If you have a problem while drinking, you may be a problem drinker. If problems commonly happen, you likely are a problem drinker. If you are dependent on alcohol, you are an alcoholic. The term is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing. It is medically considered a disease, specifically a neurological disorder, and in medicine several other terms are used, specifically "alcohol abuse" and "alcohol dependence" which have more specific definitions. See here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholism
Problem drinkers are people who drink to get rid of some certain stress bothering them. They do not solve problems but they drink to either forget about it or deal with it later. An alcoholic is someone who is addicted to drinking problems or stress, happy or sad they will still drink.
A problem drinker is an alcoholic, where as an alcoholic is not necessarily a problems drinker. A problem drinker allows alcohol to rule his or her life, right down to even perhaps dying for that drink or allowing that drink to get them to a point of causing a death or their own death. An Alcoholic will not necessarily go to that point and usually will take responsibility in their actions, such as always go to work, not drive drunk, and not allow their family life to be affected by it.
2 years ago
Last edited at 4:31AM on 2/6/2012
A problem drinker and an alcoholic can be different things. Although many alcoholics will be problem drinkers. I will tell you about two people I know. One friend drinks way too much and he knows it. He hates that he drinks as much as he does but he can't stop himself. Yet he keeps a decent job, is responsible, and isn't a burden to anyone. When he is drunk he is outgoing and fun. Since he thinks about his image he hides his addiction and most don't even know its a problem. In contrast, I have a friend who's girlfriend makes a fool of herself when drinking. She doesn't drink every day but when she does, she's a complete wreck, and never remembers it. Although she probably drinks only a few days a month, she is a disaster every time she does. She becomes rude, loud and obnoxious. My first friend is an alcoholic. The second one is a problem drunk, So they can be different things. But when someone is both, you can have some real problems.
A problem drinker does not have to be an alcoholic. it is any person who experiences social, psychological, physical or legal problems related to intoxication and or regular excessive consumption and/ or dependence as a consequence of their drinking