High-Functioning Alcoholic Signs in Loved Ones

In today’s society, the normalization of alcohol consumption has become increasingly prevalent, often overshadowing the harsh realities of alcohol addiction. The casual acceptance of social drinking can sometimes blind us to the more insidious aspects of excessive alcohol consumption, making it challenging to recognize when someone we care about is struggling with alcoholism. It’s essential to recognize the signs and take action to help them regain control of their life.

Identifying High-Functioning Alcoholism

High-functioning alcoholism is a term used to describe individuals who maintain their daily responsibilities and appear outwardly successful while secretly battling alcohol addiction. Recognizing the signs can be challenging, but it’s crucial for early intervention:

Common Signs and Behaviors:

Excessive Alcohol Consumption:

It’s not unusual for individuals with high-functioning alcoholism to engage in frequent and heavy drinking, especially in social settings. They may be the life of the party, often seen with a drink in hand. What appears as “just having a good time” can be an early sign of a deeper issue.


One of the most challenging aspects of high-functioning alcoholism is the individual’s difficulty in acknowledging their alcohol problem. They may deflect concerns or minimize their drinking, making it tough for loved ones to initiate conversations about their well-being.

Maintaining Appearances:

High-functioning alcoholics often go to great lengths to keep up with their work, family, and social obligations, all while concealing their addiction. They may excel in their careers, be responsible parents, and maintain an active social life, leaving loved ones unaware of their struggles.

Increased Tolerance:

As alcoholism progresses, the body builds tolerance, meaning the individual needs more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This can lead to increased alcohol consumption over time, which can have severe health consequences.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

When not drinking, individuals with high-functioning alcoholism may experience physical and emotional discomfort. These withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and even physical tremors. Such symptoms drive them to reach for another drink to alleviate the discomfort, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.


Confronting High-Functioning Alcoholism: A Compassionate Approach

Confronting a loved one with high-functioning alcoholism requires empathy and careful planning. Here’s a condensed guide:

  • Choose the Right Time and Place: Pick a private, sober setting for the conversation.
  • Show Empathy: Express love and concern without blame or judgment.
  • Use Specific Examples: Share clear instances of their behavior’s impact.
  • Offer Support: Promise your unwavering support for their recovery journey.
  • Avoid Enabling: Don’t cover up or excuse their addiction.
  • Prepare for Denial: Be patient if they deny or minimize the issue.
  • Set Boundaries: Define consequences for continued alcoholism.
  • Consider an Intervention: If needed, seek professional help for an intervention.


Soledad House: Your Partner in Dual Diagnosis Addiction Recovery

Soledad House specializes in helping women facing dual diagnoses, including alcohol addiction and underlying mental health issues. Our comprehensive approach to treatment sets us apart:

Our Services:

Individualized Treatment Plans: Tailored to address the unique needs of each client.

  • Dual Diagnosis Expertise: Experienced in treating both addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Therapeutic Modalities: Utilizing evidence-based therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
  • Supportive Environment: Providing a safe and caring atmosphere for women to heal and grow.
  • Aftercare Programs: Ensuring ongoing support post-treatment.


How Soledad House Can Assist Your Loved One

If you suspect your loved one is a high-functioning alcoholic, reaching out to Soledad House can make all the difference:

  • Professional Assessment: We offer comprehensive assessments to diagnose addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Customized Treatment Plans: Our team tailors a treatment plan to address your loved one’s specific needs and challenges.
  • 24/7 Support: Access to support and care around the clock, ensuring safety and progress.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Evidence-based therapies to help your loved one develop coping strategies and life skills.
  • Holistic Healing: We address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery.


Take the First Step Toward Recovery

Don’t wait for your loved one’s situation to worsen. Reach out to Soledad House today to discuss your concerns and explore treatment options. Together, we can help your loved one regain control of their life and achieve lasting recovery.



What is dual diagnosis addiction treatment?

Dual-diagnosis addiction treatment focuses on addressing both addiction and underlying mental health issues simultaneously. At Soledad House, we provide specialized care for women facing these complex challenges.

How can I convince my loved one to seek help?

Approach your loved one with compassion and understanding. Share your concerns and offer support. Our team at Soledad House can also assist in staging an intervention if necessary.

What is the success rate of Soledad House's treatment programs?

Our success rates vary depending on individual circumstances. However, we are committed to providing the highest quality care and support to maximize the chances of successful recovery.

Do you accept insurance for treatment?

Yes, we accept a variety of insurance plans. Contact our admissions team to discuss your specific insurance coverage and payment options.

Is Soledad House only for women?

Yes, Soledad House is a women-only treatment center. We create a safe and supportive environment specifically designed to meet the unique needs of women on their journey to recovery.