a person consoles another during one of the stages of alcoholism

Stages of Alcoholism

Like most diseases, alcoholism occurs over several months or years. Sometimes it can take so long to develop the addiction to alcohol that you don’t notice the stages of alcoholism as they are occurring. The main reason is that you and those around you grow accustomed to your behavior. While moderate drinking isn’t a cause for concern, it can quickly turn into binge drinking, benders, and an addiction. Eventually, the brain and body become so saturated with alcohol that you form a dependency. You no longer can see yourself living without a drink.

At The Right Step Hill country, we know how important it is to find help breaking the cycle of addiction in our alcohol addiction treatment program. Our team of medical professionals and recovery specialists is with you every step of the way through detox and rehab. They will monitor your symptoms and ensure you stay safe during the first stages of your recovery from alcoholism. Take the right step today by speaking with a recovery specialist today by calling us at 1.844.675.1628.

What are the Stages of Alcoholism?

Over time, the course of alcoholism can change. Sometimes these changes take shape quickly with binge drinking episodes; other times, they develop slowly with moderate drinking habits.

Stage One: Occasional Binges or Benders

Binges and benders are familiar with social drinkers. Many people report having an experience where they drank too much, got drunk, acted foolishly, and woke up the next morning with a hangover. For some, binges are few and far between. However, for others, binges set the stage for a much larger problem.

Binge drinkers often exceed the recommended limit for drinking. They drink more than they should, even when they don’t mean to. Eventually, the binges occur at more frequent intervals. For instance, every Friday presents an opportunity to be wasted.

Stage Two: Increased Alcohol Consumption

One of the most evident stages of alcoholism is increased alcohol consumption. As the effects of alcohol wear off, you may consume more to continue feeling drunk or relaxed. You may also get to the point where you have more excuses for drinking, such as:

  • Social events
  • Relaxation or stress alleviation
  • Mid-week hang out with friends
  • Depression or anxiety

You continue to find more reasons to drink until, one day, you feel like you don’t need an excuse anymore—you just drink.

Stage Three: Drinking Starts to Cause Problems

If you no longer have control over drinking, problems will arise that interfere with different areas of your life, including work, family, school, health, mood, and even hobbies. You may notice that your sleeping or eating patterns have changed. In addition, you feel isolated, depressed, or anxious.

You may also lose energy or motivation. You just want to stay in bed. You may start neglecting your responsibilities or calling in sick from work too often. Other people start noticing the problems and may pull you aside to address your alcohol addiction.

Stage Four: Dependence & Addiction

Once your brain and body get used to large amounts of alcohol in your system, they form a dependency on the substance—one of the final stages of alcoholism. At this point, you have increased your alcohol consumption to high levels that are consistent on a near-daily basis. You get to the point where you feel as though you can no longer live without alcohol.

Even when you do stop drinking, you feel intense cravings. Furthermore, you may experience severe health problems or alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you go for any period without drinking.

Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Insomnia

Once you get to this point, it is time to see a doctor or visit an alcohol addiction treatment center in Texