Am I A Functioning Alcoholic?

Am I a Functioning Alcoholic? What is a Functional Alcoholic? — Talk Sober at

Disclaimer: Marcus is NOT a doctor or a trained addiction counselor. The information in these videos is provided as a resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Nor is it to be used as a substitute when professional diagnosis and treatment is needed. Please seek professional help when needed. Alcoholism is serious… DON’T mess around! Visit or get professional help.  

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There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m fine.  

What are you talking about? I haven’t had too much. I’m fine.  

I work perfectly fine. I’m fine. I’m paying my bills. 

God, I haven’t had too much. There’s nothing going on. I’m fine.  

No one can tell.  

Am I a functioning alcoholic? 


Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the most dangerous types of alcoholics. This is the functioning alcoholic, and it’s a very, very dangerous thing to deal with. We’re going to talk about what a functioning alcoholic is, how they can get help, and what to do if you know someone who’s a functioning alcoholic.  

By definition, a woman who is a functioning alcoholic has around 3 drinks per day. For men, it’s 4 drinks per day. A drink can be a beer, a wine, a cocktail, or whatever it is. It’s all about counting the alcohol content.

There are functioning alcoholics and non-functioning alcoholics. Non-functioning alcoholics are the people in the gutter. Homeless, destitute, falling all over themselves. This definition stops some people from getting help, because they might not be like these people. But the problem with the functioning alcoholic is that people encourage them. They are still making money, so they think they are alright, and others think they are alright.


If you’re a functioning alcoholic, then chances are that you’re not happy, and something is about to break. No one can consume that amount of alcohol and be okay. It leads to all kinds of issues. You might have money issues to start, family issues, relationship issues, health issues, hangover issues, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts. All of these things start to pile up, but no one says anything because you seem okay.   

Society says that you’re okay and you’re doing well, so you don’t seek help. You think you’re not like the person falling in the gutter. But something has to give. Something has to change. You go along, going through all of this, not talking to anyone, because everything on the outside seems okay. But still, you’re a functioning alcoholic.   


Here are some symptoms of a functioning alcoholic:  

  • Talking about alcohol often. 
  • Joking about having a problem.  
  • Missing work.  
  • Needing alcohol to relax 
  • Needing alcohol to feel confident.  
  • Drinking in the morning.  
  • Getting drunk when it’s not intended.  
  • Forgetting what happened while drinking.  
  • Denying drinking 
  • Hiding drinking.  
  • Not blaming alcohol for problems.  

The functioning alcoholic has a blind spot. They can’t see that alcohol is causing the problems, no matter how much it’s pointed out to them.  


If you’re having a lot of drinks and you’re worried about it, and you can’t stop, chances are that you’re a functioning alcoholic. And while people may encourage you that nothing’s wrong, you need to do something about this now.   

I want you to go over to On that page, there’s a small quiz you can take to figure out if you’re a functioning alcoholic.   

If you’re a functioning alcoholic, please get help, even if everyone says that you don’t need help. Listen to your voice of reason. Somewhere inside, you know that everything is going to pile up, and it’s going to spiral. You don’t want to spiral out of control and have to go to a rehab facility. I’d rather see you get better on your own, and get better now by realizing this.  

Let’s start getting better one day at a time.   

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