Is It Possible to Be a Functional Alcohol User?

Though many who abuse alcohol on a regular basis may feel that they are able to sustain their lives while drinking, functional alcoholics are commonly unable to reach their full potential as a working professional and as a family member or friend. Even if functional alcoholics are able to escape the social stigma that is often associated with alcoholism, they remain susceptible to all of the physical, emotional and psychological consequences of alcohol abuse.

How Functional Alcoholism Can Affect Your Life

Functional alcohol users may attempt to rationalize their drinking by pointing to success in their lives, but this rationalization merely avoids addressing the dangers of alcohol abuse. Consistent alcohol users who hide their abuse may encounter a number of health risks, including the following:

  • Persistent drinking can lead to heart problems, cognitive impairments, liver disease and certain types of cancer, as well as increase the risk of personal injury.
  • Where there is consistent alcohol use, relationships are often suffering. Alcohol use can negatively affect the user’s behavior and priorities. These changes can lead to lasting damage in relationships with friends and family.
  • Alcohol abuse can significantly impair one’s judgment. Many functional alcoholics gain a sense of false confidence about their ability to drive after consuming alcohol, which can lead to dangerous situations. Similarly, alcohol use can affect one’s ability to function at work.
  • Alcohol abuse may also be a symptom of underlying mental health issues or an inability to cope with trauma. These psychological issues may be masked by alcoholism in the short term but they cannot be properly treated unless they are addressed.

Functional alcoholics may also put themselves and their loved ones in danger in order to keep their alcohol abuse a secret. One example of this would be if a functional alcoholic chooses to drive rather than confess to being under the influence.

Finding Help for Functional Alcoholics

If you or someone that you love is struggling with functional alcoholism, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about functional alcohol use and rehab. We can also help you find the best treatment options for your situation, assist you with insurance issues and help you arrange transportation to a facility of your choosing. Please call now.