Alcoholism is one of the most rampant substance abuse disorders known across many parts of the world. Drinking is a major part of social life, but alcoholism is one problem that leads to addiction, behavioral, and emotional issues. Experts say that alcoholism springs from underlying causes and then leads to addiction. Many do not realize that their drinking may be affecting their lives and that of loved ones until it begins to upset their health and wellbeing.
Levels of Alcoholism
It is often assumed that a person who spends time drinking alcohol or perhaps binging on alcohol is an alcoholic- no questions asked. There are individuals that find it difficult to go about their daily routine, be productive, or even regulate their moods without alcohol. However, the “alcoholic” stereotype isn’t quite appropriate for all drinkers. Are there different forms of alcoholism? Yes, there are, and the classification of alcoholic subtypes largely depends on factors such as age, history of drinking and dependence, family influence, and co-occurring mental health issues. These factors further enable the research into the degrees of alcoholism and the methods that may be most effective to tackle them.
There are different types of alcoholics, and no matter the category a person falls into, the damage to health, relationships, career, and other aspects of life remains the same.
Types of Alcoholics
Five types of alcoholics have been identified by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The different types of alcoholism include:
Young Adult Alcoholics
Type 1 alcoholism, which makes up 31.5% of all alcoholics, falls into this group. Young adult alcoholics are one of the largest groups. They consist of individuals who started drinking at the age of 19 and developed a dependency on alcohol at the age of 24. The young adult group is mostly people who are in schools and are unlikely married. The subtype drinks less regularly in comparison to other subtypes, but when they do, they are likely to binge. The young adult category has 2.5 times more males than females.
Those that fall into the “functional” types of alcohol addiction most likely have jobs and stable relationships. This group makes up 19.5% of alcoholics and is often in the middle ages (41 years average). A large number of individuals in this group start drinking around the age of 18, and by the age of 37, they develop an addiction. 60% of people in this category are males and often have moderate rates of depression, smokers, and co-occurring disorders. Individuals in this group have the highest educational altitudes, half the number may be married, and have a stable source of income. The most common treatment type for the functional group is the 12-step program.
The Intermediate Familial Alcoholics
18.8% of alcoholics fall into the Intermediate familial group. People in this category start drinking as young as 17 years and develop a dependency on alcohol as early as 32. There are usually family members who also have the problem of alcoholism. Members of this subtype often have some types of antisocial personality disorders , anxiety, bipolar disorder, and are one of the highest users of substances such as marijuana, cocaine, cigarette, and other illicit drugs. 64% are usually males, and while they are unlikely to seek treatment, the ones that choose to get help to undergo detoxification and join self-help groups.
Young Antisocial Alcoholics
People in the young antisocial category start drinking very young (at least 15) and also get addicted to alcohol by the age of 18. Unlike other types of alcohol abuse, more than 50% of individuals in this group have a complex antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and also indulge in substance abuse such as opioids, marijuana, and methamphetamines. 21% of staunch drinkers fall under this category.
Chronic Severe alcoholics
This small group of drinkers consists of about 9.2% of alcoholics and starts as young as 15 then get hooked around the age of 29. About 77% of chronic severe Alcoholics have family members who also have an alcohol problem. People in this group experience extreme acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms and are the most vulnerable to depression, dysthymia, social phobia, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, and other mental issues. Opioid misuse, marijuana, cigarettes, and cocaine use is quite common with chronic severe alcoholics.
Individuals suffering from severe chronic alcoholism are usually referred to inpatient programs and require extensive treatment inclusive of detoxification, holistic treatment, counseling, and other intensive measures.
Is There Help for Every Type of Alcoholics?
All forms of alcohol abuse have specific treatment types that are tailored to the individual in question. The key to getting out of any form of addiction is quick intervention and getting the required help as soon as possible. The longer an alcohol addiction stays, the higher its propensity to cause physical and mental damage. If you or your loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, call us immediately.