Understanding Different Types of Alcoholics

Alcohol is an addictive substance that can cause dependency in those of many ages. Understanding the different types of alcoholics can help you determine when you or a loved one’s drinking habits have gone too far. Read on to learn more about the various categorizations.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Five Types of Alcoholics

There are five primary types of alcoholics:

Young Adult

People in this group are, on average, 25 years old. However, they usually become alcohol-dependent around age 20. While they don’t drink as frequently as those in other groups, they often engage in binge-drinking, which is an episode of heavy drinking with the intention of getting drunk. That said, on the days that they do drink, the maximum average young adult alcoholics consume is 14 drinks.

Young Antisocial

The young antisocial group of alcoholics is characterized by those who are alcohol dependent and have antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). The average age of someone in this group is 26, but their dependency usually begins around age 18.

On average, they drink 201 days out of the year, primarily engaging in binge drinking. The maximum average young antisocial alcoholics consume is 17 drinks, the highest out of all the alcoholic groups. These individuals also have higher rates of substance abuse, and more than half of people in this group have a close family member that’s also dependent on alcohol.


Functional alcoholics tend to be slightly older, averaging 41 years old, with their alcohol dependency beginning around age 37. Their drinking habits consist of consuming alcohol every other day. The maximum average they consume in a day is ten drinks. They are also known as high-functioning alcoholics.

Over half of functional alcoholics are full-time employees and male. While they have the highest income and education level than all other alcoholics, they are least likely to report their drinking problems. These individuals may appear to have their life together, but in reality, they suffer from severe addiction.

Intermediate Familial

The average age of this group of alcoholics is 37 years old, with their alcohol dependency forming around age 32. Almost half of these individuals have a close family member with AUD. The maximum average number of drinks they consume in a day is 10.

Over half of intermediate familial alcoholics are men, and this group has the highest employment rate of all other alcoholic groups. They also have very high rates of both mental illness and other forms of substance abuse.

Chronic Severe

Chronic severe alcoholics often begin drinking at age 16, develop a dependency around age 29, and average 38 years old. Out of all other alcoholic categories, these individuals have the highest alcohol consumption rates. On average, they drink 248 days of the year, and they binge drink on over half of those days. The maximum average number of drinks they consume in a day is 15. This is the rarest but most dangerous type of alcoholic group.

Over half of these individuals are men, and they have the highest rate of family members who also have AUD. They also have the highest divorce rates of all groups, as well as the most increased likelihood of having mental health illnesses and other substance abuse issues.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

Understanding the different types of alcoholics can help you identify when your drinking habits have gone too far. If you or a loved one need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.