Signs and Symptoms of a Functioning Alcoholic

The diagnosis of a substance use disorder should be made by a trained healthcare professional. However, there are some common signs and symptoms that an individual may be a functioning alcoholic:

  • Amount consumed: For women, more than three drinks per day or more than seven drinks per week; and for men, four drinks per day or more than fourteen per week
  • Fluctuations in personality/mood: Unexplained changes in temperament or mood coinciding with access or lack of access to alcohol
  • Physical health problems
  • Changing appearance
  • Risk taking
  • Joking about harmful alcohol use
  • Secrecy
  • Drinking in the morning, throughout the day, and/or alone

Prevalence/rates of functional alcoholism

The rates of functional alcoholism are somewhat hard to estimate since the very nature of the condition is that it does not result in the more readily observable hallmarks of other kinds of alcoholism and therefore is less readily detected. The USA’s National Institute of Health estimates that 19% of all alcoholics meet criteria for this subtype.

Treatment for Functional Alcoholism

At Castle Craig every patient undergoes a thourough medical assesment to determine an indepth diagnosis. Each patient then received a personalised treatment plan, involving detoxification, therapy and other activities within the treatment community, with a daily schedule of educational lectures, nutritious meals and regular medical care.