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Researchers Identify Alcoholism Subtypes National Institutes of Health NIH

“Subtypes of Alcohol Dependence in a Nati[…]presentative Sample.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2007. However, certain food groups also have benefits when it comes to helping with the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Our admissions navigators can also help you start the treatment admissions process, discuss ways to cover the cost of treatment, and help verify your insurance coverage.

The amount of alcohol you drink impacts your health

You’ve spent more than a few Sunday mornings with hangover symptoms, including a splitting headache and nausea. Or maybe you often feel far too tired to clean your house or get any chores done after an evening of going out with friends. Research suggests that it takes anywhere between 18 and 254 days to break a habit — but if you struggle to change the unwanted behavior on your own, support from a professional can help. While it’s not uncommon to set limits and find yourself falling short, you might want to consider whether it’s a one-time occurrence or a consistent pattern. You might tell yourself, “I’m only having one drink tonight and then I’m going home.” But at midnight, you’re four drinks in.

5 types of alcoholics

What causes Alcohol Addiction?

They are likely have a steady job, a seemingly stable family life, and do not often fit into the traditional stereotype of an alcoholic. The largest percentage of alcoholics fall into this group, as NIAAA publishes that 31.5 percent of all alcoholics in the United States fit this subtype. This group is typically in their late teens or early 20s, and either just of legal drinking age or slightly younger. Many young adult alcoholics are likely college students who are away from home for the first time, and who are surrounded by a culture that promotes and encourages excessive social drinking.

Impact on your health

  • This is the rarest and most dangerous type of alcoholism, making up 9.2% of alcoholics.
  • Dealing with a family member’s addiction can be overwhelming and stressful.
  • As this brief review demonstrates, the early typologies were unsystematic, based primarily on clinical observation and anecdotal evidence, and lacked an empirical foundation, thus leading to a confusing array of concepts and nomenclature.
  • To develop the coding frame, each author independently reviewed videos until observation saturation.
  • The disorder makes a person who has it experience an intense desire for alcohol even when it adversely affects their health.

The amount of pure alcohol in each drink depends on the alcohol content, or percent of alcohol by volume (ABV). According to the CDC, excessive drinking is responsible for one in 10 deaths among adults between ages 20 to 64. Maybe you want to cut back until your alcohol consumption aligns with these guidelines, but you find it difficult to control how many drinks you have. It is interesting to note that the subtypes summarized in table 2 have been identified through armchair intuition as well as by comparative research and empirical clustering techniques. To the extent that different methods have identified subtypes with similar features, this provides strong evidence for the cumulative wisdom of the past as well as the progress made in recent years. The unitary disease concept, as illustrated in “The Drunkard’s Progress,” by Nathaniel Currier.

Most likely what a person pictures when the term alcoholic is used, the chronic severe alcoholic subtype only accounts for about 9 percent of the entire US alcoholic population. A chronic severe alcoholic likely started drinking and struggling with alcohol-related issues and problematic drinking at a young age and is currently middle-aged. This subtype also battles antisocial personality disorder at high rates and regularly has issues with the law and therefore criminal or legal troubles as well. About half of this subtype of alcoholics smoke cigarettes, and one-third have a family history of alcoholism. Around one-quarter of the functional alcoholic demographic have had at least one major depressive episode in their lives as well. Depression and mood disorders commonly co-occur with alcohol abuse and can increase a person’s vulnerability to addiction.

Intermediate Familial Subtype

About 17 percent of functional alcoholics have ever sought help for their alcohol dependence. They typically participate in 12-Step groups or are treated by private healthcare professionals. Additionally, young antisocial alcoholics have a high probability Top 5 Advantages of Staying in a Sober Living House of having other substance use disorders. About three-quarters of them are regular smokers, and 66 percent meet the marijuana abuse/dependence criteria. Many also have a high probability of cocaine use disorder and opioid use disorder.

  • While functional alcoholics may not binge drink, they do drink more alcohol than the average person.
  • Intermediate familiar alcoholics are typically employed and have a close family member who’s an alcoholic too.
  • Disulfiram is an older drug that works by causing an adverse reaction to alcohol whenever you drink it.
  • They also have the highest divorce rates, with 25.1% divorced, 8.6% separated and only 28.7% married.
  • But no matter your age, status, family, or subtype, alcoholism can create long-term problems that damage your health and relationships.

Risks of drinking too much alcohol

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