The word “alcoholic” can be pretty broad. For many people, it just refers to someone struggling with alcohol abuse. However, there are certain alcohol abuse groups which researchers use to categorize and treat those who are struggling. Knowing these patterns can help you better understand some of the potential signs of alcohol abuse…

Alcohol Abuse Groups: Finding Your Fit 

Young adults

The most common of the alcohol abuse groups is young adults. In fact, young adults make up 31.5% of people with alcoholism. While the average age of these adults is just 25, many of them started to abuse alcohol at 20 years old. However, they actually tend to drink less often than other groups.

Instead, the bulk of the drinking done by young adults is by binge drinking. On these days, they’ll commonly have 5 or more drinks, with an average maximum of 14. Many of these young adults are college students, and nearly 2,000 die each year due to alcohol-related injuries. 

Young antisocial

The next of the alcohol abuse groups are young antisocial people. This group makes up 21.1% of the people with alcoholism. Nearly 55% of them have Antisocial Personality Disorder. Common signs of this disorder include constant lying, fighting, and a general lack of concern for others.

People in the young antisocial group tend to have started drinking when they were around 16 years old. Much like the young adults, they also tend to binge drink, but at even higher levels, usually having a max of 17 drinks when binging. Many of them also have a family member who suffers from alcohol abuse, as well as also having depression or bipolar disorder.


The last of the major alcohol abuse groups is the functional one. This group makes up 19.4% of people with alcoholism. In contrast to the other groups, those in the functional one tend to be older, with an average age of 41. However, they also tend to drink nearly every day, but don’t particularly binge.

Like the group name implies, people in the functional group appear on the surface to not let their drinking get in the way of their lives. In fact, over 62% of these people have full-time jobs. Still, many of them do suffer from alcohol-related health problems, especially later in life.