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Stages of Alcohol Dependency

An alcoholic can be described as someone drinking to excess. It has been stated that more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men can be considered binge drinking. Drinks add up quickly and can become a problem before most even realize they have a new addiction. Before covering the stages of alcohol dependency, we should discuss symptoms that could mean you are suffering from alcohol dependency. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, turn to someone for support or call Elite Pain Management at 417-888-0167.  

  • Drinking for longer or a larger amount than initially planned
  • Wanting to stop drinking as frequently but not being able too
  • If you find yourself constantly sick from drinking
  • Craving alcohol or having withdrawal symptoms
  • Having relationships problems with friends and family
  • Being unable to care for yourself or your family responsibly
  • Secluding yourself from regular activities to drink
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol

Alcohol dependency can be summed up with four stages.

The first stage is pre-alcoholic stage, or adaptive stage.

During this stage a person will begin social drinking frequently. It is difficult from an outside perspective to know whether this is the beginning of alcoholic dependency or if the person is simply enjoying themselves. The person drinking would need to question themselves: Are they drinking socially because everyone else is or are they drinking because of an inner conflict to make themselves feel better? If the answer to this question is that you are drinking to comfort yourself, whether it be due to anxiety, bad thoughts, avoiding worry, or relieving physical pain, you may be in the first stage of alcohol dependency and should contact someone.

The second stage of alcohol dependency is the dependence or early alcoholic stage.

During this stage alcohol tolerance is being built and you begin craving it. Signs of this can be someone planning their daily schedules around drinks or lying to friends and family about how often or how much drinking is taking place. Once that craving has begun, a person might start spiking their daily drinks, having more alcohol than normal when having meals, or living in constant thoughts about getting a buzz.

The third step can be described as loss of control or progression stage.

The description summed this stage up- loss of control.  A person will go above and beyond to keep a steady supply of alcohol in their daily routines. This includes drinking at inappropriate times and in inappropriate settings. Examples of inappropriate environments to drink can include but are not limited to while driving, at work, caring for children and in public.

There are also physical and mental symptoms that begin to show. A person could find that they are noticeably irritable or temperamental, or that their body has been showing symptoms such as stomach bloating, sluggishness, and weight gain or loss. During this time many begin to realize that they have a problem, but do not have enough will power to stop drinking.

Stage four is the late stage of alcoholism.

At this point all self-control has been lost. Long-term abuse effects have become apparent and serious health issues have a high chance of arising. Many of the consequences of late alcoholism can include job loss, diseases, family and friend loss, and paranoia. Attempting to stop drinking at this stage can have affects such as hallucinations, fear, and tremors.

No matter whether a person is in the pre-alcoholic stage or the late stage of alcoholism, there are options! It is never too late to search for help. You can join support groups, go through therapy, detoxification, rehabilitation and utilize medical treatment.

Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers ® provides this medical treatment of addiction in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. We aspire to be leaders in dependency treatment by utilizing the vast scope of expertise that our talented professionals bring to the table.

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