High-functioning alcoholics - diagnostic difficulties, characteristics and treatment models


The article presents diagnostic difficulties related to the atypical course of problem alcohol consumption among highly functioning alcoholics (HFA), who often do not meet the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) classification for several years, although they suffer from because of symptoms of excessive drinking. Using Sarah Alen's concept, Benton indicates the typology of features characteristic for this group of people and the risk factors of problem drinking, which are manifested in particular periods of life, enabling early identification of the symptoms of addiction development. At the same time, he points to a change in medical paradigms in the approach to problem drinking: from the paradigm of abstinence assuming the incurability of alcoholism based on lifetime cessation of alcohol drinking, inspired by the Alcoholics Anonymous movement model, to the harm reduction paradigm showing the progressive and chronic nature of the disease based on controlled drinking. . Both approaches are used in the therapeutic approach for problem drinkers.

Published : 2021-12-27

Zaworska-Nikoniuk, D. (2021). High-functioning alcoholics - diagnostic difficulties, characteristics and treatment models. Resocjalizacja Polska, (22), 205-225. https://doi.org/10.22432/rp.397

Dorota Zaworska-Nikoniuk 

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