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What are the Five Types of Alcoholism?

A study by scientists at the NIAAA, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), analyzed 1,484 survey respondents who met certain diagnostic criteria for alcohol addiction. The study included people 5 types of alcoholics both in treatment and not seeking treatment. It’s a chronic disease marked by an inability to control your alcohol consumption. Isopropyl alcohol also is the main constituent of in cosmetics, including lotions.

Although some alcoholics may fare better than others in their daily lives, the common ground all types of alcoholism share is their negative effects over time. A small problem with alcohol is very likely to grow into a larger problem over time without treatment. Many people don’t seek help for themselves or a loved one with a drinking problem due to shame, embarrassment, or being unable to recognize the problem for what it is. Learning about the five types of alcoholics can strengthen this understanding.

Chronic Severe Subtype:

This group tends to start drinking younger (around 17) and also develops an alcohol dependence earlier (around 32). This subgroup is very likely to have had immediate family members with alcoholism. 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. They are not meant as a diagnostic to determine if someone is suffering from alcoholism.

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In addition, individuals with the Intermediate Familial Subtype tend to have experienced trauma or other adverse childhood experiences, which may contribute to the development of the disorder. They may also have more psychiatric comorbidities, such as depression and anxiety disorders, making a recovery more challenging. Individuals with this subtype have a higher likelihood of having first-degree relatives with alcoholism, indicating a genetic component to the disorder. They are also more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking, indicating a physical dependence on alcohol. “Delta alcoholic” is a term used by physiologist Elvin M. Jellinek to describe a person who cannot stop drinking once they start. They have a physical dependence on alcohol and experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit.

Start the road to recovery

Whether you select inpatient or outpatient care, seeking professional detox under medical supervision when giving up alcohol is important. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can result in severe symptoms5, like seizures and a potentially fatal condition called delirium tremens. Our approach is compassionate and person-centered, addressing the unique circumstances and personal challenges each client faces with personalized care. It is important to note that alcohol dependence is a serious condition that requires treatment, even if the individual appears to be high-functioning.

Similar to the young adult subtype, they are also unlikely to seek help for their drinking. Only about 1/3 of people in the functional subtype seek treatment for alcohol-related issues as they may deny or rationalize their behavior or fear losing their reputation or status. If functional alcoholics do seek help, they may prefer professional counseling or medication.

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Types of Alcoholics

Other ways to get help include talking with a mental health professional or seeking help from a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar type of self-help group. Person-centered treatment helps provide treatment modalities that are most suited to the individual. For example, those with co-occurring mental health disorders typically require integrated substance use and mental health treatment—known as dual diagnosis treatment—to fully recover. Some groups may not even realize that their drinking is a problem. But no matter your age, status, family, or subtype, alcoholism can create long-term problems that damage your health and relationships. Almost 66% of chronic severe alcoholics have sought help for their alcoholism.

5 types of alcoholics