How-to Spot a High-Functioning Alcoholic

Every alcoholic can look different. Some may act and look like what you think of as a stereotypical alcoholic, but some do not fit that mold. It is estimated that about 20% of alcoholics are considered to be a high-functioning alcoholic. They are going to have different signs and mannerisms that you can pick up on.

How-to Spot a High-Functioning Alcoholic: Know the Signs

What is it?

First, what is a high-functioning alcoholic? It is considered to be a sub-type of alcoholism in which a person seems to be functioning normally but is abusing alcohol in private. These people usually have families or stable relationships and jobs. Additionally, they are oftentimes middle-aged and have a family history of alcoholism.

Due to their background, they these people do not appear to have any red flags of addiction. However, they are still at risk for serious health conditions and other consequences and should seek professional help.

Drinking at Unusual Times

One of the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic is that they will drink at unusual times. Day drinking is very common sign. This could include having a drink first thing in the morning, or even sneaking drinks at work. Because they are dependent on alcohol, they will have to continue drinking throughout the day to avoid withdrawal symptoms. They may often make jokes about day drinking, or even try and hide it.

Another sign is if someone often drinks alone. Even if they go and attend a party or festivity, they will often drink heavily at home afterwards as to avoid judgment.

Heavy or Frequent Drinking

Another sign of a high-functioning alcoholic is the amount of alcohol they drink. If someone can not seem to go a day without drinking, this can be an indication of a problem. This also applies to the amount they are drinking. Someone tends to drink a lot more than the average person could certainly be dependent on alcohol.

Denial

Most times, a high-functioning alcoholic will deny that they have a problem. They may not even realize that they have issues themselves. They will likely point to the fact that they are able to function normally on a daily basis as a reason as to why they do not have a problem. Since they feel that they have control of their lives, they will not think they have a dependance on alcohol.

Treatment

A high-functioning alcoholic will still need treatment. Even though they are able to function in daily life, they can still experience the negative long and short-term side effects of alcoholism. Additionally, this disease will progress if less untreated. Therefore, they will not be able to maintain being able to hold everything together forever. Whether you or a loved one are struggling with this, it is time to get help. If you are unsure of where to look for help, reach out to a support group or a treatment center.

How-to Stop Emotional Drinking Habits

Some people drink in order to numb and run away from pain. This can be a vicious cycle that is not healthy emotionally or physically. These people may go from one hangover of sadness to the next. Before it goes over the edge into something more serious like alcoholism, you need to get out of this habit of drowning everything out. This will require you to stop your emotional drinking habits.

How-to Stop Emotional Drinking Habits: Changing Course

Get to the Cause

Emotional drinkers use alcohol to run away from the emotions they do not know how to cope with or do not want to feel. These are oftentimes sadness, grief, loneliness, fear and low self-worth. They choose to literally drown their sorrows with alcohol. Some people turn to binge drinking to deal with emotions. Oftentimes, low self-esteem is a major player in an emotional drinker’s life. They may have even lost their faith in themselves.

A healthier way to handle unpleasant emotions is to go and talk to someone. A trusted-friend, therapist of a councilor are a good start. They can help you work through these emotions and get to the root cause of these feelings. Unfortunately, instead of helping your sorrows go away, drinking actually drowns your positivity instead. However, a professional or someone you trust can help you work through your feelings and why you can not cope with difficult emotions. Try and analyze and observe your emotions. Once you start to observe them, your emotions do not have as much power over you.

Dangerous Progression

Oftentimes, emotional drinkers are high-functioning people with a family and a job. No one would consider them alcoholic. However, emotional drinking can lead to alcoholism if left uncontrolled. There are several warning signs that this has happened. For example, you use alcohol as a way to deal with life or you avoid social situations that don’t involve alcohol. Also, you may start to drink in secret. This will help you to hide how much you are actually drinking. Additionally. you may not be able to even sleep without alcohol.

None of these signs are healthy or positive. If you are unable to get control of your emotional drinking habits, and are progressing towards addiction, you need to talk to someone. There are many people and organizations who are willing to help you.

How-to Navigate a Family History of Alcoholism

Our genes can pass pass down all kinds of traits. Sometimes, these are positive traits, and other-times these are negative traits. Studies have shown that alcoholism can be an inherited trait. This does not mean that just because you have a family history of alcoholism that you are going to turn into an alcoholic.

How-to Navigate a Family History of Alcoholism: Nature versus Nurture

Environmental Impact

While it is possible for someone to inherit alcoholic tendencies, there is also an environmental factor in all of this as well. It is true that some people who are born with the genes that make them prone to alcoholism are responsible drinkers or may never even have a drink in their entire life.

