There is a common misconception that alcoholics are easily identified based on their appearance, where they live, their job status, or because they look or act “impaired”. When you factor in slipping job performance, and/or increasingly showing up late or calling in sick, it may seem easy to point to someone as having a drinking problem.
But what of those who have become adept at hiding their drinking habits behind their life and/or career successes, or are what is commonly referred to as a high functioning alcoholic (HFA)?
At first, high functioning alcoholics in executive positions may believe they have their drinking under control because it isn’t obviously affecting what they do. They still make all the big decisions, conduct important meetings and keep the stock holders happy – today. In an instant all this can change.
As time goes on and excessive drinking continues, they may not notice that they’re not as sharp in their thinking, or notice memory lapses or that crucial tasks and planning may be forgotten or mishandled. Others will. At that point, it is not just your health or your family’s well-being on the line, but a company’s reputation and bottom line.
For an executive in this position, they may feel they’re in a “no win” situation.
On the one hand, they can admit they have a problem, seek help and take time off away from the company to participate in an in-patient alcohol treatment program. They know this can still affect the company or organization they represent in a negative way. Stock prices can fall, confidence in their abilities and past decisions can be questioned while away, and they’re not able to address them directly.
On the other hand, they’ve considered attending AA meetings, but whether they fear recognition or for any other reason, decide it just isn’t an option for them.
But they know if they don’t get help, chances are they will still continue to drink, leaving their company, family and health at risk.
Fortunately there are confidential, out-patient treatment programs available to help those who may feel there are no other options. Freedom From Alcohol® is an effective, discrete treatment program that not only helps curb the compulsion to drink and identify your drinking triggers, but just as importantly, works with you to create a roadmap to achieve the life you want to regain or to have in your personal and professional life.