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What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?

man leaning against wall wonderin what is a functioning alcoholic

Alcohol is one of the oldest components of human culture. Because alcohol is legal, easy to get, and central to many social practices, it’s hard to tell when social drinking becomes habitual drinking and addiction. It can also be hard to spot the signs of functioning alcoholics or know when it’s time to seek help. An alcohol addiction treatment program is the safest, most effective way to stop drinking and prevent alcohol overdose or death.

Is someone in your life struggling with alcohol? Know you are not alone. The team at NuLife Behavioral Health can help. Helping clients throughout the state of Massachusetts and beyond, NuLife Behavioral Health provides outpatient treatment options for mental health and addiction. Call us now at 888.568.2057 to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment programs.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

For many people, drinking alcohol can be a way to self-soothe difficult emotions, stress, and memories. Social drinking implies enjoying alcohol with others. Drinking alone is often an early sign of alcohol habit and addiction. Like any addiction, a dependency on alcohol occurs when the brain and body rely on alcohol for chemical processing. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, it immediately slows down the body’s functions. Therefore, alcohol is considered a depressant. By slowing down the body, people experience a loss of coordination, slow reaction times, and the mellow feeling that comes with a drink. Signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Mood swings
  • Craving alcohol
  • Thinking about alcohol
  • Secretive drinking
  • Sweating, shaking, confusion without alcohol
  • Chronic dehydration

While these sensations may bring temporary relief, the depression of the nervous system can make depression and other mood disorders worse when the effects of alcohol wear off. When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, their brain and body go through withdrawal symptoms when they go for too many hours without alcohol in their bloodstream. Alcohol dependency occurs on a chemical level in the brain that cannot be overcome by sheer willpower, making professional alcohol treatment programs vital to successful sobriety.

What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?

A functioning alcoholic may hide their drinking well, or they may believe drinking enhances the way they work or socialize. They may exhibit no signs of intoxication because they have developed a high alcohol tolerance. They may not experience hangovers and often continue drinking throughout the day. Their drinking is often secretive or carelessly overt. They may take pride in their drinking or experience deep shame. In most cases they have trouble seeking help. Because functioning alcoholics have a very high tolerance, functioning alcoholics are at greater risk for health complications and relapse. A functioning alcoholic should always seek professional detox treatment to mitigate other health problems and prevent alcohol poisoning.

Find the Alcohol Treatment Program for You in Massachusetts Today

If you’re concerned your drinking habits have turned to dependency, the team at NuLife Behavioral Health can help. Our programs provide intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization programs for clients across Massachusetts struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders. NuLife Behavioral Health believes in meeting clients where they’re at for individualized treatment for mental health and addiction recovery. No matter the stage of recovery, our team can help you find the care you need to recover from alcohol addiction and thrive. With a local referral program, we help clients find the right residential or aftercare programs with our trusted partner clinics.

Call NuLife Behavioral Health Today to Get Started with Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction is a treatable disease. If you or someone you love is struggling, don’t let alcohol take over your life. If you’re ready to learn more about treatment options at NuLife Behavioral Health, call us now at 888.568.2057 to get started.