Types of alcoholism

The textbook Alcoholics Anonymous describes different types of alcoholic but much of what it says is archaic and not entirely accurate.  During extensive studies in 1981, C Robert Cloninger identified two forms of genetic alcoholism: Type 2 and Type 1.

Type 1 Alcoholism

This might be termed “adult alcoholism” and is characterized by a later on-set crescendo of drinking, a loss of control of the quantity consumed and attempts to maintain social control. The drinking crescendo usually begins between 25 and 45 years of age but seldom occurs after 50. The mean period of the drinking crescendo is seven and a half years.  

Now I am a Type 1 alcoholic. I began drinking alcoholically at about 40 years of age and, within eight years, I was drinking two quarts of whisky a night but I never drank in my office; I was trying to maintain societal control.

Type 2 Alcoholism

Type 2 usually involves adolescent alcoholics or drug addicts. (Drugs have made this an un-level playing field but we still see this principle close enough for it to be valuable and valid). I was a Type 2 drug addict.