From Young Adult to Chronic Severe Subtype: The 5 Types of Alcoholics

From Young Adult to Chronic Severe Subtype: The 5 Types of Alcoholics

From Young Adult to Chronic Severe Subtype: The 5 Types of Alcoholics

What are the different types of alcoholics? How do you know which subtype you or a loved one falls under? Learn more about the subtypes of alcoholism here.

Keyword(s): types of alcoholics

Alcohol dependence is a complex and widespread phenomenon, affecting 10% of Americans over 12 years old and resulting in 140,000 deaths annually.  Drinking problems affect people of every demographic in every country of the world, even those where alcohol is illegal. 

Did you know there are as many as five types of alcoholism? Each of these types of alcoholics may benefit from different treatment options. 

Keep reading to discover more about how alcoholism can affect people in various ways.

The Two Main Types of Alcoholics

Most alcoholics fall into the Type I or Type II categories. Age does influence these types of alcoholism to a degree, but their main characteristics are:

Type I Alcoholics

These people seek social rewards, try to avoid harm, and have a low need for novelty. They usually binge drink and experience overwhelming guilt after these instances.

They progress from mild to severe alcoholism quickly. 

Type II alcoholics

Type Ii alcoholics seek novelty at the expense of rewards and safety. They often get into fights, end up in legal trouble, and drink consistently. 

The Five Subtypes of Alcoholism

Within these two types of alcoholism, there are a further five alcoholic subtypes. It's important to realize these descriptions aren't absolute, but they can help you identify the signs of alcoholism.

1. Young Adults

Young adult alcoholics drink infrequently, but when they do, they drink heavily. They're the most likely group to practice dangerous drinking habits like driving while intoxicated.

Young adult alcoholics rarely experience mental health issues, although they usually start drinking from a young age. 

In this age group, around 13.5% of deaths stem from alcohol use.

2. Young Antisocial

These people often suffer from an antisocial personality disorder and other mental health problems and start drinking early in life. About a third of these young people seek help with overcoming alcoholism. 

3. Functional Alcoholics

Functional alcoholics are often high achievers at work despite their drinking habits. They usually develop alcoholism in middle age, and about one-quarter of them suffer from clinical depression.

In most cases, functional alcoholics have relatives who suffer from alcoholism too.

4. Intermediate Familial Drinkers

Similarly, intermediate familial drinkers have a family history of alcoholism. They're included to suffer from mental health issues like clinical depression, and about 20% of them suffer from bipolar disorder.

5. Chronic Severe Alcoholism

This group of alcoholics exhibits the full gamut of criteria for alcoholism. They have a family history of alcoholism and struggle with anxiety and depression.

These people are most likely to seek help, with around two-thirds attempting to find recovery. 

Help for Alcoholics of All Kinds

Rehabilitation programs play an important role in getting all types of alcoholics on the path to sobriety, but Alcoholics Anonymous is what helps keep people sober.

Most types of alcoholics benefit from AA meetings thanks to a heightened sense of belonging and mutual understanding. So, if you're arranging meetings in your town, you're providing a valuable service for the recovering alcoholic.

Browse our online store for all the literature, recovery coins, and supplies you need to keep doing what you're doing.