Author: Gary Jackson

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

They are also young (average age 26 years) and have the earliest age of onset of drinking (average is under 16 years old) and the earliest age of alcohol dependence (average of 18 years). Young antisocial alcoholics drank an average of 201 days in the last year, binge drinking (consuming five or more drinks) on an average of 80% of their drinking days. When they drink, their maximum number of drinks is 17, the highest of any subtype of alcoholic. 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.

different types of alcohol abuse

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. In questioning the value of “compulsory restraint in a retreat for long periods,” Wingfield (1919, p. 42) proposed specific treatments for different types of alcoholics.

The Binge Drinker

“Subtypes of Alcohol Dependence in a Nati[…]presentative Sample.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2007. Join the thousands of people that have called a treatment provider for rehab information. Our admissions navigators can also help you start the treatment admissions process, discuss ways to cover the cost of treatment, and help verify your insurance coverage.

  • For example, research on the etiology of alcoholism might be informed by the possibility that two different paths may lead to alcohol dependence—one originating primarily in environmental influences and the other in genetic and personality factors.
  • For some alcoholics, the drinking periods are determined by internal cues, such as the onset of menses in women.
  • Many people who fall into the young antisocial alcoholic subtype suffer from other mental health disorders as well, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, or depression.
  • 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.
  • Researchers found that about 62% of functional alcoholics work full-time, 3.6% are in school full-time, and 5% are retired.
  • People with acquired inebriety often have histories of physical disorders, particularly dyspepsia (i.e., indigestion), bad nutrition, and exhaustion from unhygienic living conditions or stressful work environments.

Less than 20% of this subgroup has sought help, and most do so from a 12-Step program or a private health care professional. Thorough assessments can help treatment providers to determine what the right type and level of care might be for a person battling alcohol addiction. For instance, when co-occurring mental health conditions are also present, an integrated treatment plan is ideal. The young adult subtype is the most prevalent subtype, making up 31.5% of people who are alcohol dependent. The average age of dependent young adults is almost 25 years old, and they first became dependent at an average age of around 20 years old. They tend to drink less frequently than people of other types (an average of 143 days a year).

There Is Help Available For All Types of Alcoholics

This is of particular concern when you’re taking certain medications that also depress the brain’s function. Behavioral treatments—also known as alcohol counseling, or talk therapy, and provided by licensed therapists—are aimed at changing drinking behavior. Examples of behavioral treatments are brief interventions and reinforcement approaches, treatments that build motivation and teach skills for coping and preventing a return to drinking, and mindfulness-based therapies. While cirrhosis scars from excessive drinking are irreversible, quitting alcohol and leading a healthier lifestyle can help your liver heal from alcohol-related liver disease.

different types of alcohol abuse

Moreover, they did not lead to the development of theories explaining the etiology, manifestations, and consequences of alcoholism, because they did not propose verification procedures to test assumptions and predict behavior. Research also indicates that students on campuses with higher binge drinking rates experience more physical assaults and unwanted sexual advances. Habitual inebriety begins as a “voluntary indulgence” that eventually crosses the line between the physiological and the pathological, resulting in a deterioration of physical and mental abilities. Both habitual and periodic inebriety may manifest themselves in different ways, leading to a further classification of inebriates as social and unsocial.

Short- & Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Addiction

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. If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder. However, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is important.

  • Using cluster analysis, the investigators identified two types of alcoholics who differ consistently across 17 defining characteristics, including age of onset, severity of dependence, and family history of alcoholism.
  • This group has the lowest levels of education, employment, and income of any group.
  • But as you continue to drink, you become drowsy and have less control over your actions.
  • Alcohol use disorder is a multifaceted issue that affects individuals differently.

They also have high probability of suffering from antisocial personality disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder. This group also suffers from high rates of cigarette, Marijuana, and Cocaine addiction. The Apollonian-Dionysian distinction has been used to summarize the commonalities among alcoholic subtypes.

Despite these significant improvements in recent typology research, the field still faces some challenging issues. For example, perhaps because of the differences in measurement techniques and methodological approaches, typology researchers have not always recognized the similarities between their own work and that of other investigators. And although some theories are likely to endure longer than others, a more fundamental question remains concerning the utility of typologies for theory development and clinical practice. Despite the general acceptance of Jellinek’s theory, however, the typology stimulated little empirical research, nor did it inspire attempts to develop comprehensive diagnostic measurements or to match subtypes to specific therapeutic interventions (Babor and Dolinsky 1988). Nevertheless, Jellinek’s work provided typology research with a new impetus that ushered in the post-Jellinek era of typology development. As this brief review demonstrates, the early typologies were unsystematic, based primarily on clinical observation and anecdotal evidence, and lacked an empirical foundation, thus leading to a confusing array of concepts and nomenclature.

different types of alcohol abuse

The terms “alcoholism” and “alcoholic” carry a heavy stigma that can discourage individuals from seeking help. By using more neutral or clinical terminology, like “alcohol use disorder” and “individuals managing alcohol use disorder,” it becomes easier for people to acknowledge their issues and seek treatment without feeling labeled or judged. Once someone reaches the stage of a severe alcohol use disorder, it is much more difficult for them to try to get and stay sober, because they have developed a physical addiction to and psychological dependence upon alcohol. Because an alcohol use disorder is considered a progressive disease, if you do not get help for your risky drinking at this stage, you could be headed for much more severe issues. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior.