What Type of Drinker Are You? Moderate, Heavy, or Alcoholic?


Alcohol and other drugs may effect you differently

When pondering the very basic question of why people drink alcohol or use drugs, it is easy to conclude that most likely it is because they like the effects produced by this outside substance, or else why do it? This very simple line of reasoning leads us to another basic truth - some people like the effects of drugs and alcohol more than others. To distill this concept into 3 very easily identifiable categories, we can consider the following.

  1. Moderate Drinkers (type 1): this type of person is more or less unphased by the effects of substances and can take them or leave them at ease. There is little to no struggle when it comes to giving up or discontinuing the use of alcohol or other drugs if they have good reason for it, and they will not necessarily crave or miss it once it is gone.

  2. Hard Drinkers (type 2): The difference between this type of drinker or drug user is the source of much confusion and debate in the recovery world. We will explain this shortly. These people may have a habit that is bad enough to slightly impair their mental or physical well being and may ultimately cause them to die a few years early. Here is the main distinction between hard drinkers and full blown alcoholics however. If they have a sufficiently strong reason such as ill or declining health, falling in love, environment change, or warnings from a doctor, they can discontinue their use entirely or moderate the amount put into their body. It should not be mistaken, however, that these type of drinkers may still find this process troublesome and need medical attention such as detox, therapy, or counseling.

  3. Full blown alcoholic (type 3): You may hear a common argument that alcoholics or drug addicts don't need something as extreme as rehab or a community based program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. We pose that the reason some folks think this is because they have casually mistaken the idea of a type 2 drinker for a type 3 drinker. So what exactly is a real, full blown alcoholic then? At some point or another in their drinking or using career, they begin to lose nearly all "control" of their substance intake, particularly after they start drinking or using. Herein lies one of the greatest mysteries of modern science, for some obscure reason their power of choice slowly erodes away until it is essentially non-existent. In other words, over a period of time, real alcoholics and addicts "will power" becomes misconstrued and corrupted to the point that death drive instincts and creative life force instincts become mistaken for each other. In other words, as an alcoholic is killing themselves, a part of their brain is telling them that they are actually doing what they must do in order to keep themselves alive. Our survival instincts become exploited for the using and obtaining of substances and drugs and turn against us as our brain tells us, with powerful conviction, to die is to live, and to live is to die. There is a sort of paradigm shift between two of the deepest human instincts that takes place, in turn causing chaos, confusion, misery, and if left untreated, death. Chances are if you fall into this latter category, you identify with something many alcoholics go through until realizing the necessity for outside help: numerous, often uncountable attempts to control or stop drinking or using and prove to ourselves and others it is possible to drink like other people.

If you are having trouble distinguishing what type of drinker or drug user you are, please reach out to our team of experienced professionals and we are glad to consult and help. We don’t take the stance that everyone needs full blown inpatient treatment and our mission is not to get you “sent away,” we simply want to provide a non-biased perspective to help you make the smartest, healthiest, and ultimately best decision.