Most people hold an image of problem drinkers as people who drink all the time until they reach the point of total intoxication. At that point, the expectation is the problem drinker will eventually fall down drunk or partake in some other form of harmful addictive behavior. While the above does describe what happens with a lot of problems drinkers, there is another group that is much harder to identify as problem drinkers. Experts general;y refer to these people as “functional alcoholics.” According to the https://www.the-alcoholism-guide.org/ website, “the definition of a functional alcoholic is somebody who displays signs of alcoholism (or at least some of them) but can live a ‘normal’ life.” The reference to living a normal life refers to having the ability to maintain employment and relationships with a minimum of issues.
To be clear, functional alcoholism is a temporary state along the spectrum of alcoholism. It generally occurs at a time when the problem drinker has a high tolerance for alcohol. Unfortunately, all problem drinkers will reach crossroads. They will reach a point where they have to decide to stop drinking, or they run the risk of continuing along the spectrum of alcoholism until they eventually fall into the cycle of full-blown alcoholism. With the functional alcoholic in mind, it makes sense to wonder if rehab centers ever have occasion to treat functional alcoholics? It’s a question that warrants further investigation, which we will do below.
Do New Jersey Rehab Centers Ever Treat Functional Alcoholics?
The state of New Jersey has more than its fair share of problem drinkers. There are enough of them to keep alcohol addiction treatment centers like ours operating at maximum occupancy regularly. To answer the titled question, yes, it’s quite common for New Jersey rehabs like ours to treat functional alcoholics. To further clarify who we would count as a functional alcoholic, here are a few signs we would be looking at:
- Began drinking regularly at a younger age
- Able to drink others under the table due to high alcohol tolerance
- General good mood while drinking
- Minimal time spent drinking alone
- Drinking frequently without displaying intoxicated behaviors
- Still show signs of withdrawal when missing a drinking session
- Pride in the amount of alcohol one can consume
Anyone willing to seek treatment for a drinking problem before they reach rock bottom is deserving of admiration. When they are willing to seek help before they begin showing destructive addictive behaviors, they clearly understand the importance of getting treatment before things go south. The process for treating functional alcoholics is much the same as the process for treating full-blown alcoholics. Where there might be a little different is as it relates to detox programs. Not all functional alcoholics will need to go through an intensive medically monitored detox program to clear their withdrawal symptoms. For the most part, functional alcoholics are set up to go through the detox process as naturally as possible. If they start to show any meaningful signs of discomfort, it’s never too late for medical professionals to step in with help. As for therapy, functional alcoholics are very much in need of therapy.
They are still problem drinkers who need to address their issues before things do go too far. The fact they have been drinking heavily without exhibiting bad intoxicated behaviors is more a function of luck and physiology. Eventually, it catches up with everyone. The best chance functional alcoholics have to arrest their addictions before things do go bad is to get therapy. They need to know why they feel the need to hind themselves inside a bottle of alcohol. After doing the work they need to do in therapy, they will get the chance to learn how to better cope with their issues. With better coping and life skills, the functional alcoholic could get the unique opportunity to walk away from their addiction with a minimum of damage to their health and reputation.
If you have doubts about whether you really having a drinking problem even though you drink a lot and often, we offer caution. You might be a functional alcoholic. If so, you need to know you are at risk of falling prey to full-blown alcoholism. Instead of waiting for the worse, we would like to implore you to get help. That’s something we would be proud to offer you. If you want more information about our addiction treatment services, please call us at 833-610-1174.