The Different Types Of Drinking Habits To Avoid

  • By:R G

Alcohol itself is a sedative-hypnotic and is cross-tolerant with other sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines. Dependence upon and withdrawal from sedative-hypnotics can be medically severe and, as with alcohol withdrawal, there is a risk of psychosis or seizures if not properly managed. The co-occurrence of major depressive disorder and alcoholism is well documented. Additional use of other drugs may increase the risk of depression. Women who have alcohol-use disorders often have a co-occurring psychiatric diagnosis such as major depression, anxiety, panic disorder, bulimia, post-traumatic stress disorder , or borderline personality disorder. Men with alcohol-use disorders more often have a co-occurring diagnosis of narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, impulse disorders or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder .

5 types of alcoholics

This subtype will typically be middle-aged, and half will have a familial link to alcoholism. Around 50 percent of intermediate familial alcoholics will also have suffered from depression and 20 percent from bipolar disorder.

The 5 Types Of Drinkers

The stereotype of alcoholism in America is most similar to the chronic severe subtype. However, studies have found that the young adult subtype of alcoholism is the most common, with 31.5 percent of U.S. alcoholics fitting the criteria. The best type of treatment will depend on your treatment needs and individual circumstances. There’s no single solution for alcohol addiction, and treatment is highly individualized. Suppose you’re unsure of the type of care you or a loved one needs. In that case, it’s best to speak with your doctor or an addiction treatment professional at a reputable detox or rehab center like Nova Recovery Center. About 17 percent of functional alcoholics have ever sought help for their alcohol dependence.

This does not help to identify alcohol use disorders and can mean people with real problems believe they are fine. Addiction to alcohol, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder , is one of the most common forms of substance abuse in the Western world. Since alcohol is legal and most of the time can be enjoyed socially with few adverse effects, the signs of addiction can be difficult to identify.

They tend to drink alcohol every other day, an average of 181 days per year, and they consumefive or more drinks on 54% of those days. Young antisocial alcoholics have a high rate of psychiatric disorders and other substance abuse. They have the highest divorce rate — 25.1 percent — of all the alcoholic types. Only 9 percent have gone to college, and only 43 percent are employed full time. They drink more heavily than any other type of alcoholic, consuming alcohol 248 days of the year on average and drinking five or more drinks 69 percent of the time. More than a quarter have sought help for their drinking at some point through self-help groups, treatment programs, alcohol detox programs and health care providers. Because their alcohol addiction has fewer obvious negative consequences, an important aspect of dealing with an alcoholic is getting them to recognize that they have a problem.

Intermediate Familial Alcoholic

Various forms of individual or group therapy or support groups are used to attempt to keep a person from returning to alcoholism. The popularity and wide availability of beer comes with significant risks for alcohol abuse. It is widely considered to be a social drink, and the lower alcohol content may make it appear to be safer than other alcohols. It still has the same potential to fuel an alcohol use disorder like any other alcoholic beverage and produces the same warning signs. The alcoholics in this category do not usually have full-time jobs. They do not drink as frequently as the alcoholics in other categories, but they engage in binge drinking when they do.

  • Nearly 50 percent have a family history of alcoholism, and co-occurring mental illness is prevalent.
  • Despite these shortcomings, the early attempts to differentiate and classify alcoholics had a positive influence on the development of alcohol studies.
  • The reason for this is that these terms simplify alcohol use into very basic terms.
  • Many in this group have a wide array of mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, major depression, and other anxiety issues.
  • The NIAAA researchers found that there were five distinct patterns ofalcohol dependence.

“Our data shows that alcoholism is more a disorder of youth than previously suspected,” he adds. Northpoint Seattle’s outpatient treatment program is located in beautiful Seattle, Washington, and we work to help the surrounding communities. Therefore, inpatient medical treatment is a must to start their journey of recovery. Because family members may continue their addiction, learning how to interact with them or not interact with them will be essential for recovery success.

Symptoms & Signs

They are common emergency room patients, unlikely to maintain jobs and relationships. However, they do seek help and invest time and effort into their recovery, even though they often relapse. The alcoholics in this group have high education levels but lower than functional alcoholics. Most of them maintain full-time jobs but have lower income than functional alcoholics.

Withdrawing from alcohol can be lethal, and therefore individuals should seek professional help when trying to quit their drinking habit. While young adults are most at risk for an alcohol use disorder, according to these five distinct profiles, it is clear that it’s also an issue for people in middle age or older adulthood, as well. It is important to note that alcohol use disorder may look different depending on the individual. Alcoholics may also require treatment for other psychotropic drug addictions and drug dependencies. Benzodiazepines may be used legally, if they are prescribed by doctors for anxiety problems or other mood disorders, or they may be purchased as illegal drugs. Benzodiazepine use increases cravings for alcohol and the volume of alcohol consumed by problem drinkers.


