The Five Different Types of Alcohol Abuse Profiles

Roughly 50% of all chronic severe alcoholics display symptoms in line with antisocial personality disorder, such as deceitfulness, lack of remorse, and violating the emotional and physical right of others. Although many chronic severe alcoholics exhibit these symptoms, they typically do not fit the mold of the young antisocial alcoholic because of other defining factors . The functional subtype is the alcoholic who nobody believes is really an alcoholic. That is because this alcoholic is functional in most every way, if not more.

What is alpha alcoholism?

Alpha alcoholism is characterized by undisciplined drinking that disturbs the person's interpersonal and family relationships and work life, with a reliance on the effects of alcohol to relieve physical or emotional pain, but without a loss of control or an inability to abstain.

Dependent drinking, or chronic alcoholism, is the final stage of drinking. People in this stage are genuinely reliant on alcohol and begin to feel withdrawal symptoms like body tremors within hours if they do not have a drink. They often binge drink, go on benders, and sell their possessions to maintain an alcohol supply. This subtype of alcoholism has the highest divorce rate, the lowest employment rate, and the highest day-to-day frequency of drinking than any other subtype.

Without contest, Young Adult Alcoholics are undeniably the most common type of alcoholics out of any other subtype. After all, many of these drinkers aren’t having a hard time holding down a job, aren’t drinking their life away all hours of the day, and aren’t even older than 30 in most cases. Intermediate familial alcoholics come from a family history of alcoholism and mental health conditions. This causes alcohol withdrawal them to be prone to developing an addiction to alcohol and co-occurring mental health conditions. While they are less likely to have co-occurring mental health conditions than other subtypes of alcoholics, the young adult alcoholic is likely to smoke cigarettes and marijuana. Young adult alcoholics usually begin drinking at around age 19 and develop a full-blown alcohol use disorder by the age of 24 or 25.

types of alcoholics

The early onset of drinking is one of the best indicators for a likelihood of later-life alcoholism. Beyond that, a functional alcoholic’s addiction isn’t likely to go away without help. And that means that eventually their home life, career, how long can alcohol be detected? and almost everything else that matters to them is going to be hurt by their alcoholism. Similar to the other alcoholism subtypes we’ve looked at so far, most Intermediate Familial Alcoholics won’t end up seeking out help on their own.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Among the types of alcoholics, the young adult subtype is the most common. However, not everyone who binge drinks meets the criteria for alcohol use disorder. For example, binge drinking is considered unhealthy drinking, which is especially common among young people. While research has depicted seven types of alcoholics, we will discuss five types of alcoholics based on what we know about addiction at this time. This group of alcoholics are the most likely to reach out for help through inpatient treatment programs, as well as through 12-Step groups and detox services. Alcoholics who fit into the young adult subtype are most likely to be male, as men are 2.5 times more likely to experience this type of alcoholism than women.

Members of different kinds of alcoholics often seek self-help groups, 12-step programs, and treatment from healthcare providers as their treatment options. These treatments are similarly used for anyone who suffers from alcohol use disorder. The intermediate familial subtype, on average, begins drinking around age 17 and starts struggling with dependence by their alcohol and drug abuse counseling 30’s. Less than 30% of all intermediate familial alcoholics seek treatment for their disease. Making up more than 31% of all alcoholics, the young adult subtype is by far the most common type of alcoholic in the United States. The average age of the young adult subtype is 25, with many in the category developing a dependence to alcohol by the age of 20.

