5 Signs You Are A High-Functioning Alcoholic

May 13, 2021

Is drinking after work every night really considered being an alcoholic? Do you find yourself having too much to drink after you told yourself you’d only have one? Or do you truly have a healthy relationship with alcohol?

It can be hard to draw the line between drinking too much and not. And that’s where we find ourselves starting to become a little curious about this sober thing.

Are you ready to dig your claws into your drinking habits and uncover the dirt on your own relationship with high-functioning alcoholism?

What is a high-functioning alcoholic anyway?

Okay, okay, so it’s now officially called “alcohol use disorder,” you’ll still hear a lot of people talking about “alcoholism” or “alcohol abuse.” It's a condition that ranges from mild to moderate to severe. And it’s all still problem drinking, even if you think it's “mild.”

Alcohol use disorder comes in many shapes and sizes, but the main thing you’ll find in common with this addiction is the inability to stop or control alcohol use.

Not all alcoholics are stereotypical drunks who walk around with their liquor in a brown bag and can’t hold down a job. On the contrary, many times those with alcohol use disorder are actually considered high-functioning alcoholics. Meaning they have a steady job, have a circle of friends, and seem “normal” from an outsider’s point of view. It’s usually pretty easy to deny someone is a high-functioning alcoholic for those reasons and more. You’d be surprised to find out some very successful people have a drinking problem! 

As you might have gathered,  what frequent alcohol abuse leads to is a higher tolerance which leads to you drinking more to get the same feeling. This tolerance leads to even more problems; i.e. performing more tasks while under the influence of alcohol due to this new built up tolerance, calling in to work, poorer health, and overall just not showing up as the best version of yourself! 

If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may have an issue with drinking, check these common signs to start addressing your sober curiosity.


  1. Black outs or forgetting what you did while drinking 
  2. Drinking more than you intended
  3. Withdrawal symptoms
  4. Building a tolerance
  5. Admitting you have a drinking problem, or joking about having a drinking problem

If you can say yes to one or more of these, then it's possible you need to get serious about re-evaluating your relationship with alcohol. You can take my 2-minute quiz  to find out if you control alcohol or if alcohol is controlling you. 


If you’ve recognized that you have a problem with alcohol and want to drop the habit for a better life, then I first want you to know how proud I am of you!

Next, check out my other posts for getting started on your sobriety journey:
How To Survive The First 30 Days of Sobriety

8 Tips To Help You STAY Sober

5 Ways to get sober without AA

Lastly, get serious about getting sober. Commit to it fully and go all in. Only you can decide it's time to dump your relationship with booze. 

Still not convinced sobriety is the right choice? Check out 5 Reasons to Quit Drinking NOW

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