Let’s face it… Habits can be difficult to break, but sometimes they can be even more difficult to admit. This is what can make them so dangerous sometimes. Habits that are extremely difficult to quit but can also start with denials such as smoking or drinking.
Although there are tons of programs and therapy methods for quitting these habits, the person has to want to change to make the change happen. If a person is happy, comfortable, or used to their habits and patterns, it can lead to lifelong issues and possibly even terminal illnesses.
Drinking is a difficult one. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between a casual drinker and someone who has borderline or high functioning alcoholism. Especially because people with these issues can barely admit it to themselves.
You may not recognize it, but there are a few signs that can help to discover if you or someone you love is actually a high-functioning or borderline alcoholic.
1. Drinking for a Meal: If someone you know comes out to dinner and just orders alcohol in the place of their meal, this can be a tell-tale sign that they may be having issues. It can mean that they are hyper focusing on the drink and would rather fill their guts with a couple beers than actually have a meal and get the nutrients they need. Sure, everyone skips a meal once in a while, but if you notice that your loved one has been repeatedly swapping their dinner plate for a wine glass, it might be time to speak up for their own good.
2. No Hangovers: Someone who has developed an alcohol tolerance will not experience hangovers. If someone you know is able to drink a ton and not experience any repercussions the next day, they might be a high-functioning alcoholic. Even if they go out clubbing and knock back as many drinks as their friends, a red flag should be going up if they are still able to walk straight and carry a coherent conversation. Being able to hold your liquor starts to turn into a problem once you leave the college party scene.
3. Irritation: A person suffering from alcohol dependency will feel a certain sense of irritation if they know they won’t be able to have any. Whether they’re on vacation and don’t have access to alcohol, or the liquor store is closing, if they get physically irritated or upset this is a huge warning sign. People with alcohol problems have tunnel vision when it comes to their booze. They will plan the entire day around it from when they are going to start drinking to what time they are going to make a trip to the liquor store. Worst case scenario is when going to the liquor store becomes a part of regular ‘errands’ as opposed to something done on the weekends and Holidays.
4. Excessive Consumption: One or two drinks will not cut it for a functioning alcoholic. They’ll usually binge and will always ask for one more. In worst case scenarios, the person will always act like the drink they’re holding is the last. They drink without realizing the quantity and can also lose count. This is what leads to the person developing a higher tolerance and therefore feeling the need to consume more alcohol to reach whatever buzz they are chasing. Unfortunately though, once alcoholics get to a certain level of tolerance they most likely won’t be able to reach the same levels of intoxication, so all they are really doing when they’re dumping back ‘one more drink’ is damaging their liver.
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