Posted by: Maj Gatungay
Category: Sober living

It will not necessarily be an easy journey, but it is highly rewarding and well worth its efforts. Curing of alcohol use disorder is possible regardless of the stage the patient is in. The disease will more likely produce better results if tackled in its early stages. Carrying the label of being the most abused substance among the rehab attendees, alcohol has been studied vigorously.

5 stages of alcoholism

While binge drinking may seem harmless, this is far from the truth. In fact, binge drinking can lead to serious health concerns such as alcohol poisoning, comas, and even death. Additionally, drinking in large amounts can lead to alcohol dependency or addiction – making it the first stage of alcoholism. With so many effects on the body, the usual first step in treating alcoholism is detox—or getting alcohol out of your system.

Late-stage misuse

A person may become more distant and behave erratically as their use worsens, becoming more unpredictable and hard to control. How much a person’s behavior changes can vary based on how much they are using and their mental state. If someone has an issue with alcohol, the sooner they seek help, the better.

  • Men have alcohol use disorder almost twice as often as women; of the estimated 17 million affected adults, 11.2 million were men and 5.7 million were women.2 Adolescents are not immune.
  • In order to be considered a binge drinker, men must consume 5 drinks every 2 hours while women must consume 4.
  • You may start to feel sick from heavy drinking, but enjoy its effects too much to care.
  • Our addiction treatment specialists are here to assist you in verifying your insurance coverage.
  • It’s a lot easier to lie to those around you and yourself about your problems, but no matter how hard you try, others will begin to notice the truth.

Most people have their first taste of alcohol when they are teenagers, but some may try it at an even younger age. At this point, they may decide whether or not they like the taste or how drinking makes them feel. Drinking occasionally is less likely, but when experimental drinkers do drink, they tend to have a few drinks at once. Binge drinking is something that many younger adults and teens end up partaking in.

Alcoholics Resource Center

Find support for yourself and other family members in a rehab family program. Go to an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting or set up an appointment with a mental health professional. At the end of the day, the person with addiction has to be willing to accept help. However, if a person has an attachment to drinking, such as relying on it to “have a good time,” they may develop problematic drinking habits and eventually develop an AUD. If alcohol dependence sets in, it will likely be more difficult to stop drinking because of the presence of withdrawal symptoms and possibly cravings for alcohol.

5 stages of alcoholism

Hence there are plenty of readily available treatment options on the market. For more information on the suitable treatment facility, call the helpline number. Of the aforementioned DSM-5 signs of alcoholism, a person at this stage of alcoholism is likely to show a minimum of six symptoms.

The stages of alcohol misuse explained

Friends and family are usually the first to notice that something is wrong. At this stage, alcohol also begins to have an adverse effect on the individual’s health. Calls to our general hotline may be answered by private treatment providers. We may be paid a fee for marketing or advertising by organizations that can assist with treating people with substance use disorders. Addiction Resource does not offer medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice.

  • The alcoholic probably isn’t sleeping or eating well at this point and may not be keeping up with personal hygiene.
  • Don’t attempt to stop drinking on your own suddenly if you’ve been drinking heavily for a period of time.[8,9] You need professional management and supervision to safely stop drinking.
  • The existence of two or three symptoms equals a diagnosis of mild alcohol use disorder, while four to five symptoms is considered moderate, and six or more is considered severe.
  • Experts have increasingly seen these terms as negative and unhelpful labels.
  • Furthermore, the disease progresses over time so one doesn’t suddenly become an alcoholic.

In fact, these young people can be more prone to developing an alcohol use disorder as they have not reached an age of maturity where decision-making is thorough and well-developed. During these times, a person might begin associating alcohol with being relaxed, carefree, and having a good time. There are hardly any consequences to their behavior which reinforces the behavior. It makes going out and drinking seem like a really good time without thinking too much into it. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most common addictions Americans suffer from, with over 17 million people over 18 being diagnosed with it. And even with that number being so high, many people never seek proper treatment and are never actually diagnosed with the disease, so the number may be much higher.

Cirrhosis can cause a host of other health problems, including high blood pressure, which can lead to the development of enlarged veins in the esophagus called esophageal varices. These are similar to the varicose veins that some people develop in their legs. But esophageal varices are prone to rupture, and when they do, the alcoholic can bleed to death. When alcohol is not present, individuals may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as restlessness, tremors, headache, nausea, vomiting and insomnia. At this stage, the alcoholic may appear to be functioning normally and is unlikely to have performance problems at work, school or in other settings.

To counteract the sedating effects of alcohol, for example, the brain increases the activity of excitatory neurotransmitters, which speed up brain activity. The mental and physical health of alcoholics are rapidly deteriorating at this stage, and unless they seek alcohol rehab, they may drink themselves to death. But some people who drink face a risk of developing this chronic and progressive disease, which affects roughly 1 in every 8 Americans and contributes to about 88,000 deaths annually. The primary symptom of stage one is the development of alcohol tolerance.

Maj Gatungay