A glass of wine after chores and 16 other signs you’re a functioning alcoholic

A GLASS of wine after completing the day’s chores is always well received.

But addiction experts have warned that this — along with 16 other habits — could be a sign of a functioning alcoholic.

Using alcohol as a reward can be one sign among many of a functioning alcoholic


Using alcohol as a reward can be one sign among many of a functioning alcoholicPhoto credit: Getty

A functioning alcoholic is defined as someone who suffers from alcoholism but is still able to go on with their daily life.

They can keep a job, have a role in a family, and for most people, they seem to be able to handle it, says private rehabilitation clinic Delamere.

This is why it is so easy for the disease to be overlooked as those who suffer from it don’t look like the stereotypical alcoholics.

During the summer months, the clinic warns, there’s almost always an excuse to drink more when socializing.

Adults generally consume more alcohol in an average week than in winter – one in three Britons increases their alcohol consumption when the weather is warm, according to a recent survey.

With that in mind, Delamere’s addiction specialists have compiled a list of common signs of a functioning alcoholic to look out for.

These are:

  1. Frequent binge drinking after completing daily chores
  2. Justify drinking to unwind after work, a hard day with the kids, or as a reward
  3. Frequent drunkenness and smell of alcohol
  4. Loss of control over alcohol consumption
  5. Hiding alcohol in unfamiliar places like the garage, office, bushes or in the car
  6. Drinking between work hours or appointments, or drinking just enough to replenish alcohol levels
  7. Irritability, anxiety, restlessness and not being able to sleep when you cannot drink
  8. Drinking regularly in the morning or at unusual times of the day, such as around lunchtime, to avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  9. Always drink at social events and “summon” before attending a social event.
  10. Avoiding social events or activities that do not involve alcohol
  11. Alcohol has become a problem at home, people either drink excessively at home alone or disappear into a pub or bar for hours straight after work
  12. Becoming defensive or flippant when challenged about drinking
  13. Deny and argue that you/they can still keep a job or get the kids to school on time
  14. Alternating alcohol and prescription pills
  15. Unpredictable, spontaneous, getting angry or changing character completely while drunk
  16. Difficulty remembering events that occurred while intoxicated, or an “alcoholic blackout”
  17. risk-taking, such as For example, driving to work or a school run while still exceeding the previous night’s limit, or drinking a morning drink

Tips to help a functioning alcoholic

If you recognize some of these symptoms in yourself, it is possible that other people have also criticized your drinking.

The NHS says your GP is the best place to start if you are addicted to drugs e.g. B. after alcohol.

They will be able to discuss the services available to you based on your level of alcohol abuse.

Options include counseling and medicine, and there are also a number of charities offering support.

If you notice the symptoms of a functioning alcoholic in someone else, Delamere says, it’s important that you get them to admit it.

You may have tried talking to them before and they have become defensive, reckless, or angry.

You may want to try these tips for getting working alcohol to accept help:

1. Take some time to talk to them when they don’t have plans, aren’t in a hurry, and aren’t too drunk to understand what you have to say.

Preferably they are sober, but if they are addicted to alcohol you need to choose a time before they start drinking heavily.

2. It is often very helpful to talk to a functioning alcoholic about their alcoholism after they have just experienced an adverse effect of their drinking.

They may be remorseful and less able to deny that they have a problem.

3. Tell the person what you know about alcoholism, the signs and symptoms, and that a person does not have to lose everything to be diagnosed as an alcoholic.

Share with them the signs and symptoms of a functioning alcoholic.

4. Explain to them that alcoholism is medically recognized as a progressive mental and physiological illness.

You should not be ashamed of having an illness that requires treatment in order to overcome it.

5. Regardless of their emotional response, try to remain calm and not argue with them.

Arguing will give them an excuse to walk away and get back to their drinking.

Instead, try an empathetic approach and show concern and support.

6. Explain to them how their drinking affects you and other family members.

Give clear examples of when your alcohol use has affected you and others or raised concerns and how you feel about your alcohol use.

7. Help them understand that the illness they are suffering from is probably more common than they think and that there are others who are suffering just like them.

Explain to them that people with alcohol use disorders are seldom able to heal on their own.

8. Tell them that non-functioning alcoholics suffer many negative consequences, such as: B. the loss of relationships or a job.

These are all just “more” for anyone suffering from alcohol addiction.

9. Give them hope by explaining that alcoholism is treatable and that a professional detox and rehabilitation program gives them the time and space to heal.

When the conversation goes well, when the functioning alcoholic admits they have a problem and need help, it’s important to act quickly and without hesitation.

In addiction treatment, this is referred to as the “window of opportunity”.

It’s seldom very long before they shrink back into denial.

If they are not receptive and still deny that they have a problem or become confrontational, drop the topic and try again another day. A glass of wine after chores and 16 other signs you’re a functioning alcoholic

Sarah Y. Kim

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