New study proves that there are 5 types of problem drinkers: do you recognize yourself?

New study proves that there are 5 types of problem drinkers: do you recognize yourself?

A new study in the United States, published in the journal Alcohol & Alcoholism, shows that problem drinkers can be divided into five groups. Take the test and find out if you are a problem drinker.

In the study, 5400 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 were examined. The participants all drank alcohol. They also met at least two of the eleven symptoms of problem drinking behavior.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there may be Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), or problematic drinking behavior, if you can answer two of the following eleven criteria with ‘yes’. This applies to the past year.

1. Do you ever have moments that you had more, and longer drink than you intended?
2. Have you tried to reduce or stop drinking more than once, but did not succeed?
3. Do you spend a lot of time drinking, or are you spending a lot of your time recovering from drinking?
4. Do you ever want to drink so much that you can not think of anything else?
5. Do you ever find that drinking, or being sick after drinking, hinders your home situation or gets in your way. Or did your drinking behavior ever lead to problems at work or school?
6. Do you ever stop drinking, while experiencing problems with family or friends?
7. Do you reduce activities that are important to you, or that bring you pleasure, to keep on drinking?
8. Have you ended up in situations more than once, during or after drinking, which increase your chance of injury (such as driving, swimming, operating machines, walking in dangerous places, or having unsafe sex)?
9. Do you ever drink while you experience feelings of anxiety or depression, or while it contributes to health problems?
10. Have you ever had to drink more than you have done before in order to achieve the desired effect? Or have you ever noticed that your amount of drinks has less effect than before?
11. If the effects of alcohol have been worked out, do you experience withdrawal symptoms, such as problems with sleeping, trembling, restlessness, nausea, sweating or palpitations?

All participants sometimes drank too much. The researchers concluded that the participants could be divided into five different subgroups.

1. ‘Only harmful effects’
34 percent of all participants experience harmful effects of their drinking behavior. This makes it the most common group among problem drinkers, according to the results of this study. People in this group sometimes have a hangover, or they experience withdrawal symptoms by drinking too much.

Furthermore, they have few other problems due to their alcohol consumption. In this subgroup are mostly young adults.

2. ‘Risk of alcohol-induced injury’
25 percent of the participants belong to the group at risk of an injury caused by alcohol. Think, for example, of driving or swimming under the influence, or having unprotected sex while you are drunk.

In this group – surprisingly enough – especially older people, with an average age of 58 years.

3. ‘Very problematic, little influence’
According to the study, there is also a group of people who meet different symptoms of problem drinking. 21 percent of the participants belonged to this group.

This group does not think that drinking has much influence on their lives. This group mainly consists of young people – probably because many of them study, and alcohol can play a major role in the study period. At the moment they experience little annoyance because they are still young, but they can suffer permanent damage.

This study concerns people from the US, where drinking is only allowed when you are 21 years old. In the Netherlands alcohol also plays a role during the period that someone is studying.

4. ‘Difficult to reduce’
This category meets a number of symptoms of problematic drinking behavior and indicates that it is difficult to find less to drink. 13 percent of the participants belong to this group. These are mostly adults over 53 years of age.

5. ‘Particularly problematic’
Finally, there is the least common group: ‘particularly problematic’. Approximately 7 percent of the participants belong to this and meet almost all symptoms of problematic drinking behavior, including negative effects on their personal lives and health. The average age in this group is 48.

What about your alcohol consumption? Do you drink (too) a lot and which group do you belong to?

How is it that you are running on your legs if you have a glass too much? Professor Kingma explains what happens when you have drunk too much alcohol:


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