Main Types of Alcohol, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Alcohols

Individuals with this subtype typically have a long history of heavy alcohol use and often have a co-occurring mental health disorder. They may also have a family history of alcoholism and exhibit severe withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit drinking. About 66 percent of chronic severe alcoholics seek treatment for their alcohol dependence.

  • This alcoholism type represents 19.5% of alcoholics in the US and includes mostly those who are middle-aged.
  • Less than 20% of this subgroup has sought help, and most do so from a 12-Step program or a private health care professional.
  • The problem with the functional subtype of alcohol addiction is that because people in this category can still hold a job and care for their families, they may believe their alcohol use is not a problem.
  • More than 80% of this group experiences acute alcohol withdrawal and persistent efforts to cut down, and more than 90% experience drinking despite the problems it causes them and drinking larger amounts and for longer than intended.

However, chronic alcohol abuse can also cause damage to other organs such as the heart, pancreas, and brain. It’s essential for family members to seek support and resources to help them cope with their loved one’s addiction. Support groups like Al-Anon five types of alcoholics provide a safe space for family members and friends of alcoholics to share their experiences and find comfort in knowing they are not alone. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to seek professional help.

Mixing Sleeping Pills and Alcohol: Risks and Dangers

However, while they are “functional” in a sense, they are still suffering from addiction. Less than 20% of this subgroup has sought help, and most do so from a 12-Step program or a private health care professional. Most intermediate familial alcoholics begin drinking around age 17 and develop alcoholism later in life, around age 32. About half of this group comes from families with alcohol problems and are likely to suffer from mental disorders.

An alcohol use disorder (AUD) is characterized by the chronic, compulsive use of alcohol despite the negative consequences on a person’s life. Alcohol is one of the most widely used addictive substances in the U.S., with 84% of adults aged 18 and older having tried it in their lifetimes. Classifying the five types of alcoholism was an important step for addiction research and treatment because it acknowledges the variability in addictive behaviors, symptoms, and consequences. Because not every case of alcoholism is the same, tailoring addiction treatment to the individual person may help improve rates of success. There are five different types of alcoholics, but the young adult subtype is the most widespread.

Mixing Alcohol and Weed: Danger and Risk

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. When they do seek treatment, they’re more likely to attend a 12-step group or seek treatment from private health care professionals. It’s important to note that having a genetic predisposition to alcoholism does not mean that an individual will inevitably develop an alcohol use disorder. Environmental factors such as stress, trauma, and peer pressure can also play a significant role in the development of addiction. Alcoholism can also contribute to social isolation and relationship problems, which can further exacerbate depression and anxiety.

five types of alcoholics

By contrast; these tend to be adults who are working and who are usually in their mid-years. They often do not consider drinking to be a problem and are often in denial. It is sometimes hard for families to realize that one is a functioning alcoholic.

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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. Researchers found that about 62% of functional alcoholics work full-time, 3.6% are in school full-time, and 5% are retired. Nearly 26% have a college degree or higher, and the average household income is almost $60,000, the highest among any of the subtypes. They also have a later age of first drinking (average of 19 years) and a later onset of alcohol dependence at an average of 37 years. They tend to drink alcohol every other day, an average of 181 days per year, and they consume five or more drinks on 54% of those days. 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.

five types of alcoholics

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. Many of those in the grips of alcoholism choose not to seek help, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you or a loved one fall into one of these types of alcoholism, know that there are options. Health care professionals use criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), to assess whether a person has AUD and to determine the severity, if the disorder is present.