Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol or continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems. This disorder also involves having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. Alcohol use disorder includes a level of drinking that’s sometimes called alcoholism. Other pharmacotherapeutic choices are available that could have been provided for the patients presented here. From the list of other FDA-approved medications, disulfiram (an inhibitor of aldehyde dehydrogenase) could have been considered.
- One useful thing you can do is to take an “alcoholic test” or an “am I an alcoholic quiz” which are easily found online.
- Likely to be in college, this subtype drinks less frequently than other groups, but they are more prone to binge drink when they do.
- The first step in treatment should be to negotiate a drinking goal with the patient.
Folks within the intermediate familial subtype account for 19% of alcoholics. They often started drinking at a young age and have a family history of alcoholism. However, they didn’t start struggling with alcohol issues until middle age. The treatment for regular alcoholics is the same with individuals who are categorized as belonging to the different types of alcoholics.
Help for Different Types of Alcoholics?
These individuals are the most likely to suffer from addictions to other substances or psychiatric disorders. The types and subtypes of alcoholics differ in age of onset, drinking patterns, and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depression. The functional alcoholic subtype accounts for about 19% of alcoholics and includes individuals in their early ‘40s. They start drinking around 18 years old but develop alcohol dependence later in life around the age of 37. This type of alcoholic can balance their personal and professional responsibilities while living with addiction. Often, they don’t seek help for their drinking until they experience significant health problems.
Proper treatment can help overcome these issues and offer those with an alcohol addiction live a happier and healthier life for many more years. It’s estimated that only 25 percent of this type of alcoholic ever seek treatment. The Functional Alcoholic Subtype group makes up 19.5 percent of alcoholics in the country.
The Symptoms of Alcoholism
Without a pharmacological adjunct to psychosocial therapy, the clinical outcome is poor, with up to 70% of patients resuming drinking within 1 year (3, 4). Thus, psychosocial intervention alone is not optimal treatment for alcohol dependence. Indeed, intensive psychotherapy has been shown to be less effective than a brief intervention plus a placebo pill for the treatment of alcohol dependence (7).
- About one-third of young antisocial alcoholics seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
- Individuals in this group are about 38 years old and initially started drinking around the age of 16.
- Though young, the average alcoholic in this group at 24 has already spent the last four years as an alcoholic, having become one at the average age of 20.
- When you know what type of alcoholic you are, you can also identify what treatment programs could be best.
- Healthcare professionals need to consider the possible co-occurrence of mental health disorders when treating alcoholism.
Spouses and children of heavy drinkers may face family violence; children may suffer physical and sexual abuse and neglect and develop psychological problems. Women who drink during pregnancy run a serious risk of damaging their fetuses. Relatives, friends and strangers can be injured or killed in alcohol-related accidents and assaults. Genetic factors make some people especially vulnerable to alcohol dependence.
The 5 Types of Alcoholics
Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of alcohol use disorder to give you a sense of what it consists of. This quiz is a self-assessment based on the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) — the world’s most widely used alcohol screening instrument. Please consult your primary care physician for a proper diagnosis and full evaluation. Let’s take a deep dive into what it means to be an alcoholic, what the signs of alcohol use disorder are, and much more.
- For most adults, moderate alcohol use — no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women and older people — is relatively harmless.
- The subtype can determine the choice of pharmacotherapy (14), as discussed below; however, subtype classification of alcoholism remains somewhat controversial.
- Other pharmacotherapeutic choices are available that could have been provided for the patients presented here.
- They also have the highest divorce rates, with 25.1% divorced, 8.6% separated and only 28.7% married.
They often seek help at self-help groups, rehabilitation programs, and detox programs. An example of a person who is classified as an intermediate familial alcoholic is someone who grew up in a family where heavy drinking is practiced and adopted this drinking behavior later in life. In most cases, chronic severe subtype is the most damaging subtype compared to the different types of alcoholics.
More than half of young antisocial alcoholics come from families with alcoholism, and about half have been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. People with this disorder are more likely to be impulsive, lack remorse, engage in criminal behavior, have legal problems, and manipulate others.3 Many individuals in this subtype also have major depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. The functional subtype and https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/5-alcoholic-types-in-alcoholism/ the young antisocial subtype are the types of alcoholics that have higher probabilities of being aware that they are alcoholics. Although functional alcoholics are not especially likely to seek treatment, of all subtypes, they are the least likely to report alcohol-related problems. Therefore, individuals included in the functional subtype are also the least likely to face the legal consequences of alcohol abuse.
What is the 3 drink theory?
According to this theory, having three drinks by your side at all times that "caffeinate, alleviate, and hydrate" is key for getting through the workday.
Meanwhile, alcohol is more likely to increase aggressive behaviors in people with ASPD than in people without. The young adult alcoholic may not seek help for their problematic drinking, as drinking to excess at this age is often considered “normal” and part of a phase of life. Family members and adults may assume that the young adult will then “grow out of it” and do not see the drinking as a potential ongoing or long-lasting issue. There is no cure for the disease of alcohol addiction although it can be successfully treated and managed with professional help from an alcohol rehab treatment center. The Young Antisocial Alcoholic Subtype makes up the second-largest type of alcoholics, with 21 percent of this group usually in their mid-20s.
Evaluating and Treating Alcoholism
Because denial is common, you may feel like you don’t have a problem with drinking. You might not recognize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use. Listen to relatives, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help. Consider talking with someone who has had a problem with drinking but has stopped.
What are the classification of drinkers?
Moderate drinker: Light drinkers may change to moderate drinkers when they drink more often. They drink to the extent of facing the harmful effects of alcohol. People can go for long periods of alcohol abstinence, but they might binge after seeing alcohol. Heavy drinkers: These people are addicted to alcohol.
Young antisocial alcoholics also have a high likelihood of suffering from other substance abuse disorders, including marijuana, cigarettes, and opioids. About 31 percent of functional alcoholics have a close family member who also has alcohol dependence. They have moderate rates of major depression(24 percent) and smoking cigarettes (43 percent), and low rates of anxiety disorders, other substance use disorders, and the lowest rates of having legal problems (fewer than 1 percent). Fewer than 1 percent of these individuals have antisocial personality disorder. 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.
Compared to other types of alcoholics, young adults are less likely to have psychiatric disorders or legal problems. This is the most prevalent subtype, making up 31.5 percent of people who are alcohol dependent. The average age of dependent young adults is 25 years, and they first became dependent at an average of age 20. They tend to drink less frequently than people of other types (an average of 143 days a year). However, most of their drinking is binge drinking – they drink five or more drinks on an average of 104 (73 percent) of those days. This pattern of alcohol use is more likely to be hazardous than non-binging patterns.