5 Alcoholic Types in Alcoholism Study

It also can determine whether a certain type of treatment will be more effective than another. The young adult subtype category is composed of young adults who have low rates of co-occurring substance use and other mental health issues. In this specific subtype, the person comes from a family with a low rate of alcoholism. A common theme in the French medical literature of the time was the description of a less socially disruptive form of alcoholism epitomized by Dromard’s term “les alcoolisés non-alcooliques” . These regular drinkers develop progressive habituation to alcohol’s toxic effects, followed by an irresistible need to drink. Morning drinking relieves mild withdrawal symptoms, and the person’s life becomes centered around the use of small doses of alcohol throughout the day. Eventually alcohol’s cumulative effects lead to major medical complications and organic brain disorders.

  • Many of them don’t believe they have a drinking problem until they start experiencing health issues.
  • Suppose you’re unsure of the type of care you or a loved one needs.
  • Those in this group have higher rates of alcohol abuse than other subtypes.
  • These types of assessments will give you the opportunity to ask questions, get clarification, and have a truly personalized experience in determining your level of addiction.
  • The latter provides the best chance of a full recovery, owing to the professional attention addiction treatment centers can provide.

The intermediate familial subtype, on average, begins drinking around age 17 and starts struggling with dependence by their 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. A large portion of individuals in this category of alcoholics become alcoholics during their college years, where alcohol is deeply ingrained into the college experience.


“If the health care professional is uncomfortable with assessing alcohol problems the individual should ask for a referral to an addictions specialist for an in-depth evaluation,” he says. In the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Moss and colleagues describe the five types of alcoholics. But before you read those descriptions, keep Moss’ advice in mind. Functional alcoholics consume alcohol daily or at least several times per week. They also often abuse other substances besides alcohol and rarely seek treatment. Official medical diagnoses of alcohol use disorder categorize the disorder as mild, moderate, or severe.

  • She previously participated in Moffitt Cancer Center’s patient and family advisory program and was a speaker at the Institute of Patient-and Family-Centered Care’s 2015 national conference.
  • These types of alcoholics, for example, have a 52.5% probability of having a first and second-degree family member with an alcohol use disorder.
  • Chronic severe alcoholics have the highest rate of family members who also experience alcohol dependence at77%.
  • Added to that, their problematic alcohol use disorder usually starts at about 18 years old.
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  • Throughout an inpatient program, you’ll live on-site in a safe, substance-free environment.

Research suggests that alcohol-related blackouts occur when blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.16%, the same point where impulse control, coordination, judgement, and decision-making are also impaired. These blackouts are more likely to occur when alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly and is more likely in those who take anti-anxiety and sleep medication. En bloc blackouts are extended periods of complete amnesia, where the person will have no memory at all for hours at a time.

Understanding the Five Types of Alcoholics

Young antisocial alcoholics also have a high likelihood of suffering from other substance abuse disorders, including marijuana, cigarettes, and opioids. Nearly half of them have a close family member who is also an alcoholic. They have anaverage age of 38 years, began drinking at almostage 17, and developed alcohol dependence at anaverage age of 32 years. Intermediate familial alcoholicsdrink on an average of 172 days a year, consumingfive or more drinks on 54% of those dayswith a maximum of 10 drinks. Young antisocial alcoholics have a high rate of psychiatric disorders and other substance abuse. NIAAA reports on a national survey that found that 60 percent of college students between the ages of 18 and 22 drank alcohol in the past month, and nearly two out of every three of these students binge drank during that month. Binge drinking is a pattern of excessive alcohol use that increases the risk for developing tolerance and then physical dependence on alcohol that can then lead to addiction.

Many also suffer from other mental illnesses, including major depression, bipolar disorder, social phobias and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. About 27 percent of intermediate familial alcoholics have ever sought help for their drinking.

