How to Help a Functional Alcoholic

A “functional alcoholic” or “functioning alcoholic” is an individual who appears to be maintaining a stable life and social relationships, while seriously misusing alcohol or being addicted to alcohol. Functioning alcoholics often do not exhibit the usual signs of alcoholism to indicate a substance-use disorder, but they might nonetheless meet the diagnosis criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence.

Should a functioning alcoholic seek treatment?

Alcoholism is a serious condition with significant mental, medical, physical, emotional, and life consequences for the individual and those around him or her. Anyone overusing alcohol or drugs, regardless of their degree of “functionality” should seek professional treatment.

What are ways that family members can help a functional alcoholic?

Is your husband, wife, partner, colleague or other close relative abusing alcohol while maintaining appearances to the outside world?

Family members can help individuals struggling with alcoholism by compassionately supporting them in professional, clinical treatment programs. There are many education and support resources available for family members of alcoholics, including local mental health professionals and trusted medical professionals such as SFAD (Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs) and Drinkaware, among others.

Treatment for Functional Alcoholism

Specialised treatment for alcoholism at Castle Craig starts with a gradual, medically monitored detoxification. As soon as the patient is stabilised on their detox regime, they take part in the treatment community, attending all the therapy groups, activities and educational lectures of our inpatient programme.