The five types of alcoholics include the young adult, the young antisocial, the functional, the intermediate familial, and the chronic severe type. Each category represents a unique population and provides insights into the way alcohol abuse affects every group. About 31% of functional alcoholics have a close family member who also has alcohol dependence. They have moderate rates of major depression (24%) and smoking cigarettes (43%), and low rates of anxiety disorders, other substance use disorders, and the lowest rates of having legal problems (fewer than 1%). The largest subtype of alcoholics, the young adult alcoholic subtype is made up of people around the age of 24 who typically have been battling alcohol addiction since the age of 20.

  • 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.
  • About one-third of young antisocial alcoholics seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
  • 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.
  • The differences in this sub-category are significant, especially when discussing their antisocial behaviors.
  • Chronic severe alcoholics have the highest rate of family alcoholism out of any other subtype- almost 80% come from a family with a history of alcohol abuse problems.

The alcoholic definition was once grouped in as one type and considered a single condition. Because family members may continue their addiction, learning how to interact with them or not interact with them will be essential for recovery success. The differences in this sub-category are significant, especially when discussing their antisocial behaviors. Three-fourths smoke – both tobacco and marijuana – and many have an addiction to opioids for cocaine. Unlike “Young Adults”, however, over a third of these seek professional help.

The Type 1 Type 2 Model

There are many types of alcoholics, depending on the person’s reason for drinking, age and other factors. 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.

Similarly, these individuals don’t blackout while drinking or engage in risky behaviors while under the influence of alcohol. Once you know what type of alcoholic you, or a loved one is, it will be a good tool in figuring out how to manage the problem. The therapy or alcohol rehabilitation program can be more acute which gives you a better chance of recovering successfully. More males are found to have this type of alcoholism, but females are not immune to the disease.


Thus, it is no coincidence that some of the leading physicians in countries such as France, England, Germany, and the United States devoted considerable attention to studying alcoholism. According to a review of the world alcohol literature, 39 classifications of alcoholics were developed between 1850 and 1941 (Babor and Lauerman 1986). Most of these typologies were published by alienists in books and scholarly journals. Over 6 percent of American adults battled an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2015, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) publishes.

Most people consider this person the typical college student, who doesn’t necessarily drink every day, but when they do drink, they binge until they cannot function. Almost everyone in the chronic severe subtype has experienced acute withdrawal symptoms when attempting to cut down. They also have continued drinking despite the many problems it causes.

Young Antisocial Alcoholics

Then they can properly begin their recovery in both inpatient therapy and outpatient therapy. Relapse prevention skills will be a focus of treatment, as well as family therapy. Looking in from the outside, you may never know this person is an alcoholic. They might be educated, go to church, are always on time for work, and participate in fun extracurricular activities.

  • This group also has the highest rates of other substance abuse disorders, including addiction to cigarettes, Marijuana, Meth, Cocaine, and Opioids.
  • The anti-social alcoholic has often had parents or family members who suffer from alcoholism.
  • With the early onset of difficulties with alcohol abuse and alcoholism, individuals in the young antisocial alcoholic subtype are typically in their mid-20s and generally began struggling with alcohol addiction earlier than other subtypes.
  • This group is also characterized by high rates of co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and social phobia.
  • We specialize in holistic care that focuses on your physical, social and emotional health.

The CDC reports that binge drinking is a dangerous pattern of alcohol consumption, and 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by youths in the United States is through binge drinking. Binge drinking leads to over 80,000 American deaths annually and is a contributing factor to alcohol dependence and addiction. This subtype of alcoholics is typically middle-aged, well-educated, and may seem to have it all “together” on the outside. They are likely have a steady job, a seemingly stable family life, and do not often fit into the traditional stereotype of an alcoholic. A BAC of 0.09% to 0.25% causes lethargy, sedation, balance problems and blurred vision. A BAC of 0.18% to 0.30% causes profound confusion, impaired speech (e.g. slurred speech), staggering, dizziness and vomiting.

If you are concerned about your drinking patterns or someone else’s drinking habits, the below questions are ones you may want to ask yourself or your loved one to determine if there is a problem or not. We know that one of the underlying risk factors for alcoholism is genetics. 2Treatment matching refers to the concept that alcoholics with specific characteristics will benefit most from certain treatment approaches. Despite these significant improvements in recent typology research, the field still faces some challenging issues.

different types of alcoholics

This group usually starts drinking at age 19, and by the time they’re 24, they’ve developed full-blown alcohol dependence. Young adult alcohol dependents are also 2.5 times more likely to be male than female. Most Chronic Severe alcoholics are middle-aged and have a personal history with an early onset of problem and binge drinking.

Addiction Treatment Services

The chronic severe alcoholic may also show signs of anti-social behavior and criminality. They are less likely to be able to function in a job, and personal relationships are usually non-existent. If they do exist, there are serious handicaps, keeping them from benefiting from having close relationships. Typically, young adults do not just start drinking in their early-to-mid-twenties. They have almost always started drinking in their late teens, and over time, their binge drinking activities have gradually gotten worse. Take a closer look at the five types of alcoholics and how addiction treatment may help.

Nearly one-third of all alcoholics fit into the young adult alcoholic subtype. Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. However, there are two main concepts that separate the alcoholic types of alcoholics from the problem drinker. Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods.

Substance Abuse

In discussing the general causes and conditions favoring inebriety, Crothers (1911) also classified alcoholism as either acquired or hereditary. People with acquired inebriety often have histories of physical disorders, particularly dyspepsia (i.e., indigestion), bad nutrition, and exhaustion from unhygienic living conditions or stressful work environments. Conversely, hereditary causes include constitutional conditions, such as distinct neurotic and psychopathic disorders that often are traceable to ancestors. Habitual inebriety begins as a “voluntary indulgence” that eventually crosses the line between the physiological and the pathological, resulting in a deterioration of physical and mental abilities. Both habitual and periodic inebriety may manifest themselves in different ways, leading to a further classification of inebriates as social and unsocial. Social inebriates drink openly with other drinkers, whereas unsocial, or solitary, inebriates shun the company of others and tend to drink secretly, often because of “neurasthenia” (i.e., exhaustion of the nervous system).