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5 Types of Alcoholics Identified

More Than Half of U.S. Alcoholics Are Young Adults, Alcohol Dependence Study Shows

5 Types of Alcoholics continued...

The intermediate familial subtype makes up nearly 19% of U.S. alcoholics. Nearly half have close relatives who are alcoholics. Alcoholics in this subtype typically began drinking by 17 and became alcoholics in their early 30s.

The chronic severe subtype is the rarest subtype, accounting for about 9% of U.S. alcoholics. This subtype mainly includes men, has the highest divorce rate, and frequently includes users of illicit drugs.

"When most people think of alcoholics, they think of middle-aged men with a profile similar to our chronic severe subtype," Moss tells WebMD.

"Our data shows that alcoholism is more a disorder of youth than previously suspected," he adds.

Moss warns that while some alcoholic subtypes may function better than others, "in all cases, alcohol dependence must be viewed as a severe disease with a significant adverse impact on health and well-being."

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