Alcoholism is a serious disease that is all too prevalent and destructive in today’s world. Most individuals and families today have in some way or another been affected by alcoholism. Everyone in the world has some issue in their life and we all have different coping skills or mechanisms that we use in order to deal with them and move forward.
With alcoholism, an individual will likely benefit far more and be considerably safer if they are involved in an assisted alcohol treatment program as different types of alcoholics require different treatments. As there isn’t a ‘typical’ type of alcoholic; rather traits and characteristics that tend to follow one subtype or another, treatment must be geared to properly suit that individual’s needs.
Different Types Of Alcoholics
Individuals who suffer from alcoholism generally fall into sub-type categories that relate to how long they have been alcoholics. In order to properly treat someone who has been an alcoholic for years, the process would likely be more extensive as it may require the use of medical intervention including drug treatment, possibly in conjunction with comprehensive therapy or counseling. It is important to properly tailor the treatment to suit the type of alcoholic in order to achieve the desired results. It is also important to note that a tailored treatment plan will take a different amount of time for each individual and should also include appropriate post-treatment follow up care.
Five Sub-types Of Alcoholics
The NIAAA (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) lists five sub-types of alcoholics. The young adult sub-type is the largest of the five and the most unlikely to get the help they need with their alcoholism. The young antisocial sub-type is generally in their twenties and often have mental health issues and depression alongside their alcoholism. The functional sub-type is an alcoholic that is primarily middle-aged, educated, employed and able to function as an alcoholic in their day-to-day lives. The intermediate familial sub-type is also usually middle-aged with a history of alcoholism in their families; possibly for generations. And the last is the chronic severe sub-type which is the smallest group. They generally have the generational alcoholism within their family, additional substance abuse and suffer from other mental and emotional issues.
What Types Of Treatments Are Available?
The decision on the type of treatment that is best suited to an individual is influenced by multiple factors. The type of alcoholic will be a big part of the decision, in addition to any other combined issues that may be factors in why the individual is compelled to turn to alcohol for the purpose of self-medicating. Treatment options most often include:
- Brief intervention, for those who are exposed to an increased risk of developing a problem with alcohol
- Sober living, where the individual lives with other recovering alcoholics in a supportive atmosphere
- Counseling, which usually works best with other therapies
- Intensive outpatient, which is still very comprehensive and requires a considerable amount of time in treatment in order to keep the individual focused
- Partial hospitalization, which provides ongoing monitoring with some outpatient time in a stable home environment
- Residential treatment, which is for someone who requires treatment for an extended time period usually between 30 to 90 days.