Alcoholism affects different people differently. While doctors haven't identified a "typical alcoholic," they have determined that there are at least five different types of alcoholics suffering from the effects of this disease. If you are struggling to stop drinking, you may fit into one of these categories. No matter what type of alcoholic you are, there is appropriate treatment available if you would like to stop drinking. Consider calling 1-888-919-3845 or filling out a quick contact form so that you can get the help you need.
Young Adult Alcoholics
Young adult alcoholics currently make up 31.5 percent of alcoholics in the United States. These are young people who, for the most part, don't seek treatment. These people are generally college students who are away from home for the first time; in addition, they are close to legal age or have recently become old enough to drink legally. For these reasons, drinking is often part of the college culture and young adults who over-indulge are often praised by their peers or encouraged to continue drinking. Older adults may be concerned about their drinking but for the most part don't encourage them to seek treatment because they think it is just a stage. However, any young adult who has intense cravings for alcohol between uses, can't control his drinking once he begins, has symptoms of physical withdrawal when not drinking and needs greater amounts of alcohol to achieve the same high over time should be concerned about his drinking. These symptoms point towards an alcohol problem.
A certain percentage of young adults who drink fit into the category of antisocial alcoholics. Half of these alcoholics come from families with alcohol problems, and some of them have a coexisting disorder, antisocial personality disorder, which causes them not to care about whether their behavior is hurting others and to engage in destructive behaviors. Even if they don't have this disorder, antisocial alcoholics may have another co-occurring disorder such as general anxiety disorder or major depression or be addicted to other substances, such as cocaine, opiates or marijuana. About 1/3 of these people seek treatment of some sort for alcoholism.
These alcoholics are usually older than young adult alcoholics; they are typically middle-aged and have been doing well in their careers for some time. In general, these alcoholics keep themselves together during the day so that they can go to work or school and then drink too much when they get home. They may not think they have a drinking problem because they are able to succeed in their lives despite their alcohol habits.
Chronic Severe Alcoholics
Chronic severe alcoholics are the "typical alcoholic" that many people think of. These are the people who have such a severe alcohol problem that they aren't able to hold a job. Family and friends may have given up on this type of alcoholic, and he may or may not have a place to live. Chronic severe alcoholics often want help; they've run out of options and are aware they need to make major changes to survive.
Regardless of which of the five types of alcoholics you identify with, don't suffer in silence if you think you have an alcohol problem. Call 1-888-919-3845 to get in touch with somebody who can offer you the assistance you need to free yourself of your addiction to alcohol and live a productive, healthy life.