Am I a Functioning Alcoholic?
GenPsych December 2017
An alcohol addiction is different from a drug addiction because it is easier for those who struggle with alcoholism to function as a productive member of society. A person suffering from alcoholism can easily be the person sitting next to you at a business meeting or even the person you refer to as your boss. Just like drug addiction, alcoholism does not discriminate. Anyone can become afflicted with alcoholism, regardless of their education, income, level of success, etc.
You may have a hard time understanding why you are being asked to attend treatment for alcoholism when your life meets the accepted criteria as a productive member of society. You may think someone telling you to get treatment for alcohol abuse is entirely wrong. Don’t be fooled because you go to work every day, pay your bills, and meet all your responsibilities. Not everyone who suffers from alcoholism sleeps all day, lives on the streets and drinks all-day, every day. Whether or not you suffer from alcoholism has no correlation to your level of success; it has to do with your alcohol drinking habits interfering with your life. Many people who suffer from alcoholism dress in professional attire, go to work every day, achieve success at work, and provide for their families. These people are known as functioning alcoholics.
Warning signs that may indicate you have an alcohol problem.
You Use Alcohol as Your Primary Coping Mechanism
You Feel Like You Need to Drink at Every Event in Your Life
You Often Drink When You Are Alone and/or in Secret
You Drink More than the Recommended Limits (Men-4 drinks a day or 14 drinks in a week and Women-3 drinks a day or 7 drinks in a week)
You have built up a Tolerance and need to increase the Amounts of Alcohol you consume
You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms When You Do Not Drink
You Are Experiencing Relationship, Work, or Legal Issues as a Result of Drinking
There is Hope if You Are a Functioning Alcoholic
If you meet any of the above criteria, it is possible that you are indeed a functioning alcoholic or are at risk of becoming a functioning alcoholic. Taking the first step to admitting you have a problem is half of the battle.
You can get help without interfering with your employment and familial obligations. Below are some of the local programs available to you.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
Twelve Step-Alternative Programs
Friends and Family
You may think you do not need to address your alcoholism right away because it is not having a significant impact on your life, but alcoholism is a progressive disease that causes more ramifications and becomes increasingly challenging to treat as it progresses. You may be able to maintain your job and pay your bills at this stage of the addiction, but your addiction will catch up to you if left untreated, making it harder, if not impossible to maintain your job and pay your bills. If you are struggling with alcoholism, please seek help today. You do not have to be a slave to alcohol any longer. Instead, you can be a recipient of the gift of recovery.
GenPsych has five treatment centers throughout New Jersey. We offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) to help our clients recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction. If you or a loved one need help contact us today
Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.nnjaa.org/
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://goo.gl/BV8v2x