The Different Types of Alcoholics Banyan Boca

The Different Types of Alcoholics Banyan Boca

The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Of those functional alcoholics that seek treatment, the majority of them utilize a 12-Step program as their primary form of care. This form of alcoholism usually consists of middle-aged drinkers who continue to hold a job and maintain family responsibilities, but often have higher rates of various mental illnesses. They also have a high rate of alcohol addiction in their family, but not as high as the Young Antisocial subtype.

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According to this theory, having three drinks by your side at all times that "caffeinate, alleviate, and hydrate" is key for getting through the workday.

They are often unemployed, have no contact with family or friends, and have multiple unsuccessful attempts at cutting back on alcohol. An example of a person who is classified as an intermediate familial alcoholic is someone who grew up in a family where heavy drinking is practiced and adopted this drinking behavior later in life. In questioning the value of “compulsory restraint in a retreat for long periods,” Wingfield (1919, p. 42) proposed specific treatments for different types of alcoholics. For pseudodipsomaniacs and true dipsomaniacs, he recommended administering small doses of apomorphine to provide temporary relief of craving and morphia to treat intense depression. Chronic alcoholics should first be given diminishing doses of alcohol to reduce the risk of delirium tremens before being treated with drugs and “suggestion.” The drug of choice was atropine, given in conjunction with strychnine. Suggestion, especially under light hypnosis, was designed to “lessen the risk of relapse long after treatment is ended” (p. 68).

Getting Help for Alcoholism

Very frequently, these patients suffer from at least one other addiction. Marijuana, cocaine, and nicotine addictions are especially common within this group. Polydrug abuse is when someone uses two or more addictive drugs at the same time, or right after each other….. Alcoholism is a serious and complex condition that affects every part of a person’s life. The WHO calls alcoholism «a term of long-standing use and variable meaning», and use of the term was disfavored by a 1979 WHO expert committee. The alcoholic definition was once grouped in as one type and considered a single condition.

  • Chronic severe alcoholics have the highest rate of family members who also experience alcohol dependence at 77%.
  • Considering that alcohol impacts mental health, many of these subtypes also have disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
  • Young antisocial subtypes make up 21% of alcoholics in the U.S.2 These tend to be drinkers in their mid-twenties who had an early onset of drinking and alcohol problems.
  • The young adult subtype is not entirely made up of college students, as there are also many young adults who struggle with alcoholism who are already in the workforce and/or unemployed.
  • About one-third of young antisocial alcoholics seek treatment for alcohol addiction.

By this time in their lives, their dependency has likely already resulted in series social, health, career and possibly legal issues, with dire consequences. Although these people are cognizant of the consequences and freely admit they were not a good thing, they continue to abuse alcohol. Moreover, they often include behavioral disorders, mental health problems, or both.

Examples of Typologies Developed in the Post-Jellinek Era

This group is also characterized by high rates of co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and social phobia. Young antisocial alcoholics also have a high likelihood of suffering from other substance abuse disorders, including marijuana, cigarettes, and opioids. Babor and colleagues (1992) based their typology on the assumption that the heterogeneity among alcoholics is attributable to a complex interaction among genetic, biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. Consequently, no single characteristic distinguishes alcoholics from non-alcoholics, and separate homogeneous subtypes differ by more than just one defining characteristic. The researchers therefore reviewed the alcoholism typology literature since the mid-19th century to identify defining typological characteristics that combined could accurately describe alcoholic subtypes.

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 intermediate familial subtype is 64% male and almost as active and successful as the functional subtype. These individuals usually have an immediate family member who has/had an alcohol use disorder, hence the labeling of their type of alcoholism. Out of all types of alcoholics, the intermediate familial subtype is the most employed, however, it usually does not make more than the functional subtype.

Types of alcoholics

Their dependence probably developed at a young age as well, maybe when they were about 18. About 19 percent of alcoholics could be classified as intermediate familial. As a group, they often experience alcohol addiction for the first time in their early 30s. One bright spot is that members of this group are the most likely to get help for their addiction. Because of their frequency of drinking and long-term history of alcohol abuse, these individuals suffer from the most dangerous effects of alcohol addiction.

This type takes up 19% of alcoholics in the U.S. and are often middle-aged, working adults with long-term relationships. They may have children, they’re often well educated and their incomes are higher than any other type of alcoholic. During the day, they hold their life together and may even seem happy. A common factor of the functional subtype is that they don’t traditionally drink daily so it makes it difficult to pin point the problem. Many will drink every other day but on those days, they consume a minimum of five drinks.

What Kind of Alcoholic Are You?

Only about a fourth of those in this subtype have sought treatment, usually from specialty treatment programs, detoxification clinics or self-help groups. Cope-motivated drinkers use alcohol to escape their problems, such as depression and anxiety. They’re more likely to be female and have low agreeableness, low self-esteem and high neuroticism.

The Apollonian-Dionysian distinction has been used to summarize the commonalities among alcoholic subtypes. Greek and Roman mythology attributes the characteristics of contemplation, intellect, artistic creativity, and self-restraint to the god Apollo. As suggested in the subtypes grouped under this designation, when alcohol dependence develops in such an individual, typically after years of socially approved heavy drinking, it presents in a more benign form. Consequently, Apollonian subtypes include alcoholics who are characterized by later onset, a slower disease course, fewer complications, less psychological impairment, and a better prognosis.

The Different Types of Alcoholics

Generally, this group tends to view drinking heavily as a normal behavior. Intermediate familial alcoholics are about 38 years old and started drinking around the age of 17. About one-third of young antisocial alcoholics seek treatment for alcohol addiction. They tend to go to self-help groups, specialty treatment programs, detox programs, and treatment with individual health care providers. Researchers found that about 65% of chronic severe alcoholics are male.

Yes, so many functional alcoholics seem successful in the ways society often judges success. And, because they’re doing well in their careers and other areas of life, many functional alcoholics minimize their substance abuse in their minds. Nearly eight out of 10 people in this category have immediate family members who struggle with alcoholism, a higher rate than the other groups. And almost half of them show signs of antisocial personality disorder.

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