Author: James Anderson

What Are The Subtypes of Alcoholics?

different types of alcohol abuse

In many cases, you may not expect a functional alcoholic to have a problem. That’s because they can balance their drinking with their personal and professional life. Moreover, many don’t believe they have a drinking problem until they start experiencing health issues. To understand this complex and unique disorder, it’s essential to learn the different types of alcoholics. By having a better understanding of what type of alcoholic you may be, it can be easier to recognize that you would benefit from an alcohol addiction treatment program. Treatment providers can help you to determine what form of treatment will be optimal for your specific needs and circumstances.

They are typically middle-aged, educated, stable people who tend to drink outside of their “normal lives.” Most of them can keep up with their everyday responsibilities at home, work, and in social situations. The functional alcoholic may be good at covering up unhappiness and maintaining an image of success. They are unlikely to seek professional help unless they experience a crisis. Around 19.5 percent of the alcoholic population in the United States falls into the functional alcoholic subtype. Someone who is considered a functional alcoholic may lead a kind of double life, compartmentalizing their drinking from the rest of their life.

They are usually middle-aged, and about half of them come from families with a history of alcoholism. Many alcoholics in this category also battle substance abuse, depression, and bipolar disorder. Alcoholism is the common name for a medical disorder that impairs a person’s ability to stop drinking alcohol, even when they experience problems at work, have trouble relating to friends and loved ones, and damage their health. People with alcoholism need treatment to stop drinking and avoid relapsing. Support groups, therapy, and medication are commonly prescribed treatments that promote long-term sobriety.

The Five Types of Alcoholics

About 31% of functional alcoholics have a close family member who also has alcohol dependence. They have moderate rates of major depression (24%) and smoking cigarettes (43%), and low rates of anxiety disorders, other substance use disorders, and the lowest rates of having legal problems (fewer than 1%). While over 6% of the American adult population suffers from AUD, only about 10% of those who need help for alcohol abuse and addiction actually seek out professional treatment, according to the NIAAA . By better understanding the different types of alcoholics, treatment methods can be personalized to the individual, making them more desirable and effective for a healthy recovery. Antisocial personality disorder commonly co-occurs with alcohol abuse, as alcohol can lower social inhibitions and anxiety, and make a person feel more relaxed.

  1. Discuss your family member’s alcohol use openly and bring up the idea of treatment.
  2. Many young adult alcoholics are likely college students who are away from home for the first time, and who are surrounded by a culture that promotes and encourages excessive social drinking.
  3. Almost one-third of alcoholics in the United States are young adult alcoholics.
  4. Intermediate familial alcoholics drink on an average of 172 days a year, consuming five or more drinks on 54% of those days with a maximum of 10 drinks.
  5. The number of times an individual answers “yes” to one of those questions helps to determine the severity level — mild (2–3 criteria), moderate (4–5 criteria), or severe (6 or more criteria).

Young adult alcohol dependents are 2.5 times more likely to be male than female. About 75% have never been married, 36.5% are still in school, and 54% work full time. Approximately 22% have a first- or second-degree family member who is also dependent on alcohol. Compared to other types of alcoholics, young adults are less likely to have psychiatric disorders or legal problems. Close to 80 percent of chronic severe alcoholics have a genetic and familial link to alcoholism, meaning that a close family member also suffered, or suffers, from alcoholism.

When seeking treatment, they tend to turn to social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and private physicians. They also have the highest divorce rates, with 25.1% divorced, 8.6% separated and only 28.7% married. Only 9% have a college degree, and they also have the lowest employment rate. Only 43% of chronic severe alcoholics are employed full-time and 7.6% are unemployed or permanently disabled.

Risk factors

Of this type, about 76% are male and only 7.6% have received a college degree, although another 13.4% are still in school. Family incomes average around $32,000, the lowest among the subtypes alongside the chronic severe subtype. Young antisocial alcoholics have a high rate of psychiatric disorders and other substance abuse. Someone who drinks to excess on a regular basis can face very real health problems due to ongoing alcohol abuse.

Chronic severe alcoholics abuse other drugs at higher rates than the other subtypes of alcoholics as well. This subtype of alcoholics is generally in their mid-20s and started drinking young. Early episodes of binge and heavy drinking (binge drinking on five or more days in the same month) can elevate the risk for struggling with alcohol-related issues later in life. One such issue is that of a perceived need for professional help and recognition that a problem with alcohol exists. In 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that of those who needed treatment and didn’t receive it, approximately 95.5 percent didn’t feel they needed it.

different types of alcohol abuse

If you find that the above descriptions resemble you or a loved one, you’re not alone. At The Recovery Village, we offer evidence-based treatment methods that can address every aspect of each client’s treatment needs. We want to guide you down the path to recovery – call today to learn more. Intermediate familiar alcoholics are typically employed and have a close family member who’s an alcoholic too. If it is impractical or impossible to stop drinking, consider following these strategies to reduce your alcohol intake. Examples of these medications include Naltrexone (Vivitrol), Acamprosate (Campral), and Disulfiram (Antabuse).

They are not regular drinkers, but they may join in a champagne toast or have a glass of beer when others are doing the same. A significant proportion of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic crashes, violence, and suicide. Fatal alcohol-related injuries tend to occur in relatively younger age groups. MAT uses medications approved by the FDA to treat AUD alongside counseling and behavioral therapies. These medications can help reduce cravings, block the effects of alcohol, and treat withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and insomnia.

There are gender differences in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity, as well as levels and patterns of alcohol consumption. The percentage of alcohol-attributable deaths among men amounts to 7.7 % of all global deaths compared to 2.6 % of all deaths among women. Total alcohol per capita consumption in 2016 among male and female drinkers worldwide was on average 19.4 litres of pure alcohol for males and 7.0 litres for females.

What Are the Different Types of Alcoholism?

To recover from AUD, seeking professional help and attending support groups is essential. Treatment options such as inpatient, outpatient, detoxification, support groups, and MAT can all help those struggling with AUD. Examples of support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), SMART Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery.

Intermediate Familial Subtype

The number of times an individual answers “yes” to one of those questions helps to determine the severity level — mild (2–3 criteria), moderate (4–5 criteria), or severe (6 or more criteria). An alcoholic is someone who has developed an alcohol dependence and is experiencing physical and psychological cravings, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut down or quit. Understanding what is considered an alcoholic, the different types of alcoholics, and how to identify alcoholism can help shed light on the diversity of this condition and provide insights into tailored treatment approaches. 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) help people reduce their drinking, stop drinking, or maintain abstinence by providing peer support.

Alcoholism can be a devastating medical disorder, but it can be managed with the proper care and support. Sabino Recovery is a residential recovery center in Tucson, AZ, that provides highly personalized treatment for all forms of alcoholism. Our staff is here to provide the help you need to realize a better future. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem.