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8 Signs of a High-Functioning Alcoholic Most People Miss

An alcoholic can lose his family, friends, job, and respect of others. Alcoholism is a devastating disease that controls the lives of many people. But certain alcoholics go through the same struggle with their addiction rather hidden. These people spend time with their family, keep their job, and perform everyday activities, and they are known as “functioning alcoholics.”

If you doubt whether your close friend or family member has problems with drinking, read the following 8 signs of functioning alcoholic and you will be able to see if you’re right.

1. Replacing Food with Alcohol

These people often replace their meals with alcohol. Some use the meal periods as an excuse to start drinking, while other might completely lose interest in food.

2. Rare Hangovers

Regular consumption of alcohol for a longer period causes alcohol dependence. The alcohol in the blood of alcoholics never has a chance to leave their system, so alcoholics always have alcohol in their blood. Therefore, high-functioning alcoholics can often drink a lot, without getting a hangover.

3. Irritability When They Can’t Drink

An alcoholic who don’t have alcohol or can’t drink for some reason, becomes nervous, irritable, uncomfortable, and moody. This is because their body has become dependent on the sedative effects provided by the alcohol, so it reacts negatively. When an alcoholic suddenly stops consuming alcohol, it experiences sweating, shaking, anxiety, and rapid heart rate.

4. They Can’t Stop at the 1st or the 2nd Drink

While majority have a glass of wine or several beers on a family gathering or grilling, an alcoholic will drink far more than 1 or 2 drinks. S/he won’t stop here and s/he will always have a “reason” for one more.

5. Memory Loss

Most functioning alcoholics experience memory loss without others noticing. They might end up with no memory of what has happened at a party, bar, or any event where they have drank.

6. Denial of Having a Problem

Most alcoholics refuse engaging in conversations where they are confronted with concerns or questions about their drinking. In such situations, they become angry, and deny having a drinking problem.

7. Always with Excuse

A lot of alcoholics will almost always try to give you a reason for their drinking. That might be stress from work, long week, or just hanging out with their friends.

8. Hiding Their Alcohol

These people often drink alone and they don’t think there’s any problem in that. Alcoholics can hide their drink in their desk at work, in their car, etc. This is actually a big sign of functioning alcoholism.

Consult a trusted health care professional or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline if you or someone close to you have problems with alcohol.