Alcohol Rehab and Detox

Addiction Treatment in St. Augustine, FL

At Dr. Paul’s By The Sea, we can help those who are struggling with alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Our treatment facilities in St. Augustine have specialized treatment programs for each individual. We can treat addiction by using medically assisted detox and follow up treatment, such as therapy and support groups. 

High functioning alcoholism is defined as someone who struggles with alcohol but does not experience the same discernable effects of drinking excessively. Many people believe they know what alcoholism looks like; it is portrayed in the media as an uncontrollable need to drink, which leads to unpredictable behavior. 

While those who struggle with alcohol addiction do have these issues, some are able to drink an excessive amount, and no one would be the wiser. Functioning alcoholics still receive the consequences of drinking too much or ‘binge drinking.’ They can participate in everyday activities. Though these individuals can maintain a job, relationships, and financials, they are suffering from addiction. 


Signs that a Person is an Alcoholic:

A study done in 2007 stated that 4% of the population in the United States had a disorder related to alcohol. Among that, 4%, 3% were diagnosed with functional alcoholism. High functioning alcoholics are typically overachievers; because of this mentality, they don’t believe they need any form of help. However, alcoholism, no matter what type, is a disease and should be treated at a rehabilitation center. 

Functional alcoholics tend to believe that they don’t have a problem. In their mind, they can drink at any opportunity and don’t consider it an issue. A functional alcoholic can continue the behavior for decades without feeling the long term effects of alcohol. They will only stop if confronted with a crisis that is the direct result of their drinking. This crisis could be divorce, being arrested for drunk driving, indecent, or inappropriate (sexual) behavior. 

Signs of functional alcoholism can include:

  • Having difficulty controlling their alcohol intake.
  • Obsessing over when they can drink again.
  • Behavioral changes that occur only when drinking. 
  • Blackouts happen regularly.
  • Alcohol is used as a reward system or to relieve stress. 
  • Loss of appetite or no interest in eating.
  • Excuses or explanations are made about why they drink so much.
  • Hide alcohol bottles, or lie about how much they drink.

People who consume alcohol will often be able to hide it from family members and loved ones for an extended period. Symptoms can be difficult to spot because a functional alcoholic does not look or act like what people would expect. 

Unusual Drinking Habits

Most people can’t tell right away that a functional alcoholic has a problem even when they are drinking socially. However, they might exhibit some signs through certain habits such as drinking excessively after saying they would only have one drink. They might talk about drinking all the time and have a lot of social interaction with heavy drinkers. They may also consistently finish alcoholic beverages, including other people’s drinks, and be unable to limit themselves at social events.

Other signs could include spending a lot of time buying/ drinking alcohol or recovering from drinking too much. Often people will give up on prior responsibilities so that they can spend more time drinking. Eventually, when a person stops drinking, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. This will make them want to drink again to prevent the uncomfortable and painful side effects. 

Using Excuses

When someone is functional as an alcoholic, they can be highly intelligent and charismatic. Making them more convincing when they tell stories or make excuses for their behavior. It becomes easy for them to hide things and explain where they were and what they were doing to family members. If your loved one seems to be making more excuses for their mistakes or absences, then it could be a method of hiding their addiction.

High functioning alcoholics also make excuses for themselves by believing that if they haven’t lost anything, then they don’t have a problem. However, no one is capable of maintaining their responsibilities and drink heavily over a long period. Eventually, there will be consequences to their actions. 

Alcohol Rehab in St. Augustine Florida

Uncharacteristic Behavior

Functioning alcoholics may be skilled at concealing the full extent of their drinking habits; however, a family member or loved one might notice a few changes in their behavior. They might skip more social events or have a sudden change of attitude that seems uncharacteristic of their usual personality. They may even witness some of the physical symptoms of alcoholism, such as insomnia, shakiness, or other health concerns. There could be some instances of sloppiness at work, such as missing deadlines or calling in sick more frequently.

Recovery from Alcoholism

The signs of alcohol dependency may be harder to spot in a person who can function well despite their addiction. Most of the time, they probably appear responsible and successful in their work or academic lives. Their high functioning traits can also lead them to be in deep denial for years before they ever consider that they might have a problem with alcohol. Friends and family members may feel that they have things under control since they don’t fit the stereotype of an alcoholic.


Unfortunately, even a high functioning alcoholic will still suffer from the consequences of addiction in terms of their physical and mental health. If you notice any of the signs that indicate functional alcoholism, then you need to talk to them about getting professional help. 

Our drug and alcohol rehab center in St. Augustine, Florida, can offer treatment for your loved one if you believe they are a functional alcoholic. In our recovery program, they can learn the skills to make positive changes in their lives and maintain their sobriety in the future. If you are concerned about their drinking, don’t hesitate to talk to them about taking steps toward treatment.