Functional Alcoholic Signs

The functional alcoholic is able to maintain denial of the problem. In fact, only those closest to them have any idea that they are held captive in the grips of alcoholism. You may have a family member or coworker who is a functioning alcoholic and isn’t aware of it.

Examples typical of the functioning alcoholic:

  • Preoccupation with the next time he can drink
  • Only willing to eat where alcohol is available
  • Habitually drinks before going out for meals or to the bar
  • Able to be dry for even long periods of time, then quickly increasing consumption once again
  • Increasing memory lapses or blackouts
  • Surround himself with heavy drinkers
  • Reputation for being able to ‘hold their liquor’ better than most
  • Reluctant to leave an unfinished drink
  • One drink always leads to a craving for the next, and the next
  • Cannot imagine life without alcohol
  • Sets drinking limits and breaks them
  • Exhibit personality changes when drinking
  • % of alcoholic content becomes increasingly important in drink choice
  • Quickly become defensive if confronted about their drinking habits

How many of the above does it take to qualify as a functional alcoholic? Any 3 should be a red flag.