The Different types of Alcoholism

The Different types of AlcoholismMost people in our society today do not prefer labels, probably because our culture is constantly changing and not very big on commitments of any kind. And when it comes to negative labels, our society avoids them like the plague.

Speaking of labels let’s take a look at the two different types of alcoholics, and the distinct characteristics of each one:

  1. Type 1 alcoholic: “anxiety-prone”, these alcoholics typically develop alcohol dependence later on in life, are very prone to anxiety, and drinking more than normal due to anxiety-filled situations. For type 1 alcoholics brain changes occurred in the endocannaboid system, which modulates stress responses among other things.
  2. Type 2 alcoholic: “impulsive-type”, these alcoholics develop dependence alcohol or drug dependence at a young age, and are characterized by antisocial behavior and impulsiveness. Type 2 alcoholics showed increased levels of AMPA receptors in the anterior cingular cortex, these receptors modify function of synapses between neurons and play a role in the learning and regulation of behavioral models. Which explains the impulsive nature of type 2 alcoholics.

It seems based on this criteria some people carry a genetic trait that made him or her vulnerable to alcoholism at various stages of life, and some of these people never pick up a drink or a drug, while others plummet to their darkest bottom to figure it out. These findings help enhance the understanding of changes in the brain that make people prone to alcoholism, and that are caused by long-term use. Such information is useful for developing new drug therapies for alcoholism, and for targeting existing treatments at patients who will benefit the most from them. Understanding the type of alcoholism you or a loved one has can not only help you make better sense of their behavior, but help direct you to the best suited help for sustained recovery.

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