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5 Types of Alcoholics According to the NIAAA

list and describe two types of young alcoholics

In the U.S., chronic severe alcoholics comprise 9% of all alcoholics. The chronic severe subtype is the smallest but most severe of all the categories of alcoholism. On average, they drink about 143 days each year, and they typically consume five or more drinks at a time.

  • Examples may include anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • It is characterized by binge drinking that’s interspersed with lengthy periods of sobriety (abstinence).
  • Functional alcoholics make up 19.4% of alcohol-dependent individuals.
  • This subtype includes 19.5% of those who struggle with alcohol use but appear to be functioning.
  • The constant desire to get high may lead to the use and abuse or addiction to other types of drugs.

Types Of Alcoholics

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Although there are many stereotypes about what an alcoholic looks like or how they behave, alcoholism manifests differently in everyone. If you’re dealing with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and need help to stay sober, reach out to an addiction specialist to help get the treatment you need. Some outgrow their problem drinking, while others develop an addiction to alcohol as they age. The effort was made to categorize different types of alcoholics, partly to dispel the myth that there is a typical alcoholic. Identifying the specific type of alcoholic makes it easier to understand and treat people’s problems.

list and describe two types of young alcoholics

Why Addiction and Mental Illness Co-Occur

list and describe two types of young alcoholics

They are not meant as a diagnostic to determine if someone is suffering from alcoholism. Rather, they are meant to further the study of alcoholism and guide future research and prevention efforts. Young adult alcoholics are the biggest subtype of alcoholics in the 5 types of alcoholics United States. These drinkers are about 24 years old, and their alcohol dependence started relatively early, around the age of 19. Young adult alcoholics also have low rates of co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders and low rates of family alcoholism.

Findings of the Stockholm Adoption Study

A study in Sweden in 1987 was the first to classify alcoholics as either Type 1 or Type 2, describing in detail alcoholism’s neurogenetic adaptive mechanisms. The typology developed from findings of adoptees and their adoptive and biological parents. Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are three medications approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat alcoholism. Doctors and other healthcare professionals prescribe these medications to discourage patients from drinking. They can be used alone or complement other treatments and counseling. Copers drink to avoid life’s worries and feelings of depression and anxiety.

  • The NESARC is a nationally-representative survey that looks at alcohol, drug, and mental disorders in America.
  • Family incomes average around $32,000, the lowest among the subtypes alongside the chronic severe subtype.
  • If you or a loved one fall into one of these types of alcoholism, know that there are options.
  • Authors suggested that alcoholism typologies must be clinically relevant to be valuable as an intellectual tool.
  • About two-thirds of chronic severe alcoholics get help for their drinking.
  • Because the personality characteristics are inherited independently of each other, traits such as high harm avoidance and high novelty seeking are not mutually exclusive and can occur in the same person.

These alcoholics are usually middle-aged people who started drinking and struggling with alcohol at a young age. Chronic severe alcoholics typically have difficulty functioning normally from day to day. Their condition may have progressed from young antisocial alcoholism, and they may likely experience legal problems, substance abuse problems, and psychiatric disorders like anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. Researchers have identified five common subtypes of alcoholics, each characterized by distinct patterns of behavior and demographics.

Women tend to experience a variety of harms at lower levels of alcohol exposure compared to men. For example, the brain system for novelty seeking is predominantly influenced by the neurotransmitter dopamine (Cloninger 1987a). Accordingly, people who have a high novelty seeking trait are expected to react strongly to the stimulation of dopamine-using (i.e., dopaminergic) nerve cells. 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. 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.

The Young Antisocial Alcoholic

Alcoholics may suffer from clumsiness, blackouts, cognitive decline, memory lapses, and poor judgment. They may also suffer physical malaise caused by nutritional deficiencies and liver damage. Some alcoholics have insomnia, and many suffer from emotional distress.

list and describe two types of young alcoholics

Often in denial about their drinking problem, they tend to surround themselves with heavy drinkers. Functional alcoholics drink every other day on average and consume five or more drinks in a sitting. They are less likely to seek treatment, but when they do, they often turn to 12-step groups for support. Similarly, it was unexpected that the genetic backgrounds of mild and severe alcohol abusers should be the same, whereas the genetic background of moderate abusers differed.

  • Intermediate familial alcoholics make up another fifth of all the alcoholics in America.
  • In the United States, functional alcoholics comprise about one-fifth of the alcoholic population.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) publishes that co-occurring mental health disorders and addiction are common, as about 8 million adults in America battled both in 2014.
  • We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery.
  • Close to 80 percent of chronic severe alcoholics have a genetic and familial link to alcoholism, meaning that a close family member also suffered, or suffers, from alcoholism.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often a key part of an effective substance use disorder treatment plan.

This group has the lowest levels of education, employment, and income of any group. This group also drinks more at once and more overall than other groups, although they drink slightly less frequently. On the other hand, this group is more likely to seek help than almost any other; 35% sought out some form of assistance in overcoming alcoholism. This group has the highest rate of seeking treatment from a private health care provider but also often choose self-help groups, specialty treatment programs, and detox programs.

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