The 5 Stages Of Alcohol Addiction

At this stage, alcohol also begins to have an adverse effect on the individual’s health. It can cause sleep problems that lead to anxiety or depression. Most people have their first taste of alcohol when they are teenagers, but some may try it at an even younger age.

5 stages of alcoholism

Anyone can overcome addiction with the help and guidance of a substance abuse treatment program. If you notice they continue drinking heavily and blacking out, you have a right to be concerned. Keep an eye on their drinking behaviors to see whether they progress further. Even if they never progress past this stage, regular binge drinking is not a healthy way to consume alcohol.

Liver Damage

As the stages of alcoholism continue, people begin to develop psychological and physical dependence on alcohol. They build alcohol tolerance, needing more and more to get inebriated. The days 5 stages of alcoholism of only drinking at parties are replaced with drinking whenever and wherever possible. Even a high-functioning alcoholic will struggle more with urges to start drinking throughout the day.

Typical hangover symptoms often include nausea, poor sleep, shakiness, dry mouth, light sensitivity, and headache. Nationwide, the majority of those who choose to drink had their first alcoholic beverage on average at 15.9 years of age. Before reaching the legal age of 21, 61% began drinking before age 18 and 83% began drinking before age 21.

Why Should We Be Concerned About AUD and Alcohol Addiction?

Many people refer to alcoholism as a «family disease» because it can have a major impact on all members of the family whether they realize it or not. Over time there is a progression of liver disease from hepatitis (inflammation) to fibrosis (hardening) and eventually to scarring of the tissue (cirrhosis). Some individuals will begin to use alcohol to deal with specific issues in their lives, such as to cope with stress, try to forget their problems, manage their mood, etc. Jellinek viewed alcoholism as a chronic relapsing condition that needed to be treated by health professionals and developed a theory on the progression of alcoholism through various stages.

  • Early signs of cravings occur between drinking events and recovering from a night of drinking might lead to physical discomfort afterward.
  • However, for those suffering from an alcohol addiction, there is hope regardless of what stage of alcoholism you are currently in.
  • The final stage of the Jellinek Curve occurs when the person’s health stabilizes after they stop drinking.
  • In fact, like all addictions, severe alcohol use disorder (what some may call alcoholism) is progressive and is usually the result of long-term alcohol abuse.
  • Attending alcohol rehab at this stage will be incredibly beneficial.

An alcoholic lacks the ability to quit drinking despite  many negative consequences and adverse effects it has had on their life. Alcoholism can be divided into five stages, each with their own unique symptoms and warning signs. Furthermore, the disease progresses over time so one doesn’t suddenly become an alcoholic.

Treatment for Middle-Stage Alcoholism

Treatment and recovery are possible during any of the stages of alcoholism. However, the risks of alcoholism significantly decrease the sooner an individual receives treatment. While some of the effects of alcoholism can be permanent, treatment often results in a full recovery. In addition, people suffering from alcohol dependence acquire tolerance. As a result, the individual will have to consume a larger quantity of alcohol to experience the desired effect. Similarly, when a person increases their alcohol intake, they also increase the risk of damage to their body.

5 stages of alcoholism

Dr. Fernando García
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