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Dealing with A High-Functioning Alcoholic

While many people choose to drink socially, not everyone can handle it. Although they may still be leading a mostly normal life, when your loved one likes to drink a little too much, it can start to cause problems for not just them but you as well. If this becomes the case, your loved one could be a high-functioning alcoholic.


Signs of A High-Functioning Alcoholic

Although the stereotypical alcoholic may struggle to hold a job, neglect their personal appearance, be visibly drunk at all hours of the day, and may even be homeless, this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of people who struggle with alcoholism but still lead mostly regular lives so recognizing these people can be difficult.


Some common signs of a high-functioning alcoholic to look out for include:


  • Making excuses about their drinking habits
  • Joking about being an alcoholic
  • Drinking at any time of day
  • Drinking alone
  • Frequently drinking in excess or to the point of blacking out
  • Drinking in place of eating
  • Turning every occasion into a drinking occasion


How to Deal with A High-Functioning Alcoholic

Dealing with a high-functioning alcoholic isn’t always fun, but there are some steps you can take on your end to make it easier. As a counseling center in Florida, we have a few tips to help you cope with your loved one being a high-functioning alcoholic.


Educate Yourself

Before you can help someone, it is important to do your best to understand what they are going through. Alcoholism is a disease and it is not as simple as just deciding to quit. Do research online and talk to professionals. The more you understand alcoholism, the more prepared you are to help them.


Talk to Them

Before you confront them about their drinking habits, it may be best to sit down and talk with them. You want your loved one to know that you are concerned about them but without having them feel attacked. Many people turn to alcohol because of mental health issues like depression so letting them know that you are there for them if they want to talk can give them another outlet besides alcohol. You may discover that they are in need of a dual diagnosis program instead of just help with their drinking.


Set Boundaries

There is a fine line between being supportive and enabling their alcohol problem. This enabling behavior can not only promote their drinking habits but can also create a toxic relationship. Setting boundaries can help you draw this line and ensure that you are doing what is right for your loved one. Our family counseling in Naples may help you better distinguish this difference and help you create a healthier relationship moving forward.

Get Them Help

Although alcohol may not seem to interfere too badly with your loved one’s life, their problems could still get worse. Before your loved one’s drinking gets more out of control, try to get them professional help like with formal alcohol addiction treatment.



Dealing with a high-functioning alcoholic can be challenging because although you may try to do everything in your power to get them help, you cannot help someone who doesn’t want it.  When your loved one refuses to admit that there is a problem, you may need to accept that they may never see their problem. Do not neglect your own physical and mental health for someone who refuses to change.


If you believe your loved one is a high-functioning alcoholic, do not wait until their problems get worse to ask for help. Reach out to us today.