Are There 5 Types of People with Alcoholism?

There is no ‘typical alcoholic personality’ but there are some subtypes of people who struggle with alcoholism to be aware of as it relates to addiction. Some are more functional than others, able to hold high level jobs and keep the ruse up with family while others languish under the challenges of dependence. Learn more about the types of people with alcoholism and how to notice the signs.

Types of Alcoholism

Researchers defined five subtypes of alcoholism by the following specific characteristics. They also listed a percentage of each type that composes the total number of people with alcoholism:

  • Young adults: nearly 32 percent were classified as struggling with alcoholism. Young adult drinkers, with low rates of co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders also rank with those who have low rates of family alcoholism. They rarely seek help for drinking behavior or think a problem exists.
  • Young antisocial behavior: nearly 22 percent struggle with alcoholism. Most are in their mid-20s with early onset regular drinking and alcohol problems. More than half come from families with alcoholism, about half have a psychiatric diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. Many have major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety problems. More than 75 percent smoke cigarettes and marijuana.
  • Functional alcoholism: nearly 20 percent of people are functional within their alcoholism. About one-third have a multigenerational family history of alcoholism. One-quarter had major depressive illness at some time in their lives. Nearly 50 percent are smokers.
  • Intermediate familial alcoholism: approximately 19 percent of people have addiction within a family structure. Middle-aged people with about half of families with multi generational alcoholism fall into this category. Almost half have had clinical depression and nearly 20 percent have had bipolar disorder. Most of them smoke cigarettes, with nearly one in five reporting cocaine and marijuana use. About 25 percent ever seek treatment for drinking.
  • Chronic and severe alcoholism: only about 9 percent of people fall into this category. Mostly people in middle-age with early onset drinking behavior and alcohol problems struggle with this. They may also have high rates of antisocial personality disorder and criminal behavior.

Previous studies which tried to identify people with alcoholism were conducted with people in treatment for their drinking behavior. Therefore, a large percentage of those people were left out of the studies. Only one-fourth of people with alcoholism ever seek treatment. These numbers may seem low but there are real challenges and barriers to treatment people need to get past to accept the need for help exists.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We help you see the true nature of addiction and understand how healing needs to occur. We emphasize being outdoors and in nature a part of the healing journey. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.