The Stages of Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol Use Disorder, often called alcoholism, is a treatable brain disease.
What is Alcohol Dependence
Alcoholism is a chronic condition in which a person cannot control his or her drinking despite craving alcoholic beverages.
Risks of Alcohol Dependence
Heavy drinking can lead to a lot of risks such as health conditions like liver damage and heart disease or other mental health issues like depression. Other risks associated with drinking alcohol include loss of control, blackouts, and potential alcohol poisoning.
Seven Stages of Alcohol Addiction
Stage 1: Abstinence
Alcohol addiction can begin before an individual starts drinking—due to genetic predispositions or attitudes and perceptions consistent with those who suffer from alcohol dependence.
Stage 2: Initial Use
This can include the experimental use of alcohol, occasional use, or occasional binge drinking (once or twice a year). Initial use of alcohol may not yet be a problem for the individual or those close to them. Occasional alcohol consumption may cause difficulties while they are under the influence or the following day, but they have not become addicted.
Stage 3: High-Risk Use
High risk refers to an abundance of drinking and making poor decisions while under the influence. At this stage, the pattern and frequency of alcohol use are high enough to be dangerous to the individual and those around them.
Stage 4: Problematic Use
The negative consequences of drinking become apparent. Health issues, including impaired liver function or sexually transmitted diseases, arise. Drinking-related legal issues occur, like driving under the influence (DUI). In this stage, family and friends become aware of the problem.
Stage 5: Early Stage of Dependency
The early stage of alcohol dependence is characterized by noticeable lifestyle changes. The user begins to miss work. They pick fights with family and friends and choose to drink despite the negative consequences. At this point, alcohol rehab is most effective.
Stage 6: Middle Stage of Dependency
During the middle stage of alcohol addiction, negative consequences start to pile up. The user loses his or her job due to too many absences and alcohol-induced fights end relationships. The negative consequences of alcoholism become irreversible.
Stage 7: Crisis Stage of Dependency
At this crisis point, everyone is aware of the effects of alcoholism. Serious health problems ensue. The person struggling with alcoholism 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.
Find the Road to Recovery from Problem Drinking with Caron Treatment Centers
At Caron Treatment Centers, we help individuals struggling with alcoholism detox and stop drinking, all while helping them manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Our treatment programs and customizable to every patient and we provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our alcohol treatment programs.