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Having a partner struggle with substance abuse doesn’t just impact their life, but yours as well. Maybe your husband’s managing to hold down a job, but seems to be constantly drinking or always smells of alcohol. When is it time to get your loved one help? Here’s a few signs to look out for that could mean your partner is a functioning alcoholic and they need addiction treatment.

What is a Functioning Alcoholic?

A “functioning” alcoholic refers to a person that can actively still function in everyday life while still excessively drinking. This includes managing to go to work, supporting a family, having relationships all while heavily drinking almost everyday. 

A functioning alcoholic might think they’re fine, but the truth is they’re using alcohol to cope with trauma or mental health issues. Sooner or later, functioning turns into non-functioning, so it's important to seek residential addiction treatment before they've hit rock bottom.

Secrecy & Drinking Alone

One of the first signs that someone's struggling with substance abuse and alcoholism is drinking alone. Does your husband or partner drink by themselves after work everyday or maybe they even drink during the day?  Drinking alone is a sign that they are using alcohol to "numb" themselves from an underlying issue.

Keep in mind that you may not know if they are drinking alone or to what extent. They could be drinking at night after you’ve gone to bed. Alcoholism is a disease that often comes with secrecy as a side effect. Your partner could be struggling with depression or anxiety and drinking alone is a definite sign they may have a problem. If someone feels they need to hide the fact that they are drinking or the extent of their consumption, especially from their loved ones, it's an issue — even if they seem to be functioning in life.

Finding Excuses to Drink

Does your spouse find any excuse to drink? “I’m stressed, so I need a drink,” or, “I’ve had such a hard day I need a drink,” are phrases you may hear often from a partner struggling with alcoholism. Saying these excuses to preface their drinking as if to receive validation in their excuse, means that on some level, subconsciously or not, they know they have a problem. Your partner may have even convinced you that these excuses are valid, when in fact they’re a sign someone needs help.

Dependency on Alcohol

Another sign your husband or loved one is a functioning alcoholic is if they can’t “function” without drinking. As ironic as it sounds, a functioning alcoholic builds such a strong dependence on alcohol, that when they start sobering up, their body begins the withdrawal process. Your loved one might start showing symptoms such as tremors, shakes, or mood swings. Withdrawals make it extremely difficult to function, so your loved one may start drinking just so they can start their day.

Seeking Residential Addiction Treatment for Alcoholism

The bottom line is, if your spouse or partner’s drinking is causing issues in both your lives, it’s time to help them seek residential addiction treatment. Acqua Recovery will help your loved one renew themselves and rediscover their life without alcohol. Don’t let these signs of being a functioning alcoholic go unnoticed. We’ll help your spouse find their path to recovery and a better life for both of you. If your spouse is showing signs of substance abuse, reach out to our caring admissions — Matt, Brian, or Ashlee — team today.

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