Stages Of Alcoholism Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment

The first time someone uses alcohol could be when they are still a child—or over the legal age of 21. Alcohol has long been at the center of celebrations from Monday-night football to your daughter’s wedding or raised somberly to acknowledge the passing of a loved one. For those who need help right away, WebMD Connect to Care specialists are standing by to get you started on the road to recovery today. This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times.

stages of alcoholism

When you wake up feeling like you chewed cotton balls overnight while a hammer worked on your head, you’re not likely to want to lace up your shoes and go for a run. 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. E. Morton Jellinek, a pioneer in the study of alcohol abuse and dependence, suggested “progressive phases of alcoholism” in 1950, which led to the Jellinek curve, which is still widely used.

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Medical detoxification and outpatient rehabilitation or intensive outpatient programs may be necessary to help the individual overcome their physical alcohol dependence. Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease involving excessive consumption of alcohol to the extent that it causes physical, mental, and social harm to an individual. If an individual stays in a persistent stage of drinking, it can cause them to constantly crave and think about alcohol. This means spending a large majority of their time drinking and acquiring alcohol. It is important to understand that every journey begins somewhere in the early stage of alcoholism.

What are 6 signs of alcohol poisoning?

  • Mental confusion, stupor.
  • Difficulty remaining conscious, or inability to wake up.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Slow heart rate.
  • Clammy skin.

This provides a safe and structured environment for people to address all medical, emotional, and psychological aspects of their drinking for lifelong recovery. If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking, professional treatment is a beneficial option to consider. The first step for many people is talking to a doctor or treatment specialist. After a full assessment, the professional will advise whether a detox, inpatient, or outpatient program would be appropriate. While drinking becomes more regular, an individual may start to use alcohol as means of feeling more comfortable, social or relaxed. They may or may not be using alcohol as a conscious coping mechanism; however, substance use becomes more normalized in their life.

Stage Two: Regular Alcohol Use

You may also need to commit to an inpatient recovery program for sixty to ninety days. Attending a substance abuse treatment program can give you the tools you need to stay sober and resist cravings once you return home. The last of the 3 is also called late-stage alcoholism. At this point, alcohol has had a severe effect on your mind and body. Fatty liver, cardiac problems, and other health complications put your life at risk.

Having more than 5 drinks in 2 hours is commonplace (and problematic). At this crisis point, everyone is aware of the effects of alcoholism—including the alcoholic. The alcoholic is rarely without a drink, but thinks no one notices. This stage frequently results in alcohol-related deaths for users who do not enter treatment.

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