Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people every day. Alcoholics can go through many stages before they are able to get treatment and stop drinking. This article will discuss the most common stages of alcoholism.
Stage 1: Pre-Alcoholic Stage
“Alcoholism is a disease that develops over time. Unfortunately, the early stages of alcoholism often go unrecognized, as people may not yet feel the effects of alcohol.”
The first stage of alcoholism is known as the pre-alcoholic stage. This is when drinking begins, and there are no obvious signs that there’s a problem or that alcohol use has crossed the line into abuse.
It’s not unusual for those who are in the pre-alcoholic stage to deny that they have a problem. They may not yet think of themselves as alcoholics and often don’t realize, or won’t admit, how much their drinking is affecting their relationships with others and their lives.
Many won’t even consider themselves alcoholics if they only occasionally binge. And because most who are in this phase of alcoholism can go for long periods without drinking, their friends and family may not suspect that there’s a problem either.
Stage 2: The Early Stages of Alcoholism
“In the early stages of alcoholism, denial is common.”
The second stage of alcoholism is the early stage. In this stage, there are noticeable problems resulting from drinking – but they can still be minimized or rationalized away. For example, a person may start drinking earlier in the day and may have a drink to “take the edge off” or relax at the end of a workday. Alcohol may be blamed for problems in a person’s relationships and at work. People in this stage of alcoholism usually deny that their drinking is the cause of any difficulties they experience, or may minimize the problem by saying things like, “I can handle my liquor,” “I drink so little compared to others,” or “I only had one too many, and that was just an accident.”
But despite the fact that they can still manage to cope with life and work, those in this stage of alcoholism are moving toward a more advanced stage. So, it’s best to find treatment options at this stage, like a recovery house in Hollywood.
Stage 3: The Middle Stages of Alcoholism
“In the middle stages of alcoholism, personality changes may occur as alcohol dependence progresses.”
The third stage of alcoholism is the middle stage. At this point, a person’s drinking has progressed to such an extent that it makes normal life difficult. A spouse or significant other may begin to complain about how much alcohol the person is drinking and warn them about possible consequences if they continue. People in this stage might: Often drink alone; Leave the table or bar to go outside for a smoke (or drink) and stay out longer than they planned; Pass out after drinking; Need drinks in the morning “to steady their nerves”; Fail at work or lose their job because of an alcohol problem; Choose friends who are heavy drinkers.
However, the person may blame others for problems that arise and continue to deny they have a drinking problem.
Stage 4: The Later Stages of Alcoholism
“The later stages of alcoholism are often marked by health problems.”
The final stage of alcoholism is the later stage. At this point, the person has developed so many problems as a result of their drinking that it begins to take a serious toll. They may become withdrawn and isolate themselves from friends and family. The person in this stage of alcoholism might: Become argumentative, defensive, or irritable if their drinking is criticized; Get angry when they don’t have access to alcohol; Hide their drinking by lying about how much they’re drinking or where the alcohol is kept; Require more drinks to get “high”; Find themselves facing legal problems because of their drinkings, such as being arrested for driving under the influence or public drunkenness.
Other physical signs of this phase of alcoholism may include early morning tremors, loss of appetite, and heart problems.
Many people in this stage are often referred to Alcoholics Anonymous or other treatment centers because of alcohol-related health problems, such as cirrhosis of the liver.
However, by the time a person reaches this stage, they have usually developed a physical dependence upon alcohol and will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking abruptly. The person will, therefore, usually require professional help for recovery from alcoholism.
Alcoholism can be treated, but the first step is recognizing that there is a problem. Those in the earlier stages of alcoholism can often recover with varying degrees of professional help. However, people who are heavily dependent upon alcohol will need medical assistance during withdrawal and may even require some form of long-term residential treatment for alcoholism recovery in South Florida or counseling.