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The Different Subtypes of Alcoholism

The Different Subtypes of Alcoholism

If you used to hang out with these people, did you ever notice that no two alcoholics are alike? We aren’t necessarily referring to personalities (everyone is different) but are instead discussing the severity of mildness of their sickness. While alcoholism is a by-the-book sickness on paper, it is by no means predictable in real life. Teens, college students, doctors, lawyers, singers – anyone, at any time, can fall victim to this deadly mental illness, mostly because they literally won’t know until they try a drink. Let’s take a closer look at the different subtypes of alcoholism.

Classifying the Alcoholic

Overall, medical professionals have identified five subtypes of alcoholism:

  • Chronic severe: This variety of addiction encompasses what people think about when they hear the term “alcoholic,” but, in fact, only 9% of Americans can be considered members of this subset. Typical chronic alcoholics will start abusing booze at a young age, suffer from antisocial personality problems, and run into the law on many occasions. Science has proven that this type of alcoholism is purely genetic.
  • Functional: Another “garden variety” of this sickness, functional alcoholics are typically middle-aged and well-educated men and women who have great jobs and loving families. In essence, these people don’t really look or act like alcoholics; at least, not to other people. In many cases, functional alcoholics will eventually hit rock bottom, which is when the people around them might finally notice something is wrong.
  • Intermediate familial: About 19% of Americans fall into this category of alcoholism, sadly. In most cases, intermediate familial alcoholics will belong to a loving, middle-class family with a multigenerational family tree littered by this sickness. These people will also abuse another drug besides alcohol.
  • Young adult: Unfortunately, the largest percentage of alcoholics belong to this category, according to reports from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Likewise, the CDC confirms that drinkers who fall between the ages of 12 and 20 consume more booze than their adult counterparts, and about 90% of these young people are binge drinkers.
  • Young adult antisocial: One of the most tragic cases involves young people who start drinking early and develop problems later in life. Most young adult antisocial alcoholics suffer from impeded brain growth and poor intellect, due to having consumed the drug prior to the age of 15 (a tipping point, as the CDC points out).

The Grim Reality of Alcoholism

Did you know that, as of 2015, about 6% of American citizens were suffering from a form of alcoholism? Combine that with an additional 10% of people who failed to receive treatment that same year, and you can see why so many of these cases result in tragedy. Despite resources offered on the market, many people still avoid going to a therapist or enrolling in an addiction program.

Overall, people have many reasons for wanting to avoid treatment. “It’s too on-the-nose and people will judge me for being an alcoholic,” some people will say. Others might be concerned it won’t work, while another portion of men and women just don’t want to give up their drugs.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism  

Alcohol withdrawal can easily be one of the most frightening aspects of healing. During the course of the recovery process, you will suffer from minor to severe symptoms that may include night sweats, hallucinations, fevers, anxiety, and sadness, but always remember that you can find the strength to overcome these problems. However, you must always seek medical attention when you have decided to cut ties with alcohol, as the withdrawal process can be notoriously dangerous. Never attempt to do this without the supervision of a trained specialist.

If you are suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or alcohol abuse, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.


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