Stages of Alcoholism
Alcoholism can be described as a progressive degenerative disease that occurs as a result of regular intoxication, and excessive and prolonged ingestion of alcoholic beverages leading to deterioration in health and a dependence on alcohol. As it relates to alcoholics, deprivation of alcohol is manifested by way of craving for the substance, loss of control, physical reliance on alcohol and incredibly high tolerance levels for alcohol. Call 800-303-2482 to be connected immediately with one of our counselors 24 hours a day.
Very frequently individuals do not recognize that what begins as the harmless habit of social drinking has turned into a chronic addiction, which has the propensity to have undesirable effects on the physical as well as the psychological health of the individual who is addicted. The disease of alcoholism has varying degrees of addiction and for this reason it gradually worsens. Alcoholism can be classified into four stages with variations in the strength of the alcohol addiction.
Below are the four alcoholism stages as well as the symptoms that are linked to each stage of the disease:
Stage One – An extremely thin line exists between being a regular drinker and getting to stage one of alcoholism. When an individual starts drinking as a means of getting rid of his or her bad mood, this is an indication of onset alcoholism.
The First Stage of Alcoholism – Begins when the individual starts to basically depend on alcohol as a mood altering substance.
This stage is where the individual starts to consume alcohol in order to feel good and get rid of all of his or her tensions, stresses and depression. Among the important characteristics of stage one is the steady increase in the level of alcohol tolerance in the individual. This indicates that there is a substantial increase in the quantity of alcohol that the individual has to consume in order to experience that ‘high.’
Stage One Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
- Drinking frequently
- Alcohol tolerance levels increase
- Denial regarding alcohol dependence
- Alcohol dependence as a mental escape from the pressures of life
Stage Two – At this stage of alcoholism, the craving becomes a great deal stronger and more intense. During this stage, alcohol dependence becomes a lot more evident and the individual begins to drink not as a means of relieving stresses or tensions but because the body has become accustomed to it and craves it. At this stage, the individual starts to recognize his or her alcohol dependence and might also experience feelings of guilt or shame about the excessive drinking.
An individual who has reached stage two of alcoholism might also begin to drink prior to social events or during the early hours of the day. Even though the majority of the individuals who are at this stage feel the need to give up alcohol, some of them are in denial. In addition, this is the stage when the body starts to give indications of alcohol addiction and the individual will experience intermittent loss of control and chronic hangovers.
Stage Two of Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Stage Three – At stage three, the problems associated with alcohol abuse start to have an effect on other areas of the life of the alcoholic, particularly as it relates to his or her personal relationships and work. The individual will display loss of interest in pretty much all of the vital aspects of life and will avoid family members and friends. Stage three ushers in a severe loss of control over the consumption of alcohol. One of the most distinct features of stage three of alcoholism is a increase in the tolerance level of the individual.
Stage Three of Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Stage Four – In stage four, the individual will do just about everything and anything to get alcohol. Heavy drinking has taken a toll in this stage and the individual displays persistent loss of control. Consuming alcohol goes on throughout the day and individuals who reach this stage frequently find it hard to maintain any type of full-time employment.
Complete disregard is shown by the alcoholic in almost every significant aspect of life. What were mild tremors in the earlier alcoholism stages have now turned into ‘fits’ which come about when there is a deprivation of alcohol in the body. Stage four of alcoholism is Delirium tremens they are essentially the ‘shakes’ along with hallucinations.
Stage Four of Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Alcohol has a way to provide you with a good feeling about yourself for a little while, but bear in mind that this joyride is fleeting. Alcoholism has ruined the lives of a number of men and women and it is the responsible for quite a few failed relationships, collapsed careers, domestic abuse and broken marriages. However, there have been individuals who have hit rock bottom and still managed to successfully battle addiction and regained control over their lives; with the right treatment, you will be able to overcome alcohol addiction and live a life of sobriety.