High functioning alcoholics are often individuals in powerful or highly respected professional positions.
“He was never drunk when I interviewed him.” “It was just a mistake. He didn’t hurt anyone with the DUI.” “He goes to work every day.” “He is a well-respected professional.”
Protected by above average earning power and social status, functional alcoholics lead a dangerous double life. Problem drinking has consequences – even if not immediately evident.
Personality traits such as perfectionism, overachiever tendencies and a workaholic nature may help high-functioning alcoholics succeed professionally even while drinking heavily.
Functioning alcoholics appear to be ‘just fine’ – right up until the point they are hospitalized for liver failure or other complications from years of heavy drinking.
Professionals often delude themselves regarding their drinking behavior and seek help only after their career or health is falling apart.
“A landmark study in 2007 by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism categorized alcoholics into 5 subtypes: only 9% are of the “chronic severe” subtype, fitting the stereotype of the low-bottom alcoholic. Other addiction experts estimate that between 75% and 90% of alcoholics are high-functioning.” From Psychology Today, Characteristics of High-Functioning Alcoholics
If alcohol consumption seems to be causing difficulties in your work life, personal life or family life – it may be time to consider that problem drinking is the cause. While it is estimated that only 10% of all problem drinkers receive treatment for alcohol use disorder – the sooner individuals enter alcohol recovery treatment and declare independence from alcohol – the better.
The findings contribute to the small but growing collection of research affirming the effects of fathers’ characteristics and father-child relationship qualities on children’s social development, rather than just the fathers’ residence in the home or presence in the child’s life.
“Typically middle-aged, well-educated, with stable jobs and families. About one-third have a multi-generational family history of alcoholism; about one-quarter had major depressive illness sometime in their lives; nearly 50 percent were smokers.”
Spotting Functional Alcoholics – 9 Red Flags
No Apparent Hangovers: Functional Alcoholics have developed a high tolerance for alcohol consumption.
Isolation – retreating to home office as soon as possible (to drink); become angry if interrupted.
If one drink is good – two are better. Functional alcoholics can’t have just one or two drinks – and stop.
After a period of time, memory loss and blacking out are common.
Become angry and/or defensive if confronted regarding heavy drinking.
Not drinking causes severe anxiety.
Good explanations for why they drink: work stress, home or relationship problems.
Drinking heavily often perceived as an ‘entitlement’ for their hard work.
DUI or other legal problems; bankruptcy caused by financial mismanagement.
We use an integrated multi-disciplinary addiction treatment approach implemented by licensed professionals. The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff includes a Physician-Addictionologist, Addiction Psychiatrist, Physician Board Certified in Pain Medicine, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Registered Nurse, several Licensed Therapists, and an addiction Nutritionist.
We assist our clients in finding their personal connection to the spiritual. Through years of experience, we believe in the power of spirituality in the addiction healing process. We assist our clients in discovering their unique path to living a more authentic and joyful life.
Our addiction recovery programs treat the whole person and include Mindfulness for recovery and relapse prevention.
Impaired Professionals Well-Being Program and EAP Programs