Topiramate is a derivative of the naturally occurring sugar monosaccharide D-fructose. Review articles characterize topiramate as showing “encouraging”, “promising”, “efficacious”, and “insufficient” evidence in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. Acamprosate may stabilise the brain chemistry that is altered due to alcohol dependence via antagonising the actions of glutamate, a neurotransmitter which is hyperactive in the post-withdrawal phase. By reducing excessive NMDA activity which occurs at the onset of alcohol withdrawal, acamprosate can reduce or prevent alcohol withdrawal related neurotoxicity. Acamprosate reduces the risk of relapse amongst alcohol-dependent persons. In most cases, a person’s likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder is directly related to their drinking habits, such as frequency of drinking and volume of alcohol consumed.

5 types of alcoholics

The intermediate familial subtype makes up nearly 19% of U.S. alcoholics. Alcoholics in this subtype typically began drinking by 17 and became alcoholics in their early 30s. If you or a loved one identify with any of the types of alcoholics mentioned above, professional treatment is necessary. Moving Mountains Recovery Center understands that alcoholism is different for everyone. Because of this, we offer individualized treatment planning to address all of our patient’s unique needs. This means that they consume large amounts of alcohol at one time rather than spreading their drinking out over a few days.

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About 3.3 million deaths (5.9% of all deaths) are believed to be due to alcohol each year. Alcoholism reduces a person’s life expectancy by around ten years and alcohol use is the third leading cause of early death in the United States. Other physical effects include an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, malabsorption, alcoholic 5 types of alcoholics liver disease, and several cancers. Damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system can occur from sustained alcohol consumption. A wide range of immunologic defects can result and there may be a generalized skeletal fragility, in addition to a recognized tendency to accidental injury, resulting a propensity to bone fractures.

  • Despite sharing the same disease, alcoholics have their own experiences and origins of disease.
  • Their alcoholism usually manifests by the time they are 18 or 19, and more than half come from families with alcoholism.
  • However, medical professionals and addiction specialists have been moving away from this term for years.
  • We provide them with the motivation necessary to persevere through challenging situations and explore their passion for life.
  • Alcohol causes the body to release endorphins, which in turn release dopamine and activate the reward pathways; hence in the body Naltrexone reduces the pleasurable effects from consuming alcohol.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines “moderate use” as no more than two alcoholic beverages a day for men and no more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women. It defines a standard drink as one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

What Are The Causes Of Alcohol Addiction?

Kindling also results in the intensification of psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. There are decision tools and questionnaires that help guide physicians in evaluating alcohol withdrawal.

A third of Functional alcoholics have a multi-generational family history of alcohol abuse. The typical Functional alcoholic is middle-aged, well-educated, possessing of a good job, and lives what appears to be a “normal” family life. This subtype makes up nearly a third of American alcoholics – 31.5%. As a group, they have a relatively low rate of dual diagnoses, fewer instances of familial alcoholism, and only rarely seek specialized treatment for their illness. Beta – The drinker suffers from the physical damage caused by chronic alcohol abuse – blackouts, cirrhosis of the liver, etc. – but they do not have a physical or psychological dependence.

In the meantime, the family might help by removing alcohol from the home and looking for ways to make family celebrations free of alcohol or temptations to drink. Around one-third of young antisocial alcoholics will seek treatment for addiction. When experts define alcohol abuse or alcoholism, they often refer to these sorts of consequences as evidence of a problem. TheCenters for Disease Control and Preventionsuggests, for example, that alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that has the potential to harm a person’s relationships and the person’s ability to work.

You may also struggle with clinical depression and possibly with bipolar disorder. You are likely to have suffered from an episode of major depression at some point in your life. You may suffer from denial that your drinking is problematic as you are able to compartmentalize your drinking life. However, certain food groups also have benefits when it comes to helping with the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification. Theresa Parisi received her bachelor’s degree in Addiction Science and Psychology from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota in 2010. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a Certified Addiction Professional , Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager , and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor by the Florida Certification Board.

This subtype has the highest rates of divorce, separation, and visits to the emergency room due to drinking. With one of the lowest education levels of any subtype and the lowest employment rate, this group drinks more frequently than any other, although their total alcohol intake is less than that of the young antisocial subtype. Sixty-six percent have sought help at some point, making them the group most likely to have done so. They often seek help at self-help groups, rehabilitation programs, and detox programs.

Intermediate Familial Subtype

Many members of this group smoke cigarettes, but few have other substance use disorders. Benzodiazepines, while useful in the management of acute alcohol withdrawal, if used long-term can cause a worse outcome in alcoholism. Alcoholics on chronic benzodiazepines have a lower rate of achieving abstinence from alcohol than those not taking benzodiazepines. This class of drugs is commonly prescribed to alcoholics for insomnia or anxiety management.

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