Alcoholism can affect every aspect of our lives, whether others can see this or not. Most of us know someone who seems to be doing rather well, despite their excessive drinking habits. Others we know may be struggling financially or experiencing problems at home – no matter the circumstance, alcoholism causes much damage, both to a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual health, and to others’. There are several diverse types of alcoholism, and understanding this can help you identify what your loved ones or you yourself are going through.
- Young adult. According to CBS News, approximately 32% of those with alcoholism in the United States are young adults. This age group consists of those typically aged 20-24. They don’t drink as heavily as other people with alcoholism, but when they do drink, they binge drink.
- Young antisocial. Consisting of about 21% of people with alcoholism in the United States, this group is approximately 26 years old, on average. More than half of them have antisocial personality disorder, and many started drinking at age 15 and developed alcoholism by age 18. People in this category also tend to smoke pot and cigarettes as well.
- Functional. This is a generally middle-aged, working adult group that takes about 19% of the those with alcoholism in the United States. These individuals tend to have more education, stable relationships, and higher incomes than others with alcoholism. People in this group tend to drink every other day.
- Intermediate familial. Consisting of approximately 19% of those with alcoholism in the United States, this group, on average, began drinking at age 17 and developed alcoholism by age 30. Most have relatives that who have alcoholism as well.
- Chronic severe. This is the smallest category of those with alcoholism, as this group is comprised of only 9%. This group mainly includes men with the highest divorce rate and involves frequent usage of illicit drugs.
Some researchers have broken down alcoholism into 2 subtypes, but others have identified these 5. The main components when identifying which group a person falls into depends on their childhood risk factors, dependence levels, alcohol-related problems, psychopathological dysfunction, familial alcoholism, polydrug use, chronic treatment history, and more life stress, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. The first step towards recovery is to recognize that alcoholism is taking over your life and to then reach out for help.
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