There are some of the environmental factors that could increase the likelihood that someone who has inherited these genes could struggle with alcohol. For example, physical or sexual abuse, or lack of parental supervision could all be a factor. Additionally, poor social skills, alcohol and drug experimentation, poverty, and the availability of alcohol are other factors. While some of these things are difficult to control, you can help by resisting peer pressure, drug usage and coming up with rules around alcohol use.

Positive Mindset

Know that even if you have an alcoholic parent, you do not have to become one too. Although it may be hard at times, try and have a positive mindset. Set goals and work towards them. Do not assume that you will fail just because of your family history. One good step to take is to find a mentor or an adult you look up to that will hold you accountable.

You will also have to hold your own self accountable as well. Stay away from situations that could lead to temptations. True, this is not always the fun or easy choice. This may mean skipping a party or choosing to not hang out with friends who are drinking. You will have to be in charge of your own destiny. This is true for everyone, but especially people who has a family risk of alcoholism. Know you are taking these steps to help keep you healthy and safe.

It is possible to inherit genes that make you more prone to alcoholism. However, that does not automatically make you an alcoholic. By making positive decisions and holding yourself accountable, you do not have to go down that path.

How-to Attend a Tailgate Without Drinking

Although this year tailgating may not be a thing due to Covid-19, tailgating is a popular pastime during football and other sporting event seasons. These activities usually involve large amounts of food, camaraderie, and a lot of drinking. If you are wanting to avoid drinking alcohol for any reason, a tailgate may be an uncomfortable situation for you. However, it does not need to be uncomfortable. There are plenty of ways to attend a tailgate without drinking.

How-to Attend a Tailgate Without Drinking: Social Situations

Beverage Alternatives

There are many non-alcoholic drink options that you can have at a tailgate. You could have a soda to drink. Just put it in a coozie to keep it cool, or you could pour it into a cup if you were wanting to be discreet. (Virgin Rum and Coke, anyone?) Sometimes, tailgates can get really warm, so another option is to just keep hydrated with water. If this is too plain for you, there are many flavored waters available. If you are hosting the tailgate, you could even think of making non-alcoholic party drinks, and lettings others spike them if they want to.

You can even buy little flavoring bottles where you can squeeze a little flavor of your choice into a water bottle. If you feel like you are missing out on the taste of beer, opt for a non-alcoholic beer like Heineken 0.0. These are great alternatives so that you can attend a tailgate without drinking.

Pretend to Drink

It is not hard to find a solution for showing up at a tailgate without drinking, no matter the reason. There are times when you may not want anyone to know you are not drinking. For example, if you are pregnant but not ready to tell anyone yet, you will not want to tip anyone off by not drinking. In this case, just open something in an opaque container so that no one can see how much of a drink you have remaining. Just do not forget to “take a sip” every now and then. If you have to drink from a clear container, only add in the mixer and pretend to add in alcohol. Just do not let anyone else play bartender for you.

There may be the event that you get stuck with an alcoholic beverage anyways. One tip is that you could pour out some of your drink in a discreet area behind some cars. If you are with your significant other, and they have not had much to drink , they could take small sips from your cup so that it looks like you are making progress. You could also just set the drink down somewhere and engage in another activity instead. Sometimes there are games, like corn hole at tailgates. This could be a great “hands-free” activity that would allow you to be drinkless for a while.

How-to Throw a Party Without Alcohol: Alternatives

Are you wanting to throw a party without alcohol? Perhaps you do not drink, or you just do not want the temptation to be there. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of alternatives to alcohol. You do not have to have alcohol there to have a fun party. Here are some tips to how to have an amazing time without having to worry about hangovers.

How-to Throw a Party Without Alcohol: Alternatives to Consider

Drinks

As a good host at a gathering, you will still want to provide beverages, even if they are non-alcoholic. There are many options for this. For example, you could make a punch or even lemonade. If want to still stick to a party-vibe, make some mock-tails, non-alcoholic sangria, or even grab some non-alcoholic beers and sparkling grape juice. Also, make sure to still have plenty of water to keep guests hydrated. If you want to get fancy, you can make frozen drinks like a frosted lemonade, slushies or even milkshakes. These will be some refreshing options for your guests if you are going to throw a party without alcohol.

On the other hand, if it’s a cold weather gathering, some warm drinks would be a good option. You could offer coffee, hot chocolate or even a hot apple cider. These drinks will be both warm as well as delicious.

Prepare Your Guests

If you do not want your guests showing up with alcohol, make sure you set the expectations before they arrive. Especially if you are wanting to stay away from any temptations of drinking, let your guests know this is a party without alcohol. It is up to you to decide if you want to let your guests know why you are wanting to have a booze-free party. If anyone gives you a hard time about the party being dry, do not let it bother you. If they are not interested in just coming to hang out with you and just looking to drink, you do not want them at your party anyways.

