The different types of drinkers

September 29, 2022 / Topical / Background

Alcoholic, problem drinker, heavy drinker, social drinker, excessive drinker, risky drinker, moderate drinker...there are many types of drinkers. Below you can read a brief description of each type. Do you recognize yourself in any of these types?

A wedding, a birthday, a funeral, a Friday afternoon snack, a bachelor party, a setback, a busy week: there are countless reasons - big and small - to think of that make you drink a glass of alcohol. Alcohol is fully accepted in our society, so nobody will be surprised if you drink alcohol. So we all do that regularly. The amount of alcohol a person drinks varies from person to person. So also what type of alcohol user someone is. We list the most common types.


An alcoholic is someone who has a strong desire for alcohol, wants to but cannot cut it down and continues to use it despite the psychological, physical and social damage it causes.

problem drinker

The problem drinker is also known as the 'risky drinker'. A risky drinker drinks so much that alcohol consumption eventually causes problems. For example at work. Arriving late, conspicuous absenteeism, forgetting appointments and not getting the work done are examples of this.

excessive drinker

An excessive (male) drinker drinks more than 21 glasses of alcohol per week. The limit of 14 glasses per week applies to women. A student drinks an average of 16 glasses a week.

heavy drinker

Heavy drinking is when more than four (women) or six (men) glasses of alcohol are drunk in one day at least once a week.

social drinker

Also known as the social drinker. The social drinker drinks on social occasions. This rarely causes problems. Often the social drinker makes an agreement with himself how many glasses he wants to drink or how much money he wants to spend on alcohol.

Moderate drinker

You drink every now and then and never more than 1 glass a day. That is also what the Health Council advises: 'Do not drink alcohol or in any case no more than one glass a day'.


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