The Dangers of Functional Alcoholism

Despite the widespread acceptance and social pressures of drinking, alcohol is among the most dangerous illicit substances. Between alcohol-related accidents and the negative health impact of drinking, alcohol contributes to 88,000 deaths a year making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  

Social attitudes when it comes to drinking and alcohol use contribute to this deadly trend. Drinking alcohol is associated with celebrations, socializing, dating, and even mourning a loss. Alcoholism is promoted in our music, movies, and television shows. We even glamourize turning 21 as a huge milestone because one can then legally drink, even though many people begin consuming alcohol long before this point. This casual approach to alcohol and drinking only contributes to alcohol abuse, making it difficult to identify problematic drinking. If you are concerned about your own drinking habits, or those of someone you love, the following may be signs of a deeper issue: 

Hiding Drinking Habits. Denial can take the form of concealing how much or how often one drinks. This can include sneakily adding alcohol to other drinks, drinking when alone at home, or denying how much one has actually consumed.   

Defensiveness. Getting defensive when one expresses concern can be a sign of a known issue. Saying things like “I can handle my liquor” or making jokes about one’s tolerance level to defuse uncomfortable conversation can be subtle means of deflecting concern. 

Using Alcohol to Cope. Alcohol helps to relax the mind and lower inhibitions, making it incredibly addictive. If drinking is the first instinct for dealing with stress, grief, anxiety, or depression, that’s a major red flag for developing alcohol use disorders. 

Struggling with Responsibilities. One of the most common arguments when it comes to functional alcoholism is that one is still able to handle home and work obligations. However, showing up to work hungover or missing school because you’re too sick to leave your home is not a sign of a well-managed relationship with alcohol. 

Physical Need to Drink. The most telling sign of an alcohol use disorder is a physical need to drink in order not to feel sick or experience withdrawal symptoms. Needing a beer or mixed drink just to get the day started is unhealthy. 

How to Overcome Functional Alcoholism 

Recovery from alcohol use disorders is possible, no matter how long you’ve struggled. Alcohol treatment in Coral Springs offers a two-pronged approach that addresses the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Edge Recovery, an addiction treatment center in Coral Springs, offers comprehensive treatment options for alcohol detox care and outpatient therapy. Our personalized programs address your specific needs to help you move forward into a healthy, brighter future.  

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