Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) varies among people across different life stages. Symptoms of AUD include, but are not limited to, drinking more and for longer than intended, building up a tolerance, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that there are five types of problem drinking related to AUD, and they vary in prevalence across life stages.
The Five Types of Problem Drinking
The research utilized over 5,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 64 who had an AUD, to explore how the disorder varies among people in different age groups. The research found the following five groups of problem drinking within the participants:
- Adverse Effects Only- 34% of people studied reported experiencing hangovers or withdrawal symptoms and drinking too much.
- Alcohol-Induced Injury- 25% of those studied reported getting into dangerous situations during or following drinking that resulted in injury.
- Highly Problematic, Low Perceived Life Interference: 21% of people reported experiencing many symptoms, but said their drinking did not interfere with familial relationships, friendships, work, or hobbies.
- Difficulty Cutting Back- 13% of those studied reported struggles with cutting back on their problematic drinking but were unable to do so.
- Highly problematic- 7% of people reported experiencing every symptom of alcohol use disorder.
Prevalence Among Certain Life Stages
The Adverse Effects Only and Highly Problematic, Low Perceived Life Interference groups were mainly composed of younger adults. This is because they are more likely to drink too much and, therefore, experience hangovers and withdrawal symptoms. Conversely, the Difficulty Cutting Back and Alcohol-Induced Injury groups were more prevalent in older adults. This is because those in their late fifties and sixties are more likely to struggle with cutting back on alcohol use. Even though young adults are more at risk of developing an AUD, it is apparent there are also many issues for middle-aged and older adults. Therefore, diagnosis and treatment of AUDs need to be dynamic and individualized.
Looking for Help?
It is crucial to understand that addiction does not discriminate based on age, and people of all life stages experience problems with drinking when dealing with an AUD. No matter how or when addiction to drugs or alcohol starts, recovery is possible, and there is hope for a better future. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. We seek to inspire clients to face their challenges and foster hope for their future. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call us today at 817-381-9741 or visit us online.