5 Symptoms of a Functional Alcoholic

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

In this video, we're going to cover the top 5 symptoms of a functional alcoholic.

The person I'm describing when I say "functional alcoholic" is one that has a drinking problem that seems from the outside is functioning well but on the inside there is definitely something going wrong. Alcohol abuse can create a myriad of problems. This abuse can spiral out of control and not only cause heartache for the alcoholic, but everyone around them. It's important to remember that a functional alcoholic is only ONE step away from being a non-functional alcoholic.

What are the signs/symptoms?

Symptom #1:

You have a hard time relaxing and enjoying yourself without the involvement of alcohol. Example: It's hard to play or enjoy your family without drinking. Another example: a student in college not going to a party unless alcohol is involved.

Symptom #2:

If you have a hard time remembering what happened after drinking and paranoid about what stories people will tell you happened the next day, you may be having black outs, which is a major sign of alcoholism.

Symptom #3:

Making promises to yourself/others about cutting down on drinking. Guess what? People that don't have a problem with alcohol don't have conversations like this and make promises like that.

Symptom #4:

The people closest to you start to notice and ask you to change or give you some ultimatums to change. This usually happens as your alcoholism progresses.

Symptom #5:

Avoiding conversations about drinking. Or lying about the amount of consumption. Sneak drinking is a big one. Denial is powerful.

If you're thinking you have to hit a rock bottom before you get help, that's so far from the truth. If you've identified with any of these symptoms, you might want to take a deeper look into this issue. The earlier you spot the signs of functional alcoholism, the sooner you can get treatment.

Amber Hollingsworth,

Hope for Families Recovery Center

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Hope For Families Recovery Center for Addiction Counseling

136 Milestone Way

Greenville, SC 29615

P) 864-906-2395

F) 864-670-5320


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