People are all different when under the influence of alcohol, and many people experience changes in personality and behaviour when they drink.

There are 4 types of drinking, including social, binge, moderate and heavy drinkers, and 4 types of drinkers who have different reasons for drinking, including social, conforming, enhancement and coping.

Find out more about the different types of drinkers here.


Main Types of Alcohol Consumption

Thousands of people drink alcohol, but the amount and type of drinking they participate in are all different. From drinking casually with friends to binge drinking and alcoholism, people’s relationships with alcohol vary massively.

The main types of drinking include:

Social Drinkers

Social drinkers are individuals who typically consume alcohol in social settings such as parties, gatherings, or while out with friends. They may enjoy alcohol occasionally but do not feel the need to drink regularly.

Social drinking is a common pastime, particularly in the UK, and is not generally a cause for concern if done in moderation and safely.

Binge Drinkers

Binge drinkers consume large quantities of alcohol in a short period, often with the intention of getting drunk quickly. This pattern of drinking can lead to short-term intoxication and may pose health risks.

Binge drinking can be bad for your health and lead to severe hangovers or alcohol poisoning, sickness, alcohol blackouts and short-term memory loss. If binge drinking is a regular occurrence, it may be a sign that a person has an alcohol abuse problem.

Find out the signs of alcohol abuse here.

Moderate Drinkers

Moderate drinkers consume alcohol in moderation, typically following recommended guidelines for safe drinking. They may enjoy a drink with meals or on special occasions without overindulging and often have a healthy attitude and relationship with alcohol consumption.

Although alcohol use is generally not good for your health, drinking in moderation is the healthiest and safest way to consume alcohol and is a sign of a healthy lifestyle.

Heavy Drinkers

Heavy drinkers consume alcohol in large quantities on a regular basis, often exceeding recommended limits. This pattern of drinking can lead to alcohol dependence, health problems, and social issues.

Regular heavy drinking that is compulsive and uncontrolled is often a sign of an alcohol addiction. If an alcohol addiction is present, a person will regularly consume extreme quantities of alcohol, no matter the day’s occasion, negative consequences that may occur, or if the person does not want to drink.

If you or a person you know is a heavy drinker and showing signs of an alcohol addiction, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible.


The 4 Types of Drinker Explained

There are a number of different types of drinker, and this commonly breaks down to what the reason is behind drinking alcohol. From social events to drinking to cope with mental illnesses, there are a number of different types of drinker.

The 4 types of drinker include:

Social Drinking

Social drinking is a thing that many people do with friends, family and colleagues. It is a particularly common pastime in the UK, with social drinking commonly occurring for parties, holidays, funerals, christenings and weekends.

Drinking alcohol socially is not typically a cause for concern and is the most common reason why people drink.

Drinking for Confirmation

Peer pressure is a problem in the UK as drinking alcohol is so widely accepted. Many people feel peer pressured to drink alcohol with friends and family, and it can be looked down upon if a person decides to drive or avoid drinking in group situations.

As a result of this, many people drink to conform and fit in with others even if they do not want or enjoy drinking.

Drinking to Enhance

Some people drink to enhance their personality and performance, as alcohol can cause people to feel more sociable and confident than they would be sober. Feeling drunk or tipsy can make people feel happy and able to enjoy themselves more.

Drinking alcohol socially is also deemed to be fun, so many people drink to enhance their day or night and let go. Although this is a normal way to experience drinking, if a person feels it necessary to be drunk, it may be a sign of a problem.

Drinking to Cope

Alcohol can also be seen as a form of escape for people suffering from mental health problems or negative emotions such as grief, stress and financial concerns. Drinking to cope is not a healthy way to consume alcohol, and often causes the drinker to feel worse the next day or during drinking than they did sober.

As alcohol is a depressant, it causes a shift in behaviour, mood and relaxation which is why many people drink to avoid emotions and personal problems. Although this is widely believed, drinking alcohol to cope can be bad for your health and mental well-being and is not a recommended way to consume alcohol.


What Are the Main Drinking Personality Types?

Alcohol consumption commonly causes personality changes and can completely transform the way a person behaves or appears. Some people may become a “better” or more outgoing version of themselves, whereas others become aggressive and dangerous.

If a person experiences significant and negative personality changes when drunk, it is best to reduce alcohol consumption or seek help.

Some of the most common personality shifts in people under the influence of alcohol include:

  • Confident and outgoing
  • Aggressive and unpredictable
  • Emotional drunk
  • Blackout drunk
  • Quiet and introverted
  • Inappropriate
  • Accident-prone

If you or a person you know is struggling with a drinking problem or has a poor relationship with alcohol consumption, reach out today for support and advice. We offer alcohol abuse treatment at our top-rated rehab centre.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: February 9, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.