Functional alcoholics are people who are able to keep up with their everyday lives, family, and work responsibilities, even as they are consuming alcohol. On the surface, these individuals may appear to be functioning normally, but underneath the surface, their drinking has snuck up on them and is beginning to take its toll. It is important to recognize the signs of functional alcoholism and to learn how to help a functioning alcoholic in the best ways you can.
Know what you’re looking for.
The first step in helping a functional alcoholic is to understand the signs and symptoms of the disease. People who are functioning alcoholics often hide their drinking, so it can be difficult to tell when they have crossed the line. Some common signs of a functional alcoholic include drinking more than they intended, increased tolerance to alcohol, physical symptoms such as red eyes and flushed skin, mood swings, irritability, and changes in behavior.
Talk to your loved one.
The next step is to talk to the person about their drinking. This is not an easy conversation to have, but it is an important one. It is important to be direct and honest with them about your concerns. Let them know that you are worried about their health and that you care about them. Remember that you are not there to judge or lecture them; you are there to support them and help them find ways to reduce their drinking and make healthier choices.
When having this conversation, it is important to be non-judgmental and understanding. Let them know that you are there for them and that you are willing to help them get the treatment they need. Encourage them to seek out professional help, such as attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or talking to a therapist.
Create a safe space.
It is also important to create a safe environment for the person to talk about their drinking. Let them know that it is okay to talk about how they are feeling and that you will be there to listen. It is important to remember that it can be difficult for someone to open up and talk about their drinking, so providing a supportive environment is key. Finally, it is of utmost importance to be supportive of the person’s recovery. No matter the addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or anything else, recovery is always a difficult and trying journey. Everyone needs support, and having a strong support system is a cornerstone of successful recovery.
We all need someone to turn to in times of difficulty, and those in recovery are no different. Let the person in recovery know that you are there for them and that you are willing to help in any way that you can. Listen to them, be understanding, and be patient. Show them that you care about them and support them in their recovery efforts.
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. It can be draining to be there for someone in recovery, and it is important to take time for yourself. Finding a good balance between supporting the person in their recovery and taking care of yourself is vital.
If you know someone who is a functional alcoholic, it is important to take steps to help them. Recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease, talk to the person about their drinking, create a safe environment for them to talk, and be supportive of their recovery. With your help, a functional alcoholic can begin to get the help they need and start to build a healthier life.