Alcoholic vs Drunk: Difference and Comparison

Alcoholic and Drunk are the terms that are used interchangeably. However, the terms have different meanings and must be used in different contexts based on the given situation.

But in the broader sense, the terms are associated with the excessive or overconsumption of alcoholic content. Usually, the term is used in a negative way to describe any person or individual.

Key Takeaways

  1. An alcoholic is an individual who suffers from alcoholism, a chronic disease characterized by the inability to control drinking. At the same time, a drunk is a person experiencing temporary intoxication due to alcohol consumption.
  2. Alcoholism is a long-term condition that can negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health, relationships, and social functioning, while drunkenness is a short-term state.
  3. Alcoholism treatment often involves therapy, support groups, and medication, while managing drunkenness requires time for the body to metabolize alcohol and return to sobriety.

Alcoholic vs Drunk

The difference between an Alcoholic and a Drunk is that an Alcoholic individual is directly related to a person who has a constant urge to drink. The person is also said to be suffering from a disease called ‘alcoholism’. While comparatively on the other hand, the term Drunk is used for the person who is been drinking more than usual but is not a habitual one.

Alcoholic vs Drunk

An alcoholic is a person who is unable to control his regular urge to drink alcohol, or in another case, the person is willingly consuming alcohol regularly.


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Because of this over-consuming of alcohol, the individual’s internal organs get damaged, and the person starts suffering from ‘alcoholism’. Some of the traits shown by an alcoholic are a short temper, isolation, dizziness, sensitivity, and many more.

The term Drunk is used for a person who consumes alcohol or some alcohol-related content in more than safety proportion or says more than usual. After this, the individual loses the sense of their well-being.

The overconsumption of alcohol is not stated as an addiction for the person and is a psychological state of mind.

Some of the similar traits expressed by a drunk individual are – slurred speech, lost control of motor skills, unbalanced, dizziness, temper issues, and many others.   

Comparison Table   

Parameters of ComparisonAlcoholicDrunk
DefinitionIndividual who cannot skip the consumption of alcohol or is suffering from alcoholismIndividual who has lost their control over the senses mentally or physically
StateIllnessPsychological state 
ConsumptionConstant urge for drinkingConsumption more than usual
CharacteristicsLow tolerance, frustration, isolation, and many otherDizziness, low tolerance, unbalanced, slurred speech

What is Alcoholic?

The alcoholic term is often referred to as a person who is extensively suffering from a disease called ‘alcoholism’. In short, they are said to be hard, serious, or obstructive drinkers of any alcoholic substance.

Dipsomaniac, alcohol addict, or alcohol abuser are some synonyms commonly used in place of an alcoholic person. 

Below are some of the characteristics that are listed for an alcoholic person –

  • Low tolerance
  • Excessive frustration
  • Extensively sensitive
  • Low sense 
  • Dizziness

Due to extensive drinking and constant urge for it, the person is not able to control the burning sensation and consumes the alcohol despite controlling it.

The body of the individual gets used to it and requires it daily for even performing daily activities. In other words, the person is completely controlled by the alcohol desire and not by the brain. 


What is Drunk?

The term drunk is referred to a person who is consuming alcohol-related stuff in a huge overdose. After the overconsumption of alcohol, the individual losses control over their senses, speech, behaviour, etc.

Some synonym words used interchangeably for the term are – intoxicated, tipsy, worse of drink, stoned, boozed up, etc. 

Below are the characteristics that are listed for a drunk person which are often observed in them – 

  • Temper issues
  • Low tolerance
  • Low sense of well-being
  • Slurred speech
  • Belligerent
  • Impaired judgment
  • Dizziness
  • Unbalanced 
  • Slow motor skills 

The drunk individual is not referred to as the alcoholic as they do not have a constant feeling of drinking alcohol. Also, they are not suffering from an illness called ‘alcoholism’.

Being drunk is termed a psychological state as they just over-consume it and are non-addicted.


Main Differences Between Alcoholic and Drunk

  1. The term alcoholic is defined as a person who is unable to skip the consumption of alcohol while comparatively, on the other hand, the term drunk is stated for the person who has over-consumed the alcohol. 
  2. An alcoholic person is said to be suffering from an illness that is known as the scientific term ‘alcoholism’, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, a drunk person is said to be in a psychological state of mind.
  3. An alcoholic person is often said as highly addicted to alcohol while comparatively, on the other hand, a person in a drunk state is said to be non-addicted, as it happens sometimes.
  4. The consumption level of an alcoholic person is very high as their body gets used to the alcohol level and gives a constant signal of its consumption, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the consumption level of a drunk individual is the one-time overdose of alcohol.
  5. The different characteristics of an alcoholic person are – low tolerance, frustration, isolation, and many others, while comparatively, on the other hand, the different characteristics of a drunk person are – Dizziness, low tolerance, unbalanced, slurred speech, and many others.
Difference Between Alcoholic and Drunk



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