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Alcohol MD

Types of Alcoholism

Mental health professionals believe there are two types of alcoholics, types 1 and 2.

  TYPE 1 TYPE 2
Genetics Less Dependent Stronger Genetic Basis
Onset Tend to start drinking heavily in response to setbacks, losses (job loss), or other outside circumstances Victims usually become heavy drinkers before they age of 25. They drink regardless of what 's happening in their lives and often have a history of fights and arrests.
Susceptibility Equally men and women Overwhelmingly men, yet few incidents of women
Severity Less Severe More Severe
Personality Traits Tend to feel anxious, shy, pessimistic, sentimental, emotionally dependent, rigid, reflective, and slow to anger. Tend to be impulsive, aggressive risk takers, curious, quick-tempered, optimistic, and excitable. They usually do not experience guilt, fear, or loss of control over their drinking.
Dependence Drinking alcohol helps reduce Type 1 's anxiety level. But since drinking acts as a positive reinforcer, alcohol dependence develops rather quickly. Type 2 alcoholics usually abuse drugs too.

Research has already shown that approximately 50 to 60 percent of the risk for developing alcoholism is genetic. Twin studies and adoption studies have both conclude that the major risk factor for alcoholism is genetic.

- Monozygotic twins (identical twins) have a greater concordance of alcohol abuse than do dizygotic twins (fraternal twins).

There is a strong correlation between alcoholic fathers and their sons, lending evidence to a strong familial tendency. of alcoholism.

- Sons of alcoholics tend to have a higher tolerance for alcohol; they report feeling less drunk, and show less side effects from lower quantities.

- Men who report low intoxication after moderate drinking are much more likely than others to be come alcohol abusers within an 8 year span.

-During troublesome time, alcohol decreases stress for most people, but it decreases it even more for sons of alcoholics.

Researchers have more recently demonstrated that childhood conduct disorder is significantly associated with risk for adult alcohol dependence in both men and women, with genetic factors accounting for most of the association in both genders.