Delta alcoholism: symptoms and treatment

Delta-type alcoholism it is a pathology with a great capacity to harm the quality of life of people; this is the case, among others, so that it is difficult to detect its presence.

Those who develop this addictive disorder can go a long time without realizing that they have a problem, and similarly, people around them have a hard time seeing the early warning signs.

    Are there different varieties of alcoholism?

    At first glance, it seems easy to understand what alcoholism is, at least in theory: it is alcoholism, one of the most commercialized addictive substances and present in practically all human societies.

    However, under this definition there is a very complex set of psychopathological alterations. And that’s why, for years, many researchers have proposed to make a classification of the different variants of alcoholism. In this way, it is possible to cover the whole phenomenon of alcohol addiction without losing nuances by focusing only on the general concept.

    The most accepted way to classify types of alcoholism is as follows:

    • Alpha-type drinkers: In this case, the person tends to drink excessively to manage the discomfort caused by an illness. We do not consider that there exists in these cases a consolidated dependency which one can call dependency.
    • Beta type drinkers: in this case there is no addiction either, the person drinks excessively as part of a routine of meetings and social dynamics of leisure.
    • Gamma-type alcoholism: it is a type of alcohol addiction, and it gives the characteristics of chronic alcoholism, with drunkenness and loss of consciousness, withdrawal syndrome and increased tolerance to drugs. .
    • Delta type alcoholism: It is also a type of alcoholism, and its main characteristic is that the person does not get drunk to the point of engaging in socially inappropriate behaviors or losing consciousness.
    • Epsilon-type (or periodic) alcoholism: This type of alcohol addiction is similar to Gamma, but in this case they spend relatively long periods without excessive alcohol consumption.

      What is delta type alcoholism?

      From what we’ve seen so far, you can already guess what delta type alcoholism is. It’s about a form of alcohol addiction where there are no “peaks” of very intense consumption generating a high level of intoxication, but it is still a pathology with very harmful effects on physical and mental health. Here we will summarize the main features.

      1. Generates tolerance for consumption, but very slowly

      The person with delta type alcoholism you have to consume more and more alcohol in order not to feel badbut this increase in the minimum intake threshold grows relatively slowly.

        2. “Drunkenness” is happening

        In delta-type alcoholism it is relatively rare to achieve a clear state of intoxication. Therefore, from the point of view of others, it is difficult to notice that this person has a problem with alcohol.

          3. The person needs to drink constantly

          The person with this form of alcoholism you need to drink frequently throughout the day, even at night. This means, among other things, that your sleep schedule is changed. In addition, the person may enter a state of irritability and general discomfort from abstinence if, due to social activities, they cannot stop for a drink.


            Delta-type treatment requires medical and psychotherapeutic intervention.

            First of all, the detox phase is over, in which the person is helped to go through the withdrawal syndrome and let the body eliminate all the alcohol. After, through psychological treatment, he is helped to develop skills and competences in the following areas:

            • Detection of thoughts that increase the risk of drinking
            • Detection of situations and social contexts that increase the risk of consumption
            • Managing the discomfort of wanting a drink
            • Development of new hobbies and projects that offer incentives beyond alcohol
            • Improved self-esteem so you don’t have to evade issues related to guilt, shame, etc.
            • Challenge the dysfunctional beliefs that fueled the addiction.

            Are you looking for therapeutic support?

            If you are interested in undertaking a treatment process to overcome an addiction, whether for an addictive disorder with or without substances (such as pathological gambling or gambling addiction), contact our team of professionals.

            A CITA clinics we specialize in the coverage of patients with addictions in both psychotherapy and medicine, and we have a fully equipped residential module for short, medium or long term admissions. You will find us in our centers in Barcelona and Dosrius.

            Bibliographical references

            • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.
            • Babor, TF (1996). Classification of alcoholics
            • Dunn, N .; Cook, CC (1999). Psychiatric aspects of alcohol abuse. Hospital medicine, 60 (3): pp. 169 – 172.
            • McGovern, TF; White, WL (2003). Alcohol Problems in the United States: Twenty Years of Treatment Perspective. New York: Routledge.

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