A new study shows that only 10% of American adults are “excessive” drinkers, which makes up nearly one-third of American adults. These figures shed further information on the country’s alcohol usage.
According to Dr. Robert Brewer, the Alcohol Program Lead at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most persons who drink excessively are not alcohol addicted or alcoholics, contrary to popular belief.
Nevertheless, the term “alcoholic” is a nonclinical adjective widely used in the United States.
Because the term “alcoholic” has become a derogatory term used to stigmatize those with drinking issues, particular healthcare and mental health organizations have decided to stop using it.
Now, people who drink excessively are often referred to as someone who have an alcohol use disorder.
An alcohol use disorder (AUD) is simply defined as a “problem drinking that gets worse.” Isn’t there a lot of opportunity for interpretation in that? Exactly how does one define “severe?”
Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
Alcohol use disorder is a pattern of alcohol use characterized by problems with alcohol control, preoccupation with alcohol, continued use of alcohol despite problems, drinking more to achieve the same effect, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when drastically reducing or ceasing to consume alcohol.
Overconsumption of alcoholic beverages puts one’s health and safety in danger. Any alcohol consumption that puts your health or safety at risk or leads to other alcohol-related issues is considered unhealthy.
Also included in this category is binge drinking, which is defined as consuming five or more drinks in two hours, or four or more drinks in two hours by a male or female.
If your drinking consistently causes severe distress and difficulty functioning in your daily life, you may have a problem with alcohol consumption.
It might range from a minor to serious condition. However, even a minor disorder might progress to more significant issues if not taken care of early enough.
Drinking more than a 12-ounce serving of ordinary beer per day is considered severe. Malt liquor, unfortified wine, or even 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor can all be excessive alcohol use.
If you or your family members are concerned about your drinking, or if you think you may be drinking too much, see your doctor.
Many people who suffer from an alcohol use disorder are reluctant to seek help because they don’t think they have a problem.
So, to assist you in evaluating if you or a friend or loved one has an alcohol use disorder, we’ve compiled a list of different drinkers and their typical reasons for binging.
Types of Drinkers
Is there a spectrum of alcoholism? How many varieties of alcoholism are there? Nine sorts of drinkers have been identified by the Health Department of the United Kingdom, all of which are based on a person’s motivations for drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. There’s no doubt about that.
Those who engage in binge drinking are considered amidst a life crisis. This person may be going through a difficult time emotionally or financially.
This person’s primary goal in using alcohol is to escape the stress of their situation temporarily. A comforter and a self-medicator, alcohol is a way for this person to deal.
This type of drinker may be under stress at work or in their personal lives, or they may come from a chaotic household; whatever the case may be, they are driven to drink because they feel powerless and overburdened by their circumstances.
When juggling job demands and personal life simultaneously, many turn to alcohol to help them relax, unwind, and calm down. Prepared drinks are regularly used to support or reinforce the behavior of partners.
Those who fall under this category frequently have a jam-packed social calendar. They use alcohol as their “common connector.”
They tend to lose track of time and how much alcohol they’ve consumed. This can lead to a power outage.
Drinking every night at the pub is “what men do,” and most of those who fall into this category are male.
Because they see it as “me time,” they excuse it. They consider the bar to be a second home, where they are welcomed and accepted for who they are.
The pub group fostered a sense of belonging among its members. It brings a sense of security and purpose to their lives, allowing them to enjoy their time here.
Additionally, it serves as a kind of social network. In social gatherings with many people, you’ll find this type of drinker.
Single mothers and recent divorcees with a limited social life are the most likely to fall into this category of drinkers.
These people use alcohol to fill the void left by the absence of meaningful human interaction in their lives. After a long day at work or school, they relax with a beer at the end of the day.
Alcoholism is a way for men to assert their masculinity and status in the eyes of themselves and those around them.
This group consists primarily of men who experience frequent feelings of undervaluation, powerlessness, and frustration in various facets of their lives and careers.
Having a drink is a technique for them to cultivate a strong “alpha male” character.
People who are single, divorced, or have adult children are more likely to be heavy drinkers. Excessive drinking is a means for them to convey their sense of self-reliance, individuality, and “youthfulness” to others. A few drinks eased their inhibitions.
They are men who consider the pub to be their second home most of the time. Boredom, a need to fit in, and an overall feeling of gloom are all factors in the drinking habits of those who fall into this category.
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It’s clear from this list that not everyone who drinks is an alcohol addict or alcoholic. People drink for many different reasons. We should not generalize them as ‘alcohol addicts’ or ‘alcoholics .’
Society should be aware of the negative impact of this label. Those who were stigmatized with the term “alcoholic” experienced feelings of exclusion, guilt, lack of acceptance, and shame due to the label.
The more you study and observe, the more you’ll grasp how and why addiction occurs. These are the efforts society should make to stop the stigma and remove the fear of sobriety from people who have AUD.
The Alcohol Coach can help. We offer science-based and inspiring coaching programs. You may also sign up for the free masterclass and access free resources that will aid you in your quest toward alcohol-free life!
Please note: Although we refer to ‘alcoholism’ and ‘recovery’ in our articles, this is because these terms are often used by others.
The Alcohol Coach services come from the viewpoint of empowerment, mindset shift, and high-powered transformational change.
Then there are no lifelong labels, no counting days, and pure unbounded freedom and discovery!
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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