It’s no secret that drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem. If you have a friend or family member addicted to one of these substances, you’re not alone. In particular, there are many adults throughout the United States who struggle with alcohol abuse. One study shows that in the year 2015, over 29 percent of adult Americans reported binge drinking, which is a particularly unhealthy habit. In other words, alcoholism is no small matter. At the same time, alcoholism isn’t always an obvious problem at first. After all, there is such a thing as a functional alcoholic. These people are able to maintain ordinary day-to-day lives while secretly dealing with a huge drinking problem.

If you suspect a loved one is a secret alcoholic, you need to know for sure. The good news is you’ve come to the right place with this article. Below are nine signs of a functional alcoholic.

1. They’re Obsessive about Alcohol

Have you ever met someone who seemed like they couldn’t have any fun at all without a drink in their hand? Sure, many of us can appreciate the feeling of being “buzzed” off of a drink or two.

Sometimes, though, a person gets too obsessive over their next drink and what it’s going to be. If a person’s favorite subject to talk about is alcohol, and they’re not in the actual business of making or selling it, that’s not a good sign.

2. They’re Defensive about Alcohol

Perhaps, though, you’ve tried to confront him or her about their alcohol abuse before. You did the research on how to stage an intervention and everything. When you confronted your loved one, though, he or she defended drinking without worrying about the consequences.

3. They Blackout from Drinking on a Regular Basis

Everyone deserves to let loose now and again. Otherwise, how would we find the motivation to work every other day of our lives?

Drinking is not itself a bad habit. Binge drinking or getting blackout drunk on a regular basis, though, should be a warning sign for you to consider. The drinker is likely using the substance as a coping mechanism for something more dangerous going on within his or her psyche.

4. They Often Drink Alone

Another sign of a functional alcoholic is the fact that he or she is rather sneaky about it. Drinking a lot on one’s own is a sure way to abuse the substance without any social consequences.

Of course, it might not be easy to spot someone who’s developed this habit. If you keep an eye out, though, you can trust that their behavior still centers around getting back to their liquor cabinet as soon as possible.

5. They Drink To Cope with Their Emotions

As mentioned above, it’s an unfortunate truth that alcoholism is just a masked coping mechanism. Drinkers keep drinking so that they don’t have to face whatever emotional or psychological trauma they’re unconsciously avoiding.

In other words, a functional alcoholic is going to have clear emotional instability. This instability could take to form of wild mood swings or regular bouts of serious depression.

One thing is certain, though. If alcohol is in any way starting to affect the happiness of your loved one, you should prepare to start intervening on his or her behalf. Their health and wellness, after all, depends upon it.

6. They Can Never Have Just One Drink

A person doesn’t have to get blackout drunk all the time to be considered a functional alcoholic. Even if a person seems to handle their liquor well, be wary if he or she can never be satisfied with just one drink. Always needing another glass means there’s a dangerous dependency on the substance at play.

7. They Drink in the Morning or At Every Meal

Having a glass of wine with your meal when you’re out to dinner with friends is one thing. Insisting on a drink with every course and every meal, though, is something else entirely.

If you start to notice someone you care about obsessing over his or her next drink, keep watching. If they continue to display any of these tell-tale signs, they might be a functioning alcoholic who needs your help.

8. They Start Getting in Legal Trouble Due To Drinking

Perhaps the most obvious sign that drinking has gotten too destructive for a person is when the law comes into play. Whether it’s public intoxication or a DUI, a functional alcoholic should consider legal trouble a wake-up call if they’re smart. Continuing down that path will only cost money, time, and maybe even worse.

9. Their Overall Mood Is Affected by Alcohol Consumption

It’s been proven that long-term alcohol abuse can lead to serious mental health problems like anxiety or depression. If your loved one “needs” a drink to feel better on a consistent basis, it might be time to take action to help him or her.

Help Your Beloved Functional Alcoholic Get His or Her Life Back

At this point in the article, you should have a pretty good idea of how to spot a functional alcoholic. You and your loved ones deserve to live healthy, balanced lifestyles for as long as possible. That means you need to be willing to face addiction problems like alcoholism.

There are a lot of ins and outs to navigate when it comes to recovering from alcohol addiction. Often, trying to quit such addiction by one’s self is unsuccessful. That’s why it can be a great idea to leave it to the professionals.

In fact, that’s where we can come into play. We know how hard it can be for an addict to get his or her life back on a healthy track. That’s why we’re dedicated to guiding any addict who comes to us for assistance.

We encourage you to explore the rest of our website for more resources and information on kicking substance addictions of all kinds. Don’t underestimate the value of a proper rehabilitation program, either. If you or your loved one are ready to recover from alcoholism, check out more information on our alcoholism treatment program today.