identifying alcoholic subtypes

There is a stereotype in America of what a typical alcoholic looks like. However, studies from the  National Institute of Health (NIH), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) put that belief to rest. These organizations conducted a national, clinical study originating from numerous studies on alcoholics. Studies found that there are multiple subtypes of alcoholics:

  • – Young Adult Subtype
  • – Functional Subtype
  • – Intermediate Familial Subtype
  • – Chronic Severe Subtype

Different types of alcoholics suffer for various different reasons. Some groups do not even realize that their drinking is a problem; they believe it is just a part of who they are. No matter your age, family, or status, alcoholism can create life-long problems that damage your health and relationships, no matter the subtype.

  • Young Adult Subtype

This group tends to begin drinking at an early age (around 19) and also develops an alcohol dependence early (around 24). The young adult subtype is less likely to have a full-time job, but is more likely to be in college than other groups. This subtype drinks less frequently than others, but is very likely to engage in binge drinking when they do. Members of this group are 2.5 times more likely to be male than female. 

  • Functional Subtype

Making up 19.5% of alcoholics, this is the group that are holding down jobs and relationships. This group suffers from moderate rates of depression, but lower rates of most other co-occurring disorders. They have the highest education levels and income of all types of alcoholics. These are people that may seem to have their lives together, the ones that others look up to. However, while they are “functional” in a sense, they are still suffering from addiction.

  • Chronic Severe Subtype

This group normally begins drinking at a young age (around 15) but typically develops an alcohol dependence at an intermediate age (around 29). 77% of this group have close family members with alcoholism, the highest percentage of any subtype. 47% of the members of this group exhibit antisocial personality disorder, the second highest rate of any subtype. This group also is very likely to experience addiction to cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, and opioids.

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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