What is a high functioning alcoholic? This is a very common question. A high functioning alcoholic is not someone that most would think has an alcohol abuse problem. These individuals tend to have important careers, they are often raising a family, and they appear to be very successful to others. Few people confront a high functioning alcoholic because most people do not think there is a problem. If someone is so successful how can they have alcohol abuse issues? Denial is a very common issue with this type of alcoholic, because outwardly nothing appears to be wrong so friends and family do not usually confront the individual about their alcohol abuse. If the alcohol abuse does not impact the job, career, or finances of a person then it may not seem like they need treatment for alcohol abuse but help and treatment is needed.
Someone who works as a lawyer and stays sober all day long and then comes home and has 5 drinks each evening is a high functioning alcoholic. The same is true for the loving mother who binge drinks every weekend when the kids are gone. These individuals may not even realize themselves that they have alcohol abuse problems, but the dependence that they have on alcohol makes them an alcoholic. When most people think of an alcoholic they do not think of the successful family doctor or high powered lawyer in a suit, they think of a homeless wino on the street corner begging for change. A high functioning alcoholic can be more difficult to spot, and friends and family members may hesitate to confront the person drinking because they appear to be successful.