Author: Gary Jackson

5 Types of Alcoholics According to the NIAAA

Alcoholism is a manageable disease; treatment is necessary to manage it. But no matter your age, status, family, or subtype, alcoholism can create long-term problems that damage your health and relationships. Researchers found that about 65% of chronic severe alcoholics are male. 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.

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. Nearly 50 percent of intermediate familial alcoholics have a family history of alcoholism. Nearly 19 percent of alcoholics in the U.S. fall into the intermediate familial category. Most are middle-aged, began drinking at about 17 and were addicted to alcohol by their early 30s.

The High-Functioning Alcoholic

The young adult subtype is less likely to have a full-time job but is more likely to be in college than other groups. This subtype drinks less frequently than others but is very likely to engage in binge drinking when they do. Members of this group are 2.5 times more likely to be male than female. While it is very unlikely that a member of this group will seek out treatment, they are most likely to seek out a 12-Step program if they do. Not all alcoholics know they suffer from a substance abuse problem because denial is a regular and expected aspect of alcoholism. As exceptions, functional and young antisocial alcoholics are more likely to be aware of their drinking problem.

  • This group has comparatively low rates of co-occurring mental health conditions and moderate rates of other substance abuse disorders and family members with alcoholism.
  • Regular meetings can help you stay strong in your recovery and stick to important goals.
  • Drinking may then be used as a method of self-medicating the personality disorder symptoms.
  • Still, people dealing with AUD can achieve and maintain sobriety with appropriate treatment and support.

If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol use disorder (AUD), you must seek addiction treatment. Luckily, there are several treatment options for all types of alcoholics. Alcohol use disorder is a multifaceted issue that affects individuals differently. Understanding the various types of alcoholics helps tailor treatment and support to meet their specific needs and get help. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, please explore our comprehensive resources and inpatient and outpatient treatment options at Caron.

Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Thus, a substantial proportion of people with alcoholism were not represented in the samples previously used to define subtypes of this disease. Nearly half of them have a close family member who is also an alcoholic. They have an average age of 38 years, began drinking at almost age 17, and developed alcohol dependence at an average age of 32 years. 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.

Rather, they are meant to further the study of alcoholism and guide future research and prevention efforts. Chronic severe alcoholics often smoke and may also suffer from cocaine, opioid, and/or marijuana dependence in addition to alcohol addiction. This subtype of alcoholics is the most likely to seek treatment and the most heavily represented type of alcoholic in a treatment program.

Determining Your Alcoholic Type

Polydrug abuse, and co-occurring disorders combined with alcohol abuse, increases the risk for addiction and can interfere with treatment measures. Around one-third of young antisocial alcoholics will seek treatment for problematic drinking. Many have been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and other mental illnesses, including major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, social phobias and panic disorder. The majority smoke, and many use other drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and opioids.

It can also help prevent seizures or other complications that may arise. This post discusses five distinct categories of people who suffer from alcoholism. By exploring each category in depth, you’ll better understand the complexities surrounding alcoholism. You’ll also know why it requires special treatment for successful recovery.

Understanding the Five Types of Alcoholics

Knowing where you or your loved one falls under the five categories of alcoholics can help you recognize and understand the signs of a developing addiction. It can also serve as a guide to what treatment programs can help best. The five types of alcoholics deal with one or more alcohol problems. The best way to find a successful treatment program is to understand alcohol issues in-depth. In the U.S., the intermediate familial alcoholic subtype comprises 19% of all alcoholics. Intermediate familial alcoholics are similar to functional ones but are more likely born with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.

  • Young adults tend to drink less often than older alcoholics, but they binge drink more.
  • Researchers found that about 65% of chronic severe alcoholics are male.
  • As many as three-fourths of this subset also smoke marijuana and/or cigarettes, and many also struggle with opioid or cocaine addictions as well.
  • If you or someone you know suffers from alcohol use disorder, seek treatment as soon as possible.

Only 17% of functional alcoholics have ever sought help for their alcohol dependence. Those who do tend to make use of 12-step programs and private health care professionals. About 31% of functional alcoholics have a close family member who also has alcohol dependence.