• Michael O'Neal

The 5 kinds of Alcoholism


How Did Drinking Take Me?

Many people assume that there is only one kind of alcoholism, but actually, there are five different varieties. While no one fits perfectly into any one category most people show dominant traits of one particular type. The five types are:


1. Alpha Variety Alcoholism. This type is nicknamed the controlled alcohol. This type of drinker usually starts at a definite time during the day and drinks only a moderate amount on most occasions. However, that moderate amount is higher than what most people drink in comparison. Gradually, this type of alcoholic develops of physiological dependence especially after drinking for more than 10 years. This type of alcoholic does not always progress as is commonly supposed. In only about 50% of cases does progression occur. If progression does occur, however, the progression can be profound.

2. Beta Variety Alcoholism. This type is nicknamed the binge drinker. This type of person often doesn’t drink every day sometimes drinking only two or three days a week. Occasionally, this type of alcoholic will only drink on the weekends. When drinking does occur it is usually to the point of passing out; very little control is exercised over alcohol consumption. This type of alcoholic usually progresses over period of time to the more serious variety known as Delta variety alcoholism.

3. Delta Variety Alcoholism. This type of alcoholic is usually referred to as the lush or the boozer. This type of alcoholic usually drinks daily or most days of the week. They are usually able to hold a job and other responsibilities but sometimes ignore those responsibilities in favor of drinking. Everyone around this person knows they drink too much but because they do hold a job, others often think of their drinking as less serious than it actually is in reality. This type of alcoholic almost invariably progresses to the most serious type called Gamma alcoholism.

4. Gamma Variety Alcoholism this type of alcoholic is nicknamed the drunk. Often in the advanced stages this individual is unable to hold a job or to adhere to normal responsibilities. Values, relationships and other things important to sustaining a normal life often fade away with this individual, sometimes leaving them homeless, jobless and isolated. Even when these most extreme circumstances do not occur, this individual has strong difficulty functioning.

5. Epsilon Variety Alcoholism. This type of alcoholic is also called the periodic alcoholic. This variety may not drink for weeks or even months but then, often disappearing from view of their loved ones, will drink themselves into a state of blind oblivion for several days in a row. This type is the hardest to diagnose because very few people are aware of their drinking.


Each variety of alcoholism presents challenges and difficulties both to the victim of the disorder and to their loved one’s friends and employers. Each lives a restricted life and suffers unnecessarily with the disease. Emotional, psychological and physical damage occurs from each of these types of alcoholisms and the Alpha, Beta and Delta varieties can progress to Gamma alcoholism with its gravely serious psychological and physical health consequences.


ReNova Alcohol Solutions has been shown to be effective with alpha variety, Beta variety and Delta variety alcoholism’s and depending upon the progression with gamma alcoholism. Epsilon alcoholism has not been tested with ReNova Alcohol Solutions.

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