Functioning alcoholic. You may have heard the term before; you may even know one. However, there is a great deal of research—both scientific and anecdotal—that refutes the concept of functional alcoholism.
Let’s look at what we know and talk a little about why functional alcoholism doesn’t exist.
What is ‘functional alcoholism’? And is it any less serious?
We tend to think of an alcoholic as somebody who has lost everything – their spouse, their job, their friends, their savings, all gone. But, many alcoholics still manage to maintain a relatively productive life, both personally and professionally. This makes it very difficult to recognize the disease, not only for the people who care about them but for the alcoholic themselves.
This type of alcoholic often has great relationships with their friends, family, and coworkers. They may excel at their job and feel that they are quite successful. Some may be quite successful, which may lead others to overlook the drinking altogether.
He or she may not even drink every day and may instead binge-drink on the weekends when they have less to be accountable for. They may rationalize their drinking with statements like “I only drink expensive liquor,” or “I just drink wine.” They often feel that their drinking, along with everything else in their lives, is under control, when in truth, they are in deep denial.
In many cases, the alcoholic has people in their lives who help them hide their shortcomings, someone who makes it easy for them to evade the negative consequences of their drinking. These individuals, often close friends, spouses, or family members, are enabling the behavior, allowing it to continue and even supporting the idea that whatever the alcoholic gets up to, there will always be someone there to pick up the pieces.
Know the warning signs
If an individual doesn’t drink every day, if they manage to fulfill their responsibilities, and if they hold a position of power, it’s not easy to tell that there is a problem. However, some behaviors paint a telling picture.
For instance, drinking secretly, drinking alone, or drinking in the morning, using alcohol either as a reward or to mitigate stress or thinking that alcohol is needed to feel at ease. Drinking to the point of blackout, forgetting what’s been done or said while drinking, making excuses for drinking, and denying or hiding drinking – these are all clear signs that the drinking behavior is becoming dangerous.
Like any alcoholic, a high-functioning alcoholic often engages in risky behavior, such as driving drunk, promiscuity, and putting themselves or others in dangerous situations. They are also no less susceptible to chronic and life-threatening diseases related to their alcohol use, such as liver disease, brain damage, neural damage, diabetes, pancreatitis, and some forms of cancer. The risk of dying in a car accident, by murder, or suicide is significantly higher, as is the risk of violence, domestic abuse, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, reach out today. Roots Through Recovery offers many treatment options that can help you get your life back on track.
Addiction is an issue faced by many people. Addiction does not have prejudice; it can affect people of any age, any race, any walk of like. It doesn’t have a preference for age or gender. It doesn’t care where you live. Once it has taken hold of your life, you may find that your choices are no longer your own. Fortunately, addiction treatment in Long Beach is available at Roots Through Recovery.
Addiction treatment in Long Beach is within reach
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, seeking out treatment is essential. At our Long Beach treatment center, we take a holistic approach to every case, applying a multi-disciplinary focus to target the underlying cause while treating the symptoms appropriately.
Our team understands the nature of addiction. We genuinely care about our patients and take an individual approach to each case because we know that no two people are experiencing precisely the same issues. Our singular goal is to help you get your life back, free you from your addiction, and help you find happiness.
Treating the whole person
Our treatment programs are based on treating the whole person, not just the underlying addiction. In many cases, there are co-occurring issues that have either led to the addiction or exacerbate the situation. Without treating these aspects, we would only be masking the problem, making recovery much more difficult.
We take a team approach to addiction treatment in Long Beach, combining group therapy, family counseling, psychiatric and psychological support, in-patient hospitalization (when appropriate), partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, outpatient treatment, recovery support programs, and a complete range of recovery services that are designed to provide continuing support.
While many addiction programs focus strongly on detox and only provide support for the first two or three months beyond that, we have found greater success when extending treatment for an indeterminate period.
Recovery is an ongoing process
Returning to normal life and sober living is often difficult, especially when the addiction has taken up the better part of your life. For this reason, our addiction treatment doesn’t stop at three months or even six months. The challenges may last a lifetime, and it is our goal to give you the tools and intervention strategies you need to stay the course and never have to return to that dark place.
Everybody is different
How we approach your recovery depends on you, your situation, and your goals. Some of our patients are re-entering life from incarceration, and some need to mend a lot of broken fences on the road back to their family and friends. Some are mature, some are very young, but each has their own set of challenges as well as hopes and dreams for the future.
Ultimately, we want to ensure you achieve the freedom from addiction you seek. It may not always be easy, but the rewards are so great. Through it all, our doctors, counselors, therapists, and alumni will be here to support your success, every step of the way.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is critical that you seek help as soon as possible. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.
Opioid addiction in America has risen to crisis proportions in recent years, affecting people from all demographics and all walks of life.
According to a recent study released by the US Department of Health and Human Services, 130 people die every day from opioid overdose from drugs that include prescription pain medications like oxycodone and morphine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and hydromorphone, and street opiates like heroin.
Opioid addiction can affect anyone
It often starts innocently enough. Following an injury or after surgery, patients are prescribed pain medication to help them cope as they heal. What is supposed to be a temporary intervention quickly turns into a physical addiction.
If the doctor refuses to renew the prescription, patients often turn to the street, often ending up with counterfeit drugs, some laced with deadly doses of fentanyl. Those who do not overdose become even more addicted.
While some manage to maintain their jobs and go on with their lives in spite of it, many lose everything to their addiction, spending all of their time trapped in the cycle of getting money for drugs through crime or deception, looking for drugs, using them, and recovering from them.
For these individuals, there is little choice. The withdrawal symptoms are severe enough that they will do just about anything to keep themselves well – which means, continuing to use. When desperation sets in, any promise of relief will do, leading even the most cautious into dangerous territory.
Opioid addiction treatment Long Beach
While you might think the opioid crisis is a recent phenomenon, addiction has threatened public health several times over the past few centuries. Every time it takes hold, scientists come up with newer versions of the drug that are supposed to be safer.
Many of these formulations, like heroin, and more recently, methadone, have actually been invented to treat addiction. The philosophy is that if a doctor can control and monitor the dosage, it will be easier to manage. In reality, what they are really doing is transferring the addiction to a different form of the same thing and continuing the cycle. While some may respond to this treatment and move past their addiction, many become stuck in it for years, never truly breaking free.
What’s different in today’s opioid treatment?
Today, we better understand the mechanisms of addiction and pain. We approach treatment and recovery differently than in the past, putting the focus on the patient and helping them return to a functional, productive life.
Medications we now use to treat opioid addiction, like buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Subutex, are highly advanced, alleviating the symptoms without causing the opiate “high.”
At our Long Beach opioid treatment center, we combine drug therapy with a multi-disciplinary therapeutic approach that includes psychological counseling, physical therapy, and educational support to help individuals get their lives and their joy for living back on track.
While medications are an important intervention in addiction treatment, we place an equal focus on the underlying cause, whether that is rooted in chronic pain, psychological behaviors, outside stressors, or other forms of mental illness. This type of combination therapy has helped many people overcome the bonds of opioid addiction and return to a healthy, productive, and happy life.
Opioid treatment Long Beach
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. Reach out today to get started.