Alcoholics come in many forms and from all walks of life. Often, when we picture an alcoholic the image in our head is of the homeless guy, sitting in the gutter with a bottle of cheap cider. But the reality is, there are alcoholics in all parts of life – you may even know one, yet not be aware of this. The reason for this is that they are very good at covering up how much they drink; even close friends and family can go years and not be aware.
An alcoholic can be a teacher, a parent, pensioner, a young woman – there is really no mould, and no part of society where it wouldn’t be possible to find somebody with an addiction to alcohol. The term ‘functioning alcoholic’ is used to describe people who on the surface appear not to have a problem with alcohol and are capable of living a relatively normal life – looking after children or holding down a job for example.
For many of these people, the problems may start to begin to show in the near or distant future if they do not address their drinking – these can range from health problems such as liver disease or Korsakoff syndrome to financial, legal or marital problems caused by their drinking.
Unfortunately, although you can be supportive to someone with an alcohol addiction, it is the person themselves who needs to make the changes to get on the first steps to recovery – there Is nobody else who can do it for them.