Addiction Treatment Center Publishes Blog Post Explaining High-Functioning Alcoholism

Portland, Ore. — Serenity Lane Portland East, a nonprofit treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction, recently published a blog post discussing high-functioning alcoholism and how it can be treated.

The post explains that over the years, some media have fed the public programs that depict drinking alcohol in a way that caused drinking to become a popular symbol of class and sophistication. Movies, TV shows, and ads have often shown supposed role models with a drink in their hand during business meetings or at every meal, suggesting that drinking alcohol was just another part of achieving life’s goals. Though popular culture likes to glamorize drinking, it rarely shows the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

The post states that even though the dangers of drinking alcohol are now more widely understood, and casual drinking isn’t as acceptable as it once was, people engaging in high-functioning alcohol consumption still exist, and the consequences of drinking are very real.

The term “high-functioning alcoholic” is not a formal medical term. It is a practical way of describing someone who is mentally or physically dependent on alcohol but can still function as a productive member of society. This is contrary to how many people picture someone with alcohol use disorder (AUD, the medical term for alcoholism). They might imagine a person who shows no interest in personal hygiene, has difficulties holding down a job, and has been abandoned by friends and family. The blog post says AUD exists on a spectrum of severity, and those suffering from high-functioning alcoholism may appear to be mentally and physically healthy but may also be struggling with intrusive alcohol cravings, may have unsuccessfully tried to quit drinking, and may suffer from the invisible effects of alcohol addiction on their physical and mental well-being.

The blog post talks about behaviors that may indicate someone is suffering from high-functioning AUD, such as becoming defensive or avoiding any criticism regarding their drinking habits; memory loss or “blacking out” frequently as a result of drinking; being deceptive or secretive about the amount of alcohol they consume; continuing drinking habits despite negative effects on physical, mental, and emotional well-being; and denial of an issue with alcohol because they’ve experienced no severe consequences due to their drinking.

People with high-functioning AUD may not fit the typical image of a person with AUD, the post explains. They may maintain physical fitness and a well-groomed appearance, or they may drink a large number of alcoholic beverages without showing signs of being drunk. But other signs they may have a high-functioning form of AUD include drinking to cope with stressful or difficult situations, or as a reward for a job well done; experiencing a strong urge to drink in certain situations where alcohol is unavailable; taking care of responsibilities at home, work, or with family or children despite drinking habits; hiding drinking from family members, coworkers, and friends; and justifying drinking as acceptable if drinking expensive wine and liquor or at upscale events. They may also be observed lying to themselves or others about the amount or strength of the drinks they consume, comparing the consequences of their drinking to those of others who’ve experienced worse to justify their habits as being “not so bad," and gaining a reputation for doing a great job at work or home despite excessive drinking.

Serenity Lane Portland East's alcohol treatment program features evidence-based treatment methods that are personalized to meet the specific needs of each of their clients. Their team of medical professionals uses a standardized protocol to help clients achieve long-term recovery from alcohol dependence. Their treatment addresses both the emotional and medical needs of the individual.

For more information on Serenity Lane Portland East and all of their alcohol and drug treatment services, visit their website.


For more information about Serenity Lane Portland East, contact the company here:

Serenity Lane Portland East
(503) 546-7677
12662 SE Stark, Plaza 125 Bldg. A.
Portland, OR, 97233