Millions of people throughout the world are addicted to alcohol in different ways for different reasons. While some people get used to binge drinking and engage in high risk behaviors, some others use alcohol chronically. Alcohol addiction can cause adverse effects on families, jobs and also other relationships.

An alcoholic is considered as a person who suffers from alcoholism. Alcoholism is a serious illness which is characterized by craving, loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance. A study was conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) on alcohol users. It revealed that majority of people using alcohol were young adults. However, there are even people of other age groups who are habituated to drinking. It has classified the alcoholics into five different types.

  • The young adult alcoholics who are the largest group of alcohol users. They are least likely to seek help for their problems with alcohol.
  • The young antisocial alcoholics are the other category which includes mostly those in mid-twenties. They are categorized by the early onset of drinking and alcohol related problems. They are often associated with depression, anxiety problems and other mental health issues.
  • Functional alcoholics are those which are middle aged, well educated and employed. They have stable jobs and families and are however, found to have multi-generation family history of alcoholism.
  • Intermediate familial subtype of alcoholics are those with multi-generation family history of alcoholism. They never seek treatment for their drinking problem.
  • Chronic severe alcoholics are those who are the least among the subtypes of alcoholics. They are associated with higher rates of antisocial personality disorder and criminality. They also have psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Alcoholism is therefore different in different groups of individuals and may also vary with personal problems.


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