Alcoholics are masters at hiding in plain site. The fact that alcohol is such an accepted part of our culture means there are tons of opportunities to drink without raising suspicions. High-functioning alcoholics hold down jobs, maintain relationships and seem to have it all together while suffering from an Alcohol Addiction. These individuals may seem fine on the surface, but Alcohol Addiction, whether it’s high-functioning or not, can have severe long-term consequences. This disorder doesn’t just affect the person struggling with alcohol — it also affects their loved ones.  

Characteristics of a High-Functioning Alcoholic

The name “functioning alcoholic” describes a person who can drink excessively and still have a functioning lifestyle. Also called a functional alcoholic, people with this form of Alcohol Addiction can have successful careers, be married with a family and have a thriving social life while engaging in frequent binge drinking every few days or even daily. Some functioning alcoholics don’t see their behavior as a problem. Since they keep up with their professional and personal obligations, friends and family members begin to view their drinking as normal. Other functional alcoholics keep their drinking completely separate from their work and family, leading a double life. Alcoholism is a progressive disease which means that even if it is not having detrimental impacts on your life, your family or your finances today it will eventually cause serious negative consequences.  

Signs that you may be a High-Functioning Alcoholic

You or a loved one may seem to have life in order on the surface, but the adverse effects of Alcohol Addiction are bound to catch up with you. If you’re not sure whether you or someone close to you is a high-functioning alcoholic, here are some of the signs to look out for:  
  • You need alcohol to relax or de-stress.
  • You drink alone or in secret.
  • You plan your day around your drinking.
  • You almost always drink more than you intend to in one sitting.
  • You feel the need to justify your drinking.
  • You use alcohol as a reward.
  • Sobriety makes you feel irritable, restless, agitated or prone to mood swings.
  • You engage in risky behaviors while drinking.
  • You’ve experienced blackouts or memory lapses while drinking.

Where can I find help

While you may believe you’re able to walk the fine line between having a normal life and drinking excessively, the inability to control alcohol consumption is what defines Alcohol Addiction. Even if the consequences aren’t immediately apparent, abusing alcohol will hurt you and your family in the long run. Don’t wait until things get past the point of no return. If you struggle with an addiction to alcohol, WeDoRecover is here for you. We’ll connect you with a certified addictions counsellor who will work with you to get to the root of your Alcohol Addiction so that you can find healthier coping skills that will make Recovery possible. Should you decide a stay at a treatment facility is warranted, we are partnered with a number of facilities with proven track records of helping alcoholics begin their journey of recovery. Contact us today at 1 833 2 WE HEAL/1 833 293 4325 to speak with us about your treatment options or email us at