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Social Drinker, Alcohol Abuser or Alcoholic

February 5, 2019


There are three main categories that users of alcohol fall into; social drinker, alcohol abuser or alcoholic. Most people who drink alcohol will not have any problems with their consumption; however, for those who do have a problem handling it, oftentimes, their problem will gradually worsen.


·  Some are the ‘life of the party’ while others are ‘the responsible ones’? Which describes you the best? #socialdrinker #alcoholic #recovery

·  Some are the #lifeoftheparty while others are the responsible ones? Which describes you the best? #alochol #recovery

At Shafa Home, we have helped thousands of people break free from alcohol dependence and addiction. Our unique and effective style of treatment is facilitated by counsellors in which recovery from alcohol is possible.

Three Types of Drinkers

This article will describe the three main categories of alcohol consumers. There is a fourth category, abstinence, but this article will focus on the three types of people that drink alcohol and what to look for when one suspects they have a possible problem with alcohol.

Social Drinker

A social drinker is a person who drinks on an occasional basis. Whenever they do drink, a social drinker will not have any problems or negative consequences. Friends or family do not complain about a social drinker’s consumption.

A social drinker does not think about drinking often or need to drink often. They may go out to have a few drinks and are able to handle their alcohol intake without experiencing a loss of control. Alcohol does not occupy their thoughts and they do not need to set limits when they drink. They are not prone to extreme mood swings, fighting or being violent.

Alcohol Abuser

An alcohol abuser is someone who begins to take their alcohol consumption too far. Their social drinking becomes more frequent, often with heavy to extreme consumption. An alcohol abuser’s drinking habit may become physically harmful to themselves and others around them. They may begin to drive under the influence and could be arrested for DUI at least once. Along with legal problems, an alcohol abuser may begin to put work and family obligations to the side. Alcohol may begin to occupy their thoughts; the abuser may begin to feel like they need to have a drink more often.

An alcohol abuser’s family and friends may start to notice changes in their attitude and their daily behaviour. At this point, family and friends may say something and may even try to put a certain set of limits on their drinking. The social drinker has become an alcohol abuser, but still has a sense of control and is not yet an alcoholic.


An alcoholic means that a person has an addiction to alcohol. When a person becomes an alcoholic, they are unable to control or set limits for their consumption. Most alcoholics start as a social drinker and then move on to an alcohol abuser. An alcoholic will have developed a tolerance and will need to drink more alcohol to get the same original effects. Once they are an alcoholic they will have developed an even greater tolerance from when they were only an abuser. It may seem as though alcohol begins to control the alcoholic’s life. Their job, their family, social circle and health are all jeopardised. Despite these negative consequences, the alcoholic is unable to quit drinking. The alcoholic may begin to deny that they have a problem; this denial can make it even more difficult for the person to get help. Alcohol addiction is considered to be a disease; it has changed chemicals in the addict’s brain and has made alcohol the most important thing in their life.

Unlike the social drinker or alcohol abuser, the alcoholic will experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. These symptoms will vary from person to person, but in any case, they are physically, emotionally and mentally draining, and sometimes overwhelming. Once a person is an alcoholic, they usually will need to get help at a rehab to overcome their addiction.

Each Type is Different

From social drinker to alcohol abuser and then to alcoholic, each type of drinker is different. Most people will remain either completely abstinent or remain a social drinker, but for those who do end up becoming an alcohol abuser or alcoholic, they must understand how harmful and even deadly their consumption can be.

Abusers and Alcoholics Both Need Help

It is important for an alcoholic and even an alcohol abuser to get help, reclaim their life, and get out of the vicious cycle of addiction. Shafa Home offers effective and affordable alcohol rehab with a 96% completion rate. Our unique method, Recovery Zones (our own modernized version of the 12 Steps programme) combines cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Meditation with an additional emphasis on physical fitness.

The sooner you or your loved one gets help, the better the chances are of getting and staying sober which is why it is important to seek treatment at the first signs of addiction if possible. Contact us today for a no obligation assessment and to see how we can help you.




(These articles are the sole property of “The Cabin Chiang Mai”, They are its original authors)

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