What are the Three Alcoholism Stages?

Studies suggest that there are three alcoholism stages that individuals go through if they continue to drink. The stages can each last for a number of years before the next one happens. The stages can be grouped into early, middle, and late alcoholism. By understanding the three stages, you will be better able to see problems developing in yourself or in loved ones.

Early Stages

In early stages of alcoholism, an individual begins to drink to affect their moods, forget about problems, and think more about alcohol. Physically, the individual needs to drink larger quantities of alcohol in order to get the same effects that he used to get from smaller amounts. The person may also appear to be functioning normally even when she is drinking large quantities of alcohol.

With early stages, it is likely that neither the person nor the people around them will recognize the signs of beginning alcoholism. Higher functioning while drinking contributes to this as well as the improvement in mood while drinking.

Middle Stages

By the middle stages of alcoholism, individuals are experiencing a greater need to drink. Drinking larger and larger amounts and beginning to drink earlier in the day are common signs. The individual’s tolerance from the early stages begins to disappear and the individual become drunk more easily. Withdrawal symptoms can occur if the person stops drinking or cuts back.

The person may deny that drinking is a problem, but he can no longer judge how much alcohol his body can handle. Stomach problems, blackouts, and hangovers may be common.

Late Stages

During late or end stages of alcoholism, the individual becomes obsessed with drinking. Others can often identify a problem and the individual neglects other aspects of their life in favor of alcohol. Mental and physical health deteriorates as many of the body’s organs have been damaged. Relationships are also damaged or destroyed.

If the individual continues to drink, alcohol will eventually kill the person. Suicide, injuries, or accidents are common as well as death due to the health issues created over time. Malnutrition, liver damage, B1 deficiencies, and damaged cells all contribute to health issues.

Understanding the stages of alcoholism can help you get assistance for a loved one or for yourself. Learn about the warning signs of alcoholism and do something if you see a problem developing. Alcoholism stages will continue unless the drinking is stopped and the person commits to sobriety.

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