Types of alcoholics

• An empirical clustering technique was applied to data obtained from 321 male and female alcoholics to identify homogeneous subtypes having discriminative and predictive validity. The clustering solution identified two « types » of alcoholics who differed consistently across 17 defining characteristics in the male and female samples. One group, designated type A alcoholics, is characterized by later onset, fewer childhood risk factors, less severe dependence, fewer alcohol-related problems, and less psychopathological dysfunction. The two types also differed with respect to treatment outcome assessed prospectively at 12 and 36 months. The results are consistent with historical and contemporary typological theories that have postulated similar subgroups of alcoholics.

types of alcoholics

Genetics, environment, personal habits, and mental health history all contributed to their choice the fact that they have continued to drink despite negative consequences. Among all alcoholic subtypes, the Chronic Severe alcoholic is the most likely to seek treatment – two-thirds will go to alcohol rehab. The NESARC is a nationally-representative survey that looks at alcohol, drug, and mental disorders in America. Roughly 1500 respondents from different parts of the country who meet the medical criteria for a diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder were included—both receiving and not receiving treatment. In the past, identification methods for alcoholic subtypes focused on drinkers who were hospitalized or receiving some other type of medical treatment.

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About 20% of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. This is without a doubt the most common alcoholic type coming in at 31.5% of all alcoholics. And when you consider the fact that the next highest is 21.1%, the proportion of Young Adult Alcoholics is absolutely huge. However, Young Adult Alcoholics are also more likely to engage in hazardous behaviors like drinking than most other groups and also experiencing alcohol withdrawals.

When most people think of a stereotypical alcoholic, this is the type they’re imagining. However, there are some distinguishing factors that separate this subtype from the others. One interesting note about Young Antisocial Alcoholics is the fact that this subtype has the highest biological sex disparity of any other kind- about 76% are males, and only 24% are females. Opiate Addiction Opiates are highly addictive drugs that can upend a person’s life when addiction is formed.

What is considered heavy drinking?

What do you mean by heavy drinking? For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.

Cocaine Addiction Cocaine addiction is serious and can have many life-threatening consequences. Heavy drinking at a young age can alter the development of the brain, making addiction more likely in later years. Rates of other substance dependencies are exceptionally high in this group as well. What these categories are intended to do, then, is help researchers understand alcoholism more comprehensively. They may also aid medical experts in finding new forms of prevention and treatment.

The 7 Types of Alcoholics

Remember, though, that no one is ever formally diagnosed into one of these categories. And every person’s struggle with alcoholism is different, comprised of a unique set of circumstances and experiences. We know that one of the underlying risk factors for alcoholism is genetics.

types of alcoholics

Additionally, most of these individuals have high rates of co-occurring disorders and polysubstance abuse. They’re 75% male and start drinking and develop alcohol dependence at the youngest ages among all subtypes — 15 and 18, respectively. Yes, there is a difference in treatment for different types of alcoholics. According to the study from NIAAA, members of the young adult and functional subtypes are more likely to seek help through 12-step programs. Of those functional alcoholics that seek treatment, the majority of them utilize a 12-Step program as their primary form of care. Most Chronic Severe alcoholics are middle-aged and have a personal history with an early onset of problem and binge drinking.

The Five Different Types of Alcohol Abuse Profiles

While enhancement drinkers drink to achieve positive emotions, those who drink to cope do so because they want to avoid negative feelings. If someone is an alcoholic, they should seek treatment sooner rather than later. This means that if someone tries to change their drinking patterns, they will likely experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Someone who is a functional alcoholic will often live a completely normal life and can even be very successful. Functional alcoholics don’t always appear to have an alcohol use disorder. This group, among other types of alcoholics, is the least likely to get help.

  • Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
  • Around 80% of people in the severe chronic subtype have a familial and genetic alcoholism link.
  • There is help and support available to help them successfully recover from their illness.

It was clear that there were several sub-types of alcoholics, each suffering from a different form of alcohol dependence. One shocking discovery is that only about 25% of all people who suffered from alcohol addiction would ever seek treatment. If you feel that you may suffer from an alcohol abuse disorder take our am I an alcoholic quiz. The chronic severe subtype consists of individuals who engage in heavy drinking almost every day, or almost 248 days a year. Chronic severe alcoholics have the highest probability of having blood relatives who suffer from alcoholism among any subtype. They also experience the highest rate of alcohol-related emergency department visits and tend to spend a lot of time recovering from the effects of alcohol.

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