High Functioning Alcoholics Suffering From the Same Disease

High Functioning Alcoholics – Suffering From the Same Disease!

February 24th, 2012 Alcohol Addiction, Helpful Articles

In July of 2009, Diane Schuler steered her Ford Windstar the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway. A few minutes later, her vehicle slammed into an SUV head-on, killing her, four of the five children she was transporting, and the three men in the SUV. Schuler’s 5-year-old son was the lone survivor of the crash.

According to investigators, at the time of the crash, Diane’s blood alcohol content was .19; more than double the legal limit, and was also “impaired by marijuana.”

In the aftermath of the horrific accident, Diane Schuler’s family, especially her husband Daniel, were subjected to a significant amount of criticism for allowing someone with such a high blood alcohol content and apparent alcohol abuse problem to get behind the wheel of a car.

However, according to her family, Diane never abused alcohol or other drugs; as her husband stated, “I never saw her drunk since the day I met her, she is not an alcoholic.”

This tragic event gives light to an often misunderstood aspect of alcoholism: hidden or high functioning alcoholism.

Gone is the notion that an alcoholic must be a bumbling, disheveled mess that can’t hold down a job and in its place are lawyers, friends, doctors, mailmen, or even the soccer mom next door. They are apparently normal individuals who look like they have everything together yet, secretly; they are alcoholics who are able to maintain their outside life by continuing to:

  • Hold a steady job
  • Pay bills
  • Maintain relationships
  • Have a family

Many high functioning alcoholics are not viewed by society as being alcoholic simply because they have succeeded and overachieved throughout their lifetimes.

While they may be able to hide their symptoms of alcohol abuse, there are a few noticeable habits that these individuals may convey to those around them, such as:

  • Starting to abuse work time and stepping out for a drink
  • Missing engagements and meetings
  • Losing their focus
  • Taking sick days more frequently
  • Becoming less productive at work

Although “high functioning alcoholics” seem to have it “all together,” their excessive drinking is putting their health and safety at risk as well as other’s safety. Even if it’s not outwardly apparent, they are still engaging in risky behaviors such as drinking and driving, having risky sexual encounters, and blacking out.

Not only does society overlook their excessive drinking, but high functioning alcoholics remain in denial because they don’t think they are the stereotypical drunk.

Alcoholism doesn’t discriminate based on gender, class, religion or wealth. It’s a destructive disease that can spark from many factors. Take the steps to a “healthy functioning life” today!

If you or a loved one have fallen victim to either form of alcoholism, don’t hesitate to call us today, toll-free at 855-678-8337


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