Admitting Defeat Against Alcohol to Win a Better Life

The culture today promotes alcohol use. It is easy for people to get in trouble and drink to excess with enticing bottles and drinks for every occasion await. Excessive alcohol consumption is not only accepted but promoted by the growing industry. Commercials of scantily clad women and no-holds-bared party scenes fill the TV and internet and suggest that those who don’t drink are missing out.

The Georgia Youth Risk Behavior Survey, or YRBS, from 2007 reported that 38% of Georgia high school students had current alcohol use and 19% had engaged in binge drinking within the last 30 days. Of those who had been drinking 44% named liquor as the alcohol of choice. This points to a budding alcohol problem for an enormous percentage of young people in the state of Georgia. Turning to hard liquors and binge drinking at an early age spells trouble.

Five Alcoholic Types

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, or NIAAA, conducted a study of nearly 1500 American adults between the years of 2001 and 2002. The results surprised the researchers as young adults account for the highest percentage of those who qualify as having an alcohol abuse problem.

Young adults account for 32% of people with a dependence on alcohol. The average age for those becoming dependent is 20, and few of these young people seek treatment for alcoholism. They tend to binge drink and drink less often than any other subgroup. Drinking for members of this group seems to be tied to social status. These young adults are not only encouraged to drink but often find that social situations are centered around drinking and the level of acceptance he or she experiences is often tied to alcohol consumption.

The second most common group of people struggling with alcohol abuse is the young, anti-social subtype. Accounting for 21% of people with alcohol dependence issues, this group does not overlap with the first, young adult, although similar in age demographics. Averaging 26 years of age, they tend to start drinking at around age 15 and were alcoholic by 18. More than half have antisocial personality disorder and tend to smoke tobacco and marijuana as well.

The functional subtype accounts for approximately 19% of alcoholic Americans. Those in this group tend to have more stable relationships, higher education and incomes, they are also middle aged. Generally, they drink every other day and may consume more than five drinks on days that they do drink.

Intermediate familial subtype also comprises 19% of alcoholics and nearly half of these have family members or close relatives with an alcohol abuse problem. They typically are in their early thirties and started drinking by age 17.

The rarest subtype is Chronic Severe and makes up 9% of alcoholics in the United States. Mostly comprised of men, this group has the highest divorce rate and often uses other mind altering substances such as illicit drugs. People in this group are have the highest level of such severe consequences as homelessness or other dysfunctional situations. Often these alcoholics suffer from severe co-occurring mental health issues as schizophrenia and depression.

Get Help Before It’s Too Late

Although Chronic Severe subtype may be the closest to the stereotypical alcoholic, it is also the least common group of alcoholics. Often people think that alcoholics are only people who sleep on the streets and drink out of brown paper bags, however, new research is proving that the most common age group for those struggling with alcohol abuse is young adults. This potentially spells trouble as the younger generation grows up dependent on alcohol and subsequently promotes alcoholic behaviors to the next generations.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol, get help. It is never too late to get the help you need and deserve. Give us a call at (678) 616-2926.