Background: Different classification models have been proposed to explain the heterogeneity of alcohol-related problems in general populations. Such models suggest quantitatively or qualitatively different symptom endorsement characteristics between subgroups of alcohol drinkers. Objectives: The present study aimed to identify homogenous subgroups of drinkers in a general population sample in addition to examining the relationship between the subgroups and psychopathological symptoms. Method: Data of past-year alcohol users (n = 1,520) were analyzed from the nationally representative sample of the National Survey on Addiction Problems in Hungary 2015. Latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify subgroups of drinkers based on the dichotomous indicator items of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression and multiple comparisons were performed to explore the relationship between latent classes and socio-demographical variables and psychopathological symptoms. Results: LCA suggested a 3-class model: “Light alcohol drinkers” (71.6%), “Alcohol drinkers with low risk of dependence” (19.3%), and “Alcohol drinkers with severe dependence symptoms” (9.1%). More severe subgroups showed significantly higher level of anxiety, depression, hostility, obsessive-compulsivity, interpersonal sensitivity, and psychiatric or alcohol use disorder-related treatment involvement. Male gender, younger age, lower level of educational achievement, and earlier onset of the first alcoholic drink were associated with membership of more severe subgroups. Conclusions: The present results indicated that severity-based subgroups of drinkers can be discriminated. Approximately 9% of the alcohol users showed severe symptoms of alcohol dependence. The present data also supported the association between more severe forms of alcohol consumption, and internalizing and externalizing characteristics. Although the 2 at-risk classes of alcohol drinkers did not differ in terms of alcohol consumption-related measures, they were distinguished by the level of harmful consequences due to alcohol use, psychopathological symptoms and psychiatric treatment history.

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