Functional Alcoholic


In a family business, a functional alcoholic poses a danger to him/herself, their family relationships and to the family's business. See if this true story sounds familiar.

I started out as a social drinker. I loved the taste, the smell, and the camaraderie of drinking. I also enjoyed drinking alone. In truth, I loved the effect produced by alcohol. I enjoyed drinking for many years. I credited the environment in which I drank for my many successes. I had confidence in establishing relationships, creating business, being successful in civic activities and in practically all my relationships.

Slowly, without my realization, my relationship with drinking and the environment to which I had attributed my success began to change. I lost a step at work. I went from being the fair-haired boy to the one who was not always able to complete projects on time.

My projects sporadically were replete with errors, whereas in the past I delivered them flawlessly and ahead of schedule. Periodically I would bounce back to being my old self, only to return once again, to making mistakes.

While drinking, I began to experience short periods during which I could not remember what I did. It was more difficult to find drinking partners who drank as I did.

I began to do things while drinking that shocked me the next day. I didn’t go home at night; instead I drank and ended up going home with someone I barely knew. Sometimes I even wrecked the car I was driving. I was failing as a husband and a father.

Almost one in 10 people in the United States experience alcoholism at some time during their lives. Alcoholism is a subtle disease. It's the only disease that tells you, you don't have it! A person can drink for many years and not think that they have a problem with alcohol - truth is, they are most likely a functional alcoholic.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease. The longer a person drinks, the greater the chance for alcohol dependence leading to dependency and chronic alcoholism.

There are many different type of drinkers, which further baffles the alcoholic. For example, there are people who drink only on weekends, people who drink only at night, those that drink only beer or wine. Then there is the person known as a periodic drinker; they may go three months without a drink and then when they drink they get in trouble, because they can't control how much they drink and they cannot stop.

If you are concerned about yourself or a member of your family business, we can help. Contact our family business alcoholism expert to learn more about our Family Business Alcohol Rehabilitation Program.

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