An individual who is in the chronic severe type is one of only 9 percent of the population of alcoholics in the United States. This group is the most commonly thought of when stereotyping who an alcoholic is. They are typically men, are divorced, and use other substances as well as alcohol. They are often homeless or living in dysfunctional accommodation. Often they suffer from mental health issues such as depression or schizophrenia.
A chronic alcoholic is a person who is severely addicted to and dependent on alcohol. They will consume alcohol every day at dangerously high levels. They will often have no job, no contact with family or friends, are not in control of their drinking, and may suffer from cognitive impairment because of their alcoholism. This type of alcoholic faces serious health risks because of their drinking, and intervention is often required.
This is the rarest and most dangerous type of alcoholism, making up 9.2 percent of alcoholics. Chronic severe alcoholics average 38 years of age. They begin drinking early (at 16 years) and develop alcohol dependence later (around 29 years of age). This group has the highest rates of drinking, consuming alcohol on an average of 247.5 days a year and binge drinking on 172 (69 percent) of them, with a maximum of 15 drinks.
The majority of chronic severe alcoholics are male (65 percent). They also have the highest divorce rates, with 25.1 percent divorced and 8.6 percent separated, and only 28.7 percent married. Only 9 percent have a college degree, and they also have the lowest employment rate, with only 43 percent of chronic severe alcoholics employed fulltime and 7.6 percent both unemployed and permanently disabled.