Alcoholic vs Workaholic: Difference and Comparison

In the contemporary world, there is an enormous form of addiction. Loving something is a different thing, but getting an addiction to it can harm a person and other persons in their surroundings. Alcoholics and workaholics are two forms of addiction.  

Most of the people in the world have come across the term alcoholic. Even WHO has highlighted about 140 million alcoholics around the world.

But workaholic is quite less talked about but occupy 10% of the working population in the US. So, alcoholics and workaholics are a form of addiction with a different concept. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Alcoholics are individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction and compulsive drinking behaviors.
  2. Workaholics compulsively work long hours and prioritize work over personal and social life.
  3. Both alcoholics and workaholics may experience negative effects on health, relationships, and overall well-being.

Alcoholic vs Workaholic 

An alcoholic is someone who has a dependence on alcohol and is unable to control their drinking. Alcoholism can lead to physical and mental health problems. A workaholic is someone who is addicted to work and feels compelled to work excessively. Workaholism can lead to burnout and stress.

Alcoholic vs Workaholic

The term alcoholic was coined by a Swedish physician, namely Magnus Huss, in 1849. Repetitive and excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages at the extent level can lead to becoming an alcoholic.

In this case, the drinker harms himself and others repeatedly. The harm may be mental, physical, legal, economic, or social.  

The term workaholic was coined by the minister and psychologist Wayne Oates in 1971. In a workaholic, the person has a compulsive desire to work.

Generally, an alcoholic person continually thinks about work and works for excessive hours. A workaholic person may be suffering from physical health and various psychiatric disorders. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAlcoholicWorkaholic
InterpretationIt refers to someone who fails to stop drinking alcohol in large amounts.It refers to someone who loves to work and even does it too much.
Coined byMagnus HussWayne Oates
Coined in18491971
Genetic influenceSubstantial influenceYet to be asserted
PrognosisPoorBetter than alcoholic

What is Alcoholic?

An alcoholic person suffers from a disorder in which the problem of drinking becomes severe. A person suffering from this condition fails to know how and when to stop drinking.

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The body of an alcoholic person becomes eventually addicted or dependent on alcohol. As a result, alcohol becomes important in one’s life.  

The cause of becoming an alcoholic is still mysterious, mainly when a person drinks a large amount, which affects the brain and causes chemical changes.

These changes increase the feeling of drinking more alcohol, even if it causes harm. An alcoholic person tries to prevent withdrawal symptoms by engaging in more drinking.  

An alcoholic person shows symptoms in his behaviour and physical outcomes. Some of the behaviour changes are drinking alone, eating poorly, becoming violent, and neglecting personal hygiene.

Physical symptoms include alcohol cravings, tremors, and illness, and memory lapses. The method varies for the treatment of an alcoholic person, but each means to stop drinking together.

Treatment is as follows: detoxification to rid the body of alcohol, rehabilitation to learn a new behaviour, and counselling to highlight emotional problems. Medical treatment for alcohol use disorder and medications to control addiction also play a vital role. 


What is Workaholic?

A workaholic person suffers from real mental health, but it is not recognized as a formally diagnosable disorder. This person develops emotional, social, and psychological dependence on work.

A workaholic person works for long hours even if it is not needed and also sacrifices his sleep for work. A workaholic struggles to detach from work, which leads to anxiety, high levels of stress, depression, and sleep problems.

High cortisol levels and high blood pressure can be seen due to chronic stress. All these can put someone at great risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even death.  

If a person recognizes this problem, then there are various ways to cope with it, such as by making time for friends and family.

Doing scheduled activities after the over of the workday and setting a ‘stop time’ for work can help to cope with it. A workaholic person can also seek a counsellor or therapist.  

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Sometimes, people fail to recognize if they are suffering from work addiction or it is just long hours of work that are a part of life. Just because it is just someone’s job does not mean that they are addicted.

But it can be someone who struggles psychologically to detach from work. 


Main Differences Between Alcoholic and Workaholic  

  1. There is a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic if a male drinks more than 15 times per week and a female drinks more than 12 times per week, while a person who is addicted to work and struggles to psychologically detach from work can make a workaholic.  
  2. The behavioural changes included in Alcoholics are abusing people, Binge drinking, lying, and anxiety. On the other hand, workaholics, include anger outbursts, withdrawal from social life, and working extra hours.  
  3. When it comes to health hazards, Alcoholics mainly suffer from heart diseases, liver problems, and gastrointestinal troubles. However, the loss of appetite, increased stress, and panic attacks are some of the health hazards of a workaholic.  
  4. To prevent being alcoholic there is no other option than limiting alcoholic intake two drinks per day is enough for men and one drink per day for women. By spending time with family and friends and setting a stop time for work can prevent workaholics.  
  5. Alcoholics can be treated through three stages, namely detoxification, rehabilitation, and maintenance. On the flip side, workaholics can be treated by different psychotherapeutic methods combination such as cognitive therapy. 
Difference Between Alcoholic and Workaholic

Last Updated : 08 September, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Alcoholic vs Workaholic: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The content on this article is very interesting and gripping, well done on the comparison between alcoholics and workaholics, it is very valid information.

    • The article is really showing how relevant and urgent the need to address workaholic behavior is in a society that glorifies it as hard work.

  2. I appreciate the author’s informative approach in discussing alcoholism and workaholism. The comparison provides a very in-depth analysis, a great read.

    • Yes, it’s a known fact that excessive work can lead to stress and anxiety, and this article brings light to that issue.

    • Great information on the topic from this article, I like that it doesn’t just focus on alcoholism but also includes workaholism as a form of addiction.

    • I agree, this is an excellent source of information. The comparison on the negative effects of these different addictions is very compelling.

    • Yes, the article definitely carries substantial information that can help people better understand the severity of these addictions.

    • I found the article to be quite an engaging read, very rich in providing an insightful understanding of alcoholism and workaholism.

  3. Great article, very informative content on the differences between alcoholics and workaholics. Workaholism is really a problem that needs more attention from society.

    • Yes, the article gives a clear understanding of both addiction types. Workaholism is overlooked, but there are a lot of people struggling with it that need to be acknowledged.

  4. Informative, yet somewhat concerning. The article brings forth some important points and raises awareness, which I appreciate.


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