Newly Defined Types of Drinkers

Alcoholism has been known for a long time to included mental dependency, physical dependency or both with devastating effects surround a drinker’s personal life and immediate family and friends. Often times, their drinking will lead them to make irrational decisions under impaired judgment which can get the injured or killed in such traumatic events like vehicle accidents or risky sexual encounters where they contract disease or find themselves responsible for a pregnancy in one way or another. A new research from Penn State University, published in Alcohol and Alcoholism journal has determined five types of alcoholics defined by actions and effects they experience from drinking.

Alcohol-Induced Injury

In addition to drinking too much, people in this category typically find themselves in risky situations which have lead to personal injury or the injury of someone else.

Difficulty Cutting Back

Those in this category are drinkers who may sometimes or often mention cutting back and make unsuccessful attempt to do so. Generally, the declarations come after problems associated with drinking.

Highly Problematic, Low Perceived Life Interference

This category is populated by those who reported symptoms of alcoholism but remain either indifferent to or don’t recognize the interference of their drinking in relation to their family, friends, work or hobby.

Adverse Effects Only

This group typically exhibits mostly physical effects of drinking too much such as withdrawal or hangovers or both.

Highly Problematic

The fifth and final new classification are those who exhibit element of all four other categories.

One of the more interesting results of the study were that certain ages were more likely to exhibit one classification over another. For instance, younger drinkers were more prone the ‘adverse effects only’ while older drinkers were likely to be found exhibiting symptoms of belonging to the ‘alcohol-induced injury’ group.

The most important takeaway of the research, which was authored by Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research center, is that alcoholism isn’t a question of yes or no and that’s it. While the groups and their symptoms have been known for years, they tend to be indicators of ‘just alcoholism’ and alcoholism in is treated in a singular way. With these new classifications, treating specific kinds of alcoholism may lead to an increase in effective results.

Ashley Linden-Carmichael, an assistant research professor involved with the study remarked about the findings, “We need to think beyond whether someone has an alcohol use disorder, yes or no, and take a look specifically at what they’re struggling with and whether they’re in a particularly risky class.”

If you or someone you know might be suffering from alcoholism, an alcoholic hotline might help. Northbound’s professional counselors are trained and will answer 24 hours a day on their alcoholics helpline at 866-311-0003. They offer addiction help groups, diagnosis and treatment options, all with confidentiality.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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