programs that allow these individuals to get treatment and still go about their normal activities.
The Alpine Recovery Center is a major Medicaid Rehab in Colorado. It is one of the rehabs accepting Medicaid insurance. At Alpine Recovery Center, they focus on the root cause of the addiction and other co-occurring illnesses to have an overall recovery. In addition, Alpine Recovery center aims to make treatment available cheaply. To know more about our addiction treatment programs and Medicaid insurance programs, contact us today at 720-704-2883.