High-Functioning Alcoholism and the Dangers of Denial

The High-Functioning Alcoholic High-functioning alcoholism is harder to identify because it doesn’t fit the “drunk” stereotype. When people say the word ‘alcoholic,’ they instantly have a vision of an old man sitting in a park with a paper bag, with a can in it. Suzi MacDonald, Addictions Counsellor They don’t think of suburban moms or people with high-powered careers – but often, these people are fighting an internal battle with alcohol addiction that no one, including themselves, can clearly see. A high-functioning alcoholic, or HFA, is someone who is psychologically dependent on alcohol but able to live a normal life, continuing to perform in their social, professional and familial roles. While on the surface this type of alcoholism appears to have less impact, it presents its own set of dangers, including a more deeply entrenched denial and stronger resistance to…

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