Alcohol can be confusing. It can be highly addictive for some, while there are others who can drink every weekend and still maintain safe drinking boundaries. In this case, alcohol is selectively addictive.
And while alcohol can be a depressant, studies show that it can also be a happy stimulant when taken in moderate doses. The first few drinks can make one a jolly good fellow and the world a much happier place. However, with the next few bottles or shots, the drinker becomes less alert, with delayed reflexes and slurred speech, and may have impaired motor skills.
This is where our picture of an alcoholic comes in: The stumbling,bumbling bum. Little do we know that there’s another type of alcoholic that operates under our radar, but still needs help nevertheless. This is the high-functioning alcoholic.
The high-functioning alcoholic gets far less attention because they do not meet the superficial, stereotypical profile of an alcoholic. They are good, well respected citizens. They are good parents, good employees, successful students. They do their family’s groceries, watch their weight, go to the gym, heck maybe even run marathons. One thing they have in common is this: they go home at the end of the day, drink four shots of whiskey, vodka, or what-have-you, have a couple of beers, and maybe two bottles of wine. They are alcoholics.
For the invisible alcoholic, they can go about their daily life without having someone talk or reprimand them. They are not unruly. They don’t make a scene at bars. They don’t stumble around or slur when they talk to you. However, day in and day out, deep inside, they are in despair, telling themselves over and over that they will never drink again tonight.
These are the kinds of alcoholics that need help too.