SUN Behavioral Houston Explains: What is a High Functioning Alcoholic?

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SUN Behavioral Houston has recently published a blog post titled, “What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?” The article explains that a person with a functioning alcohol use disorder (AUD) is usually a well-educated, middle-aged individual with a stable job and family, according to the NIH. They make up approximately 20 percent of all people living with AUD in the US. The problem with this subset of people is that they tend to go unnoticed, which means they usually don’t get the treatment they require.

A spokesperson for SUN Behavioral says, “While this is not a firm fact as to the amount of life that is taken away from each person who drinks too much alcohol, a 2014 study in Denmark found that a person who faced hospitalization due to alcohol use disorder lived an average of 24-28 fewer years than the general population. The exact age for men was 47-53 and the exact age for women was 50-58 at the time of death. Losing years off of your life is not the only danger of living with and not treating an alcohol use disorder.”

According to the CDC, the short-term dangers of AUD include: injuries, motor vehicle crashes, drownings, burns, falls, violence, homicide, suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, overdose or alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behaviors, and unprotected sex with strangers that can lead to unintended pregnancy or disease. Also, according to the CDC, the long-term risks of AUD include: physical health problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestion problems, cancer, social problems, family issues, relationship troubles, job-related struggles, unemployment, mental health disorders, anxiety, and depression.

The spokesperson explains, “Living with an AUD and not seeking medical treatment is a dangerous game to play. However, regardless of the length of your substance use disorder or how severe it is, there is hope and you can make a change and extend your life for many years to come. Depending on how impactful your alcohol use disorder is, there are inpatient and outpatient treatment options available to overcome and work toward recovery. In most cases, detoxing with the help of medical professionals is necessary to begin the journey to recovery.”

It is during the detox period that a person with AUD experiences withdrawal symptoms that may range from mild to severe. Withdrawal symptoms may include: nausea, anxiety, sweating, tremors, headache, vomiting, insomnia (sleeplessness), confusion, nightmares, irritability, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and general discomfort. The detox period typically lasts from seven to 10 days, after which the individual will work with the treatment team to decide if inpatient or outpatient treatment suits their needs.

At SUN Behavioral Houston, both inpatient and outpatient alcohol addiction detox and treatment alternatives are available. With the inpatient treatment services, patients would need to stay at the facility 24/7. This ensures they are in a safe environment where a team of medical professionals are present to ensure comfort and safety. Patients get to recover along with other people who have been going through the same thing. On the other hand, in outpatient treatment, patients only go to the facility a few times each week and they can continue to live at home and continue with school or work. They will also address any co-occurring disorders, which refers to patients also living with a mental health disorder in addition to the AUD.

Launched in 2015, SUN Behavioral Houston cooperates closely with communities to offer behavioral health services and provide specific solutions for patients. They strive to provide compassionate and respectful care with their psychiatric services to help save lives and enhance the quality of life of patients and their families. To ensure that continuous care is provided for the specific requirements of patients, they work closely with physicians, behavioral health service providers, hospitals, and also local schools and community organizations.

Those who would like to know more about the AUD treatment services offered by SUN Behavioral Houston can check out their website or contact them by phone or by email. They can be contacted 24 hours a day, any day of the week.

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About SUN Behavioral Houston :

At SUN Behavioral Texas, we partner with hospitals, doctors, schools, and social service agencies to solve the unmet behavioral health needs in neighborhoods across the Lone Star State. We take providing mental health services to the next level.

Contact SUN Behavioral Houston:

Tobey Bogardus

7601 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77054


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