Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, affects millions of adults in the United States. Though we tend to lump people addicted to alcohol into a stereotype, there is no typical alcoholic. In fact, there are five subgroups of alcohol addiction that are recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Regardless of what kind of alcoholism profile someone fits into, alcohol addiction treatment remains the single best way to achieve recovery.
If you are looking for alcohol rehab centers in Pennsylvania, consider Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC), which has provided professional alcohol and other drug addiction treatments for 60 years. To learn about our evidence-based therapies, residential and various outpatient options, and more about the ways that alcohol addiction manifests in different people, reach out today. You can fill out our easy online form or dial 844.442.8673.
Different Types of Alcoholics
The five subtypes of alcoholic are determined by various factors, including:
- The person’s age
- When the person’s started drinking
- The person’s age when dependence developed
- Family history of alcoholism
- The existence (or not) of co-occurring mental health disorders
- The presence (or not) of other substance use disorders
The subtype of alcoholism from which someone may suffer does not change the fact that all kinds of alcohol addiction are chronic disorders that can be treated. Professional rehab is the most successful and safest way to begin a sober life.
Once someone is in treatment in a Pennsylvania alcohol rehab center, deciding what kind of alcoholic they are can help medical and therapeutic staff create a treatment plan that will provide the best type and level of care. Based on the above, people fall into the following categories of alcoholics.
Chronic Severe Alcoholic FAQs
This subgroup is the smallest of the five. They tend to begin drinking age around 15. They may also have mental health conditions, such as antisocial personality disorder, depression, or anxiety, as well as other co-occurring addictions. Their loved ones may also be alcoholics, while many have low rates of employment and higher education. However, they are also more likely to seek help for their addiction.
Functional Alcoholic FAQs
As the name suggests, these alcoholics hold down jobs and maintain—to an extent—relationships. This group tends to be middle-aged, though they begin drinking and develop dependence later in life. They usually don’t suffer from other drug use issues or depressive disorders, while the majority of this group is male. These individuals in this group also have higher levels of education and income. Despite their apparent functionality, this group is in danger because most of these individuals don’t seek help.
Young Adult Alcoholic FAQs
This group is the largest among all types of alcoholics—an alarming statistic. The people in this group tend to develop alcohol dependence in young adulthood. They are less likely to have other mental health conditions than other subgroups. They may also binge drink and refuse to seek treatment, though if they do, they may choose 12-step programs.
Young Antisocial Alcoholic FAQs
This group becomes dependent on alcohol at the earliest age, around 18. They also align with the following trends:
- Most of these individuals are male
- Highest amounts of alcohol consumed overall among all groups
- The majority have an antisocial personality disorder
- High rates of co-occurring disorders such as depression, OCD, and social phobia/anxiety
- High rates of other substance addictions, including tobacco, cannabis, meth, cocaine, or opioids
- Lowest levels of education, income, and employment in any group
- High levels of help-seeking for their addiction
Intermediate Familial Alcoholics FAQs
This group is highly likely to have family members who are also suffering from alcohol use disorder and aligns with the following characteristics:
- Many of these individuals suffer from depression or bipolar disorder
- High probability of suffering from antisocial personality disorder and anxiety
- Common overlap addictions with tobacco, cannabis, or cocaine
- Compared to functional alcoholics, this group is second most educated but earns less
- More of this group are employed full time than others
- Unlikely on average to seek help but lean toward self-help groups and private healthcare
Find a Pennsylvania Alcohol Rehab at PAATC
It often helps to learn more about the kinds of alcohol addiction that are possible. You may realize that someone you were worried about truly is struggling with alcohol use disorder. Alternatively, you may recognize yourself in one of the profiles above and are determined to create change.
Whatever the case, PAATC can help. We can answer questions, offer solutions, explain what evidence-based treatment is and how to access it, and generally support you as you consider alcohol addiction treatment. Call 844.442.8673 or complete our online form today.