Games and Activities

If you would rather spend the entire time just socializing, that is okay. However, you could also plan some sort of game or activity as well. There are plenty of games you could play without them having to be drinking games. Try a round of charades or even download the Jackbox.tv party game to have your whole group laughing the entire night. Or you could still have some music playing and encourage people to dance. You can basically do any activity that you would have normally done, just without the booze. Follow these steps and you will have a really run party without alcohol.

How-to Spot Bad Drinking Habits

It’s important to make sure that your drinking stays within safe levels. However, not many people know when exactly their drinking is crossing into dangerous territory. Therefore, it’s good to know how to spot bad drinking habits. That way, you can better prevent issues from developing…

How-to Spot Bad Drinking Habits: Important Indicators

Drinking a lot at once

One way to spot bad drinking habits is by looking at how much you drink at once. Most people will only have a few drinks in total at things like parties or events. Sometimes, they may get a bit drunk, but not all that often. Even if they do, they’ll stop drinking and either sober up, or have a ride home.

If you notice that you’re drinking a lot when you go out, then it could indicate that you’re binge drinking. This sort of drinking is quite dangerous, as it can quickly lead to you becoming heavily intoxicated. It can also develop into a serious drinking problem in the near future. At that point, it’ll become a lot harder to break your habit.

Drinking each day

Another of the bad drinking habits is when you drink each day. In general, people tend to drink mainly at social events. Meanwhile, others like to have a drink or two by themselves from time to time. However, they won’t have a drink each day of the week.

Drinking every day can result in it becoming a part of your daily routine. Plus, it makes it easier to develop a habit where you start drinking more and more each day. Even if you aren’t drinking a lot, this kind of consumption can quickly add up over time and lead to some problems.

Drinking when stressed

Some people like to drink to help them relax. After a stressful day or week, a drink can be a way for you to relieve some stress. What you want to avoid, though, is drinking every time you’re stressed. This is one of the bad drinking habits you want to especially avoid.

Instead, try and find other ways to better relieve your stress. While it can feel like alcohol helps, there’s a lot of healthier options for stress-relief out there. That way, you can save the drinks for days when you really want to unwind.

How-to Understand Addiction Severity

One of the main reasons as to why people don’t think they need treatment for an addiction is because they don’t think they have one in the first place. However, it may be due to them not understanding addiction severity. Taking a closer look at your usage can help you realize if you should seek out treatment…

How-to Understand Addiction Severity: Important Criteria

Rate of usage

One way to determine your addiction severity is by looking how often you take drugs or alcohol. Usually, the more often you take them, the more you may have a serious addiction. It could get to the point where you take it every day, or even multiple times each day. The amount you take may also continue to increase in size.

At the same time, you can also see what happens when you go without taking anything. If you experience withdrawal symptoms, this can also clue you in that you have developed an addiction. The stronger the symptoms, the more severe you know your addiction is.

Input from your friends

Your friends can also help you realize your addiction severity. How they react to your usage can make you realize your usage is unhealthy. If your friends are adamant that you should seek some outside help, then it may be a good idea to take their advice.

You can also consider if you’ve been keeping your drug and alcohol use a secret from your friends. Many times, people do this because they feel that their friends would be concerned if they were aware. At this point, it’s good to be honest with them and see how they respond. After all, your friends only want to make sure you’re safe and healthy.

Impact on your life

Addiction severity can be quite clearly seen in how it impacts your life. You may find that you are unable to do anything else except fulfill your cravings. This could impact your job, relationships with friends and family, and even your overall well-being. When your quality of live starts suffering due to your usage, then you can recognize that it’s a problem.

Even if you seem to have things together, don’t allow for yourself to be fooled. Being a high-functioning addict is still something to take seriously. Eventually, your addiction will catch up to you as in becomes more severe, and everything can seemingly change for you all at once.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol: The Risks

There are many short-term effects of alcohol. Since alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the body’s systems when it reaches the brain. It also puts a lot of strain on the liver as well as the digestive system and cardiovascular system.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol: What They Are

Absorption

Right after drinking alcohol, a lot of things start to happen. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream by blood vessels in the stomach lining and small intestine. From there, the alcohol goes to your brain. This is where is starts to affect your body.

The short-term effects of alcohol have many factors. For example, how much alcohol you consume and how quickly you consume it will directly affect the impact. Additionally, your gender and weight, as well as whether you have eaten, can affect this as well. You will be less intoxicated if you drink with a meal, as it slows the rate of absorption.

Progression of Intoxication

Initially, you may feel happy, silly and care-free. After drinking more alcohol, things start to change. For example, slurred speech, clumsiness and inability to walk steady, vomiting, headache, and drowsiness can occur. Eventually, even a loss of consciousness can result. These are some of the short-term effects of alcohol.

Alcohol Poisoning

At a certain level, the amount of alcohol in the blood can lead to alcohol poisoning. This is a very dangerous short-term effect of alcohol. Alcohol can slow your breathing which can cause your brain to not get enough oxygen. This can cause confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness or coma. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

Alcohol Intolerance

It is possible to have an alcohol intolerance. People with this will experience  negative short-term effects of alcohol immediately after drinking it. Symptoms of this can include facial flying, nausea or vomiting. Also, it can cause diarrhea, worsening of asthma or low blood pressure.

Hangover

One of the most well known short-term side effects of alcohol is a hangover. This is mainly caused from the dehydration that alcohol causes. It takes a while for your body and liver to absorb and process all of the alcohol. During this time, your body can remain saturated with the remaining alcohol. You may have a headache, feel restless, or even nauseous.

While there are both long-term and short-term side effects of alcohol, you now know some of the ones that don’t last as long. In short, alcohol can have a negative effect on your body. If you are going to drink, do so responsibly and in moderation.

Treatment Excuses: Common Types

If you have a loved one that’s dealing with an addiction, you’ll want to encourage them to seek some help. However, when you bring this up to them, they may give you some common treatment excuses. These excuses are meant to be a way for them to get out of going and getting the help they really need…

Treatment Excuses: What To Expect

“I can quit whenever I want”

Perhaps the most common of the treatment excuses is when someone says they’re not really addicted. Instead, they claim that they can stop whenever they feel like. For some, it’s pretty obvious that they’re lying. Others, though, seem to be able to still live functional lives, which can make you second-guess yourself.

What’s important is that you can’t let yourself be fooled. An addiction is a serious thing, no matter how successful they appear to be. Rather, they’re in denial about the situation they’re in. When they go to treatment, they’ll realize the reality of what’s going on.

“It won’t work”

Other treatment excuses will try and discredit the successfulness of treatment programs. For instance, the person you’re trying to help may say that they knew someone who relapsed after they got treatment. As a result, they believe that it isn’t effective, and will instead be a waste of time.

However, situations like these don’t mean treatment is useless. Instead, they show just how hard it is to kick an addiction. In fact, many experts believe that a relapse isn’t a failure, but just a part of the recovery process. Those who return to treatment after a relapse are much more likely to keep sober than those who don’t try in the first place.

“What about my friends?”

One of the toughest treatment excuses to deal with is when someone says they’ll lose their friends or social life. Odds are, many of their friends are dealing with addictions just like they are. While this does encourage their unhealthy behavior, these friends also understand how tough it is living with an addiction.

In this case, make sure you remind them that those in the treatment center also know what that’s like. Therefore, they’ll be able to have a familiar support system even when in treatment. Knowing this can encourage them to give it a try, and in the process, make new friends who will support them getting sober.

Beauty Benefits: Sobriety and Your Appearance

Did you know there are beauty benefits associated with sobriety? You will start to notice them once you stop drinking. Alcohol can really take a toll on your skin and your appearance.

Beauty Benefits: What are the Effects?

Inflammation

Alcohol can cause skin to be inflamed. One of the beauty benefits of sobriety is a reduction of inflammation. When you are sober, you will look less puffy and bloated. Alcohol brings the blood up to the tissue, which can start to cause damage. This can result in redness, blotchiness and inflammation.

Weight

Another one for the beauty benefits of sobriety is weight loss. Alcohol is packed with calories. For example, a large glass of white wine (250ml) has approximately 190 calories. A doughnut has just about the same number of calories.  Therefore, a bottle of wine would be equal to 3 doughnuts. Likewise, a pint of beer would be one doughnut. Would you ever be willing to sit down and have 3 doughnuts at one time?

Cutting out alcohol will really cut out calories. This will help keep you from packing on unwanted pounds. This is just another benefit of getting sober.

Toxic Byproducts

First, the body metabolizes the alcohol from an enzyme in the liver. The liver releases a byproduct that is toxic to body tissues. Then, this causes the body tissues and skin to become dehydrated. This can result in premature aging of the skin, such as wrinkles. The dry skin that resulted from toxins can also lead to acne breakouts.

The way that the body processes alcohol can cause cosmetic nightmares. Ridding your body of toxic byproducts and their side-effects is yet another one of the beauty benefits that come from sobriety.

Beauty Rest

Alcohol negatively impacts your sleep. After drinking, you do not get a restful or deep sleep. Sleep is important for cellular turnover and repairing your skin. This can lead to you looking tired, with red eyes and dark circles. Your skin won’t look as refreshed or radiant either. You get a lot of beauty benefits from a good night of sleep.

Cutting back or stopping your alcohol intake will significantly impact your appearance. You will look more refreshed and radiant. You also won’t have to worry about unnecessary calories or alcohol-induced inflammation.