The Stages of Alcoholism: Early, Chronic, and End Stage

Contact us today to learn more or get started with your recovery. However, they have lost control over their drinking and can no longer regulate how much they consume the way they once could. Rather than cut back to spare themselves from serious health conditions, they drink more and more to achieve the desired effects. Another common sign of alcohol abuse is that the drinker experiences alcohol withdrawal when they go for long periods of time without drinking. On a social level, chronic alcoholism severely strains relationships.

different stages of alcoholism

But that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done, or that someone in recovery cannot progress towards a healthy and sober lifestyle. By continuing to attend support groups or therapy after an initial stay in a rehab or treatment program, they can keep alcohol abuse at bay and stay strong in their recovery. 5 stages of alcoholism Now, alcoholism has advanced to the middle-stage, which is when the craving for alcohol becomes extraordinarily strong. They are drinking to avoid the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and alcohol detox. During the second stage of an alcohol use disorder, drinking becomes more frequent.

The stages of alcohol misuse explained

Effective treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) emphasizes the importance of evidence-based treatment options. It offers resources for health professionals to recommend the most suitable patient interventions. These treatments include medications, mutual support groups, and behavioral therapies tailored to individual needs. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem.

  • By Buddy T

    Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.

  • The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the “stage” of alcoholism.
  • You’re aware of the adverse effects, but no longer have control over your alcohol consumption.

They can be moderate drinkers with the occasional instance of binge drinking. A moderate drinker might pair a glass of wine with a meal, while a regular drinker uses alcohol to feel good in general. As increased drinking continues, you become more dependent on alcohol and are at risk of developing alcoholism. Some chronic alcoholics develop a condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which results from a thiamine (vitamin B-1) deficiency. The condition, which is sometimes called wet brain, is characterized by eye movement disorders, loss of muscle coordination, confusion and memory issues. It affects more men than women and is fatal 10 to 20 percent of the time.

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Some people decide early on that drinking alcohol is not for them. Others, however, like how alcohol makes them feel in this early stage of their alcohol use. Drinking might make a shy person feel more extroverted since their inhibitions are lowered. It can also make someone lower their perceptions about how risky various behaviors are—like driving while under the influence, trying other risky substances, or engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners.

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Posted: Thu, 28 Sep 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

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