Get help for alcohol addiction now

Outpatient programs are less intensive than inpatient programs and PHPs. They’re best for people who are highly motivated to achieve sobriety. An addiction specialist can answer your questions and guide you through your options. Continuing to drink despite knowing it is causing you physical, mental, and social problems. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as drinking to the point your blood alcohol concentration reaches .08 grams or more. By submitting this form you agree to the terms of use and privacy policy of the website.

And because they don’t look or act like the stereotypical alcoholic, they’re often in denial about their drinking problem. This subtype consists of almost 70% of those who seek addiction treatment. Although this makes this group the largest to seek treatment, the group has other problems due to alcohol use disorder.

Chronic Severe Alcoholics

Ark Behavioral Health offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. Those who drink alcohol in the functional subtype likely consist of those with families and stable jobs.

Very frequently, these patients suffer from at least one other addiction. Marijuana, cocaine, and nicotine addictions are especially common within this group. All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional. 10 Ways To Help An Alcoholic Family MemberEven though things may seem helpless, they aren’t. You probably also smoke cigarettes and marijuana, and may battle cocaine and opioid dependence.

How Do I know If I’m An Alcoholic?

It includes the highest percentage of people struggling with co-occurring mental illness and other substance abuse issues. While functional alcoholics may not binge drink, they do drink more alcohol than average. Antisocial alcoholics tend to have a family history of alcoholism. They also often suffer from co-occurring mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder and depression. While approximately 15 million American adults suffer from alcohol use disorder, fewer than 1 in 10 typically seek treatment for addiction. Five types of alcoholics exist, and the type can influence whether or not people choose to seek treatment for their addiction.

5 types of alcoholics

As this review has outlined, throughout the past 150 years, researchers and clinicians have developed numerous typological classifications of alcoholism. As shown in table 2, similar alcoholic subtypes can be categorized within two broad groups, called the Apollonian and Dionysian types, based on recurrent characteristics of the drinkers. The intermediate familial subtype is 64% male and almost as active and successful as the functional subtype. These individuals usually have an immediate family member who has/had an alcohol use disorder, hence the labeling of their type of alcoholism. Out of all types of alcoholics, the intermediate familial subtype is the most employed, however, it usually does not make more than the functional subtype.

High-functioning alcoholics

Learn more about the most commonly misused drugs.Addiction Treatment Going to a rehabilitation program greatly increases your chance of long-term recovery. Learn more about your options.Addiction Resources If you have more questions about addiction, we’ve gathered resources to help 5 types of alcoholics you and your loved ones. When they do seek treatment, they’re more likely to attend a 12-step group or seek treatment from private health care professionals. We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness.

What is considered a heavy drinker?

NIAAA defines heavy drinking as follows: For men, consuming more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week.

Alcoholics are unable to control how much and how often they drink, and generally, they are unable to stop drinking on their own. Alcoholism is a diverse and complicated disease, and there are many factors that can make one person more vulnerable than another to suffer from it. Biological and environmental factors, as well as a person’s age when they first drink alcohol, can also be contributing factors to alcohol abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Binge drinking

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. As you can see, it might be tough to pick out someone who is an intermediate familial alcoholic, especially when you put them side by side with a functional alcoholic. Beyond that, these types of drinkers have the lowest probability of getting in trouble with the law and are the least likely to have co-occurring mental disorders too. Some people who struggle with alcohol addiction may actually keep up with their responsibilities, maintain their appearances, and even have healthy relationships with friends and family. But even if they don’t really match what most people think of as an alcoholic, they may still have a problem. Approximately 35% of those in this group seek treatment for alcoholism. Young adult alcoholics tend to consume alcohol less often than those in other categories, but they’re more likely to binge drink when they do.

What happens to your body after a bender?

When you drink heavily, excess acetaldehyde slips past your liver and travels via your blood to your brain, heart, and stomach, where it promotes inflammation and likely plays a role in your headache, nausea, racing heart, and other hangover symptoms (though you can always try working out to cure it).

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