Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insightsby Sarah Allen Benton
When people think of the 'typical' alcoholic, images of the 'fallen-down' drunk come to mind. Most do not think of professional men and women with successful careers, vibrant families, and active social lives. However, high-functioning alcoholics exist in great numbers, are unseen, and suffer no less than their struggling, failing counterparts. They include
When people think of the 'typical' alcoholic, images of the 'fallen-down' drunk come to mind. Most do not think of professional men and women with successful careers, vibrant families, and active social lives. However, high-functioning alcoholics exist in great numbers, are unseen, and suffer no less than their struggling, failing counterparts. They include corporate presidents, politicians, teachers, tradesmen, law enforcement officials, lawyers, physicians, and even stay at home parents, who are by most accounts successful. Even as they have created lives most people would envy, the realities of alcoholism eventually strike, and recovery is just as arduous for high-functioning alcoholics as it is for lower functioning alcoholics. Benton reveals the extent of the problem, the challenges in recognizing it, the warning signs, and the methods for addressing it. Through research and interviews with both addiction experts and sober high-functioning alcoholics, she illustrates how, when, and why they become addicted, as well as the reasons their alcoholism is so hard to admit, detect, cope with, and overcome. Weaving her own story of alcoholism and recovery into the text in the form of past journal entries and reflective pieces, Benton takes us first hand into the lives of high-functioning alcoholics.
Through telling case examples, interviews with recovering alcoholics of all ages, accomplished professionals and executives, and through her own reflections, Sarah Allen Benton brings to awareness that the largest majority of alcoholics are high functioning and, too often, go undetected. As she eloquently states, 'The story of the high functioning alcoholic is seldom told, for it is not one of obvious tragedy, but that of silent suffering.' Drawing on the experience of high-functioning alcoholics, including her own experiences, this book is both instructive and inspiring. It will help a high-functioning alcoholic face their denial of alcoholism and help family and friends who witness it to better appreciate and understand it. Whether it is in the pre-high or high schooler, the college student, young adult, or the successful executive, professional, or athlete, Sarah Allen Benton shines an illuminating light on the plight of high-functioning alcoholics from all walks of life and, better still, point the reader to helpful pathways for recovery.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
Sarah Allen Benton is a licensed mental health counselor and therapist at McLean Hospital in the "McLean Residence at the Brook" transitional living program for substance abuse treatment in Waltham, Massachusetts. Additionally, she works in private practice in the Boston area and speaks on the topic of high-functioning alcoholics to a variety of audiences. Resources on this topic are available at www.highfunctioningalcoholic.com.
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