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Are there more than one type of alcoholism?
Alcoholism is an addictive disorder defined by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol. It is a serious disease having a range of negative effects on an alcoholic’s health, social relationships and respect. The effects of alcohol are always the same. It damages almost every organ in the body, but most significantly the brain and the liver. There are nearly 140 million alcoholics worldwide, and they all look the same. However, each case of alcoholism is different since the people start drinking for different reasons. These cases can be subdivided into several different types of alcohol consumption. Each type has distinct characteristics, and there are five main subtypes of alcoholism.

The young adult subtype

This is the largest subtype, comprising nearly 31.5 percent of all alcoholics in the United States. These alcoholics usually do not suffer from other health or mental problems, and in a high number of cases, they do not use drugs. The most prominent characteristic for this subtype is that young adult alcoholics rarely seek medical help to stop drinking. These alcoholics usually start drinking at the age of 20, and consume alcohol less than people in other groups consume. However, when they do drink, they tend to consume very large amounts of alcohol. These people have the habit of binge drinking, which is defined as the consumption of five or more drinks at one sitting for males and three or more drinks at one sitting for females.

The young antisocial subtype

Around 21 percent of alcoholics in the United States fall into the young alcoholic subtype. These persons are a bit older than those from young adult subtype are, being around 26 on average. Unlike the younger alcoholics, these individuals usually have the antisocial personality disorder. Their drinking habits had also developed earlier, in the age of 15, and they already became alcoholics by their 18th birthday. In most of the cases, these alcoholics consume tobacco and marijuana.

The functional subtype

About 19 percent of alcoholics in the United States fall in this group. These are usually middle-aged adults engaged in stable relationships and professions. They are usually well educated and earn more money than the other groups of alcoholics. These patients tend to drink every other day, often consuming five or more drinks.  

The intermediate familial subtype

This type of alcoholism usually affects people who have close relatives with the history of alcoholism. This type of drinking problem affects around 19 percent of Americans. They usually begin drinking by the age of 17, becoming alcoholics in their early 30’s. 

The chronic severe subtype

This is the rarest type of alcoholism, affecting around 9 percent of alcoholics in the United States. It usually affects men and it is commonly associated with the highest divorce rate and use of illegal drugs.

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