The 7 Types of Alcoholics North Jersey Recovery Center - A depressed young male sits on a couch staring at a beer bottle and a glass filled with beer as he contemplates his alcohol use and if he fits into the different types of alcoholics or not.

The 7 Types of Alcoholics

Are There Different Types of Alcoholics?

What are the different types of alcoholics? Are there seven types of alcoholics?

This is a common question, but it’s one that gets misconstrued.

While research has depicted seven types of alcoholics, we will discuss five types of alcoholics based on what we know about addiction at this time.

Understanding the types of alcoholics first relies on having an understanding of alcohol use disorder (AUD).

What is an Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is someone who meets the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism is a pattern of ongoing alcohol abuse.

Characteristics of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Problems controlling your drinking
  • Drinking even when it causes problems
  • Being preoccupied or obsessed with drinking

You can have unhealthy drinking patterns without being an alcoholic.

For example, binge drinking is considered unhealthy drinking, which is especially common among young people.

However, not everyone who binge drinks meets the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

If your drinking causes distress or problems in your daily life, you likely would be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder.

As with other addictions, alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe.

What are the Symptoms of Being an Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder based on a specific set of criteria.

This criterion typically includes:

  • Being unable to limit how much you drink
  • Trying and being unsuccessful at cutting down how much you drink
  • Spending much of your time getting alcohol, drinking, or recovering from the effects of alcohol
  • Not meeting obligations because of alcohol
  • Continuing to drink despite problems in relationships, at work, or school
  • Developing a tolerance requiring you to drink more to get the same effects
  • Being dependent on alcohol and having withdrawal symptoms if you don’t drink

Types of Alcoholics

As was mentioned above, some people believe there are seven types of alcoholics.

In reality, there are likely closer to five types.

These are also called subtypes of alcoholics.

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Young Adult Subtype

Among the types of alcoholics, the young adult subtype is the most common.

This type of alcoholic refers to people between the ages of 18 and 25.

Within this group, the average age at which someone develops an alcohol addiction is 20 years old.

Someone in a young adult subtype might drink less than other types of alcoholics.

However, they will often binge drink when they do.

Someone who is a young adult subtype alcoholic might have an average of 14 drinks a day when they drink.

This group, among other types of alcoholics, is the least likely to get help.

The reduced number of people seeking treatment in this group is because it is usually seen as normal.

When you’re a young adult, partying and drinking may seem like something everyone is doing at that age.

Young Antisocial Subtype

Another type of alcoholic is known as the young antisocial subtype.

These are people who are young adults and may have antisocial personality disorders.

There may be other mental health issues that occur along with a personality disorder.

People who fall into the young antisocial subtype group tend to behave recklessly, increasing the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder.

Functional Subtype

Functional alcoholics is another subtype of alcoholics that many people have heard of or are familiar with.

Functional alcoholics don’t always appear to have an alcohol use disorder.

This type of alcoholism generally appears during middle age.

Someone who is a functional alcoholic will often live a completely normal life and can even be very successful.

However, they might drink excessively in the evenings — often as a way to relax.

Some of the issues of functional alcoholism include that it can cause physical health problems.

Problematic patterns of drinking can also be troublesome in terms of relationships.

It is challenging for functional alcoholics to realize there is a problem.

This makes them less likely to seek treatment.

Intermediate Familial Subtype

Someone with a family history of alcoholism may have an intermediate family subtype.

This can stem from different scenarios depending on the specific circumstances.

If someone is raised in an environment of heavy drinking, they may begin to replicate the same patterns.

There may also be a genetic component.

We know that one of the underlying risk factors for alcoholism is genetics.

People in the intermediate familial subtype often have co-occurring mental health problems, such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder.

These mental health conditions have a genetic component as well.

Chronic Severe Subtype

In most cases, chronic severe subtype is the most damaging subtype compared to the different types of alcoholics.

Someone who is in the chronic severe subtype will often drink excessively daily.

Someone who falls under this type of alcoholic is likely to have many physical and lifestyle factors destroyed as a result. Unfortunately, they continue to drink.

Physical dependence is prominent in the severe chronic subtype.

This means that if someone tries to change their drinking patterns, they will likely experience intense withdrawal symptoms.

Around 80% of people in the severe chronic subtype have a familial and genetic alcoholism link.

Someone in this category is also more likely to abuse other drugs too.

If you are concerned about your drinking patterns or someone else’s drinking habits, the below questions are ones you may want to ask yourself or your loved one to determine if there is a problem or not.

  • Do you have a problem stopping drinking once you start?
  • Do you lose control when you start drinking?
  • Do you want to stop drinking but find that you aren’t able to?
  • Do you have cravings for alcohol?
  • Do you keep using alcohol even though it’s causing problems in relationships?
  • Do you ever give up activities to drink instead?
  • Do you drink when it’s risky to do so?
  • Do you need alcohol to feel “normal?”

Help for Different Types of Alcoholics?

If you recognize the signs or symptoms of alcoholism either in yourself or someone you care about, treatment options are available.

The type of treatment you may benefit most from can depend on the category you fall into.

For example, if you’re a functional alcoholic, outpatient treatment may work well for you. This would allow you to continue living and working as normal but receive treatment at the same time.

For someone who is a chronic severe alcoholic, treatment would likely need to be much more intensive.

Treatment might include a supervised medical detox to deal with dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Then, someone who is a chronic severe alcoholic might start an inpatient program.

Following inpatient treatment, they could live in a sober living house and begin their relapse prevention plan.

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Paying for Treatment

If someone is an alcoholic, they should seek treatment sooner rather than later.

Alcoholism of any kind is a progressing, chronic illness.

This means the longer it goes untreated, the worse the symptoms and outcomes will likely be.

If you are looking for treatment programs, contact North Jersey Recovery Center.

Our program options range from intensive residential treatment to outpatient care.

Our team can verify your insurance coverage to help determine the costs of addiction treatment.

Final Takeaways

There are five different types of alcoholics.

Understanding what these are can help you better identify a problem, whether in yourself or in someone you love.

When you know what type of alcoholic you are, you can also identify what treatment programs could be best.

Is Alcohol a Drug North Jersey Recovery Center - A woman is struggling with her dependence on alcohol because is alcohol a drug? She is debating seeking treatment for her alcohol addiction

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Understanding Alcoholism and Where to Turn for Help

 
Many of us look forward to a few beers after work or a glass of wine while cooking dinner.

If we were to log how much alcohol we consume every week, we might notice a pattern that repeats itself.

Is it possible we are addicted to alcohol?

Is alcohol a drug?

It turns out that alcohol is a drug because it falls within the class of depressants.

You CAN become addicted to alcohol, which is referred to as “alcoholism.”


What is Alcohol?

 
Alcohol is a drink that is produced through fermentation.

The ingredients often include grains, fruits, sugar, yeast, and water.

We commonly know alcohol as beer, wine, and liquor, but is alcohol a drug?

Origins of Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages go thousands of years back.

A sense of pleasure and relaxation became the basis for drinking alcohol.

  • Evidence of alcohol appeared from the discovery of beer jugs dating back to around 10,000 B.C.
  • Egyptian hieroglyphics from around 4,000 B.C. indicate drinking wine is mentioned throughout the Bible as well.

As the 19th century rolled in, limitations on drinking alcohol were enforced, especially through prohibition.

Since then, alcohol has been regulated by laws restricting certain age groups from buying and drinking.

However, these laws often fail to curb the use of alcohol.

Young people still find ways to drink, and alcohol has become common in most social gatherings and events.

Ingredients in Alcohol

The combination of sugars and yeast, and other ingredients, causes a chemical process that produces ethanol.

It is this ethanol that, when consumed, changes the way our brain and body function.

Different types of alcoholic beverages contain varying amounts of ethanol.

Certain drinks will cause more intense symptoms than others.

The higher the alcohol content, the stronger the symptoms.

Addiction is not affected by the content of alcohol.

It can happen whether you consume beer or the hard stuff.

The main question is: Is alcohol a drug?

Alcohol Content in Different Types of Drinks

High Content:

  • Moonshine 100%
  • Liqueurs up to 60%
  • Vodka up to 50%
  • Whiskey up to 50%
  • Tequila up to 40%
  • Rum up to 40%


Low Content:

  • Wine and Wine Coolers up to 20%
  • Ciders and Ales up to 8%
  • Beer up to 6%

Alcohol is a Drug

Is alcohol a drug? If so, what kind of drug is alcohol?

Alcohol is a type of depressant, similar to many prescription drugs.

Alcohol may not be “prescribed,” but it affects the brain in many of the same ways that other drugs do.

Prescription Depressants:

  • Tranquilizers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Sedatives
  • Sleeping pills

 
Is alcohol a drug that is considered as bad as prescription depressants?

Yes, alcohol is just as addictive as Xanax, Lunesta, Klonopin, or any other depressant.

Effects of Alcohol

The side effects of alcohol are what drives us to seek it out and drink it.

How many of us go to a social gathering and enjoy a beer or glass of wine?

Do those drinks help you to relax and be more sociable?

The marriage of food and alcohol is often enjoyed, especially with BBQs, dinner parties, and cocktail hours.

Why? Because the “side effects” of alcohol can loosen us up to have more fun.

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Short-term Side Effects of Alcohol

The most immediate side effect of alcohol is that it makes us feel drunk.

These are some of the symptoms of drunkenness:
 

  • Sense of calm, relaxation
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Lack of coordination
  • Impaired thinking
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Feeling tired
  • Lower heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing
  • Overall feeling of sadness
  • Urination difficulty
  • Blackouts

Long-term Side Effects of Alcohol

Is alcohol a drug that can cause serious and lasting side effects?

Yes, alcohol is the root of alcoholism, which is an addiction. 

Long term use of alcohol changes our brains and bodies in ways we may not be aware of.

Mental and Physical Side Effects

  • Addiction (alcoholism)
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Liver damage/disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Blackouts
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Cancer
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Worsening of mental disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts/tendencies
  • Suicide
  • Death
  • Moodiness
  • Abusive behavior
  • Fetal deformities
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Development of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
    • An alarming 80% of alcoholics are deficient in thiamine. This deficiency can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, which is a brain disorder causing encephalopathy or psychosis.

Social Side Effects

  • Divorce
  • Relationship strain
  • Self-isolation
  • Indirect harm through accidents
  • Loss of job
  • Loss of friends
  • Loss of home
  • Financial strain
  • Drunk driving that can lead to arrest or imprisonment
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Arrest and imprisonment
  • Requiring a lifetime of someone caring for you

Mental Illness and Alcoholism

 
Is alcohol a drug that worsens existing mental disorders?

In short, yes, it can.

Alcohol abuse is associated with numerous mental disorders and can exacerbate their severity.
 

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Mental Disorders Associated with Alcoholism

Alcohol Abuse Leads to Addiction

Why is alcohol a drug of choice for so many of us?

Alcohol does not require a prescription and is obtainable by merely going to the store.

Is alcohol a drug that only affects adults? No, it has the same addictive ability for teens, middle-aged adults, as well as the elderly.

When is alcohol abuse a drug problem?

The varying demographics of alcohol abuse and addiction are startling in contrast to what many of us think.

Under-Age Alcohol Abuse Within the U.S. during 2018:

  • Approximately 7.1 million under the age of 20 consumed alcohol, of which 19.5% were females, and 18.2% were males.
  • Approximately 4.3 million under the age of 20 participated in binge drinking.
  • Approximately 861,000 (2.3% of the age-group population) under the age of 20 heavily abused alcohol.

 
Older Adults and Alcohol Abuse Within the U.S. during 2018:

  • 3% of adults admit to drinking alcohol.
  • 45% of adults admit to binge drinking.
  • 6% of adults admit to heavily abusing alcohol.

 
A study done in 2012 indicated that 10% of children in the U.S. had an alcoholic parent.
 
When is alcohol use an addiction?

  • You crave it and cannot go for long periods without it.
  • You drink all throughout the day or night.
  • You cannot enjoy social events without drinking.
  • You spend your last dollar on alcohol.
  • You become violent and abusive towards your loved ones.
  • You prefer to drink alone.

 
If you see yourself in any of the above scenarios, facts, or statistics, you need help.

Many of us with an addiction to alcohol do not view ourselves as alcoholics.

Taking the first step in admitting you are an alcoholic is the hardest part of this recovery journey.

Reaching Out for Help

When you continue to allow alcohol to control you and your life, you stand to lose so much.

Your sense of pride, independence, and your loved ones are far more precious than a drink.

Even worse, can you live with yourself if you drink and drive and end up killing someone?

Did you know that someone dies because of a drunk driver every 50 minutes in the U.S.?

How Do You Get Help?

Admitting you have a drinking problem is the first and hardest step.

Now it is time to get help from professionals who will be by your side the entire time.

The next step to take is to make that call.
 
North Jersey Recovery Center is a leading treatment facility for alcoholism.

We have a professional standing by 24/7 to take your phone call.

The moment you speak with someone, you will be embraced with compassion.

Inpatient

Detox is a necessary step to rid your body of alcohol.

You will be admitted as an inpatient where you have the choice of social or medical detox.

A team of medical professionals will be by your side during the entire process until you have stabilized.

After you are stable, you will then advance to the “inpatient hospitalization” program, where you ease back into life while still residing at the facility.

Outpatient

When you have graduated to the outpatient program, you will visit the facility as scheduled to continue treatment.

For those who need to plan their treatment around work, children, or school, we offer “intensive outpatient therapy.”

Payment and Insurance

Our staff is more than happy to verify your insurance on your behalf to make things easier for you. You also have the option to use our online verification form to do it yourself.


Regaining Control to Live a Full Life

Treatment is a gift to yourself and to those you love.

Do not let alcohol slowly strip you of the most valuable things and pleasures of life.

You have value and worth, and who knows, you may be the one who inspires someone else with the same problem to find help.

Be their inspiration!

6 Ways to Know You Have a Drinking Problem North Jersey Recovery Center - A man is thinking about the red flags that may mean a drinking problem is prevalent and he may need treatment for alcohol addiction

6 Ways to Know You Have a Drinking Problem

What is Considered a Drinking Problem?

 
Alcohol drinking is a sensitive subject for those who drink but profess they do not have a drinking problem.

Awareness is the first step in how to know if you have a drinking problem.

Admitting you have a drinking problem is the first step, but we look at the different things that indicate dependence (addiction) on alcohol before we go that far.

If you or a loved one drinks a lot, this article will give you a better understanding of alcohol dependence.

  • Do you drink throughout the day?
  • Do you need alcohol to get through any type of social gathering or event?
  • Have you noticed that you are always holding a beer or drink in photos?
  • Do you lose track of time or have blackouts?
  • Has your loved one left you because of alcohol?

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Alcohol does not have the same chemicals that drugs do.

However, alcohol is a depressant and is classified as such.

You can grow dependent on alcohol.

We want to give you an overview of what alcohol addiction looks like.

Alcohol is classified as a depressant. Although it is a beverage and obtainable by going into a store, it is a drug.

A drug is defined as a substance that has the potential to enhance physical or mental welfare. It is not used medically.

Tranquilizers, sedatives, sleeping pills, and antipsychotics produce the same effect as alcohol.

Anytime a depressant enters the body, our brains tell us to relax and loosen up.

This is why you see alcohol present in almost every kind of social gathering.

It helps us to mingle and socialize.

Light drinking keeps us giddy, happy, and relaxed.

Whereas, heavy drinking is sedating to the point you have impaired function.

6 Red Flag Warnings: How to Know if You Have a Drinking Problem

As you read through the below red flags, you will notice a vicious cycle of cause and effect that never ends.

This is what keeps us trapped in the addiction to alcohol.

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Red Flag #1: You Feel Like You Have No Control Over Your Life

Obsessive thinking about whether you may need help is an indicator of knowing if you have a drinking problem.

If you must ask yourself that question, you may have a problem.

Many of us who do have an alcohol dependence feel as though we are losing control.

This can happen because of losing loved ones, friends, or jobs because of our drinking.

When the bank forecloses on your home, or a recovery truck pulls up and hauls your car off because you no longer have a job that makes you feel very helpless.

The thoughts that race through our mind on what we are doing to ourselves causes us to drink more.

Red Flag #2: You Drink at Inappropriate Times and Places

Alcoholics do not care where or when they drink. The craving and need for alcohol distort all reasoning and rationale.

Such scenarios that will help you with how to know if you have a drinking problem include:

  • Showing up to church with alcohol on your breath or a flask neatly tucked in your pocket
  • Driving while drinking, which is especially dangerous if your loved ones are with you
  • As soon as the alarm clock rings in the morning, you opt for a drink instead of coffee or breakfast
  • You need “chasers” to help a previous binge
  • You drink heavily in front of children, therefore, setting a bad example for them
  • You rush home every day to have that cocktail, which is followed up with dinner, wine, and a bedtime nightcap
  • You show up at an AA meeting drunk or you sneak off to the bathroom to drink during a meeting
  • You must spike your coffee at work, or you have a bottle hidden in your desk that you retreat to when no one is looking

Do you get the picture? Alcohol seemingly finds its way into every activity during the day.

Red Flag #3: You Have a Criminal Record Because of Drinking

You have been pulled over for drinking and driving. As a result, you were arrested. This is a BIG red flag yelling at you: “This is how to know if you have a drinking problem!”

One arrest leads to two or three, and before you know it, you no longer have a driver’s license and must depend on public transportation or someone else to get you to where you need to go each day.

Spending time in jail is not what you had in mind, but it has happened to you. Repeated arrests lead to longer jail sentences as well.

Once you are out of jail, you go home and grab a beer because you have missed having it while in jail and just need to unwind.

Red Flag #4: Your Drinking Drove Away Loved Ones

Have you been in such a drunken rage that you hit your spouse or threw something at the TV and broke it? These are two examples of how to know if you have a drinking problem.

As our husband or wife walks out the door, we know we cannot stop drinking to keep them from leaving.

We will promise and beg to be better, but we do not get better.

Having our children witness their dad or mom lying on the floor in urine-soaked clothing or vomit from drinking is humiliating, to say the least.

Our families lose all respect for us when we allow alcohol to dictate our lives.

Many of us have such violent outbursts after drinking that we have physically and emotionally hurt those we love.

The regret that comes after the alcohol wears off is so painful that we grab another drink.

Red Flag #5: You Have to Drink More as the Effects Wear Off to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

When we begin to feel sweaty, shaky, and overall sick, we know it is time for another drink.

We do not want to experience the unpleasantries of withdrawal.

As soon as our body begins to quiver, we drink. This is perhaps one of the main reasons we continue to drink.

Feeding the hungry demon within ourselves leaves us feeling completely out of control.

We know we need help but are afraid to admit our problem.

It is more convenient to keep drinking than invest the time to go to rehab.

Red Flag #6: You Have Repeated Loss of Time You Can’t Account for

Have you ever woken up disoriented and confused about how you ended up in a strange place? Not only is it frightening, but you feel vulnerable and afraid. When you are trying to piece things together, you can only assume your drinking landed you where you are.

Blackouts happen because of heavy drinking.

The college days of waking up on someone’s sofa after a night of partying are long gone.

A blackout does not necessarily define unconsciousness. You can get behind the wheel of a vehicle, walk somewhere, or be a part of illicit activities that you do not remember doing.

The fact that you can harm or kill yourself or others during a blackout should be enough to cause you to seek help.

But instead, you drink to numb the fear and sense of helplessness that a blackout causes you. This is a serious red flag on how to know if you have a drinking problem.

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Payment Options

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

How to Get Help

There are so many reasons why you should get help.

We should love ourselves enough to grant ourselves the opportunity to live a clean and sober life.

Now that you have information on how to know if you have a drinking problem, take that step, and get help.

Call North Jersey Recovery Center at 877-786-0572 to schedule your consultation.

You deserve to live a happy life free from alcoholism.