Jan 1, 2009. Elusive alcoholism What is a high-functioning alcoholic (HFA)?. According to Boston-based licensed mental health counselor Sarah Allen Benton, recovering alcoholic. You can also visit Benton's website HighFunctioningAlcoholic.com or pick up her book Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic. Living with an addict (including alcoholics) can feel like life in a war zone. The addict’s personality changes caused by addiction create chaos. For many years, long after the Serenity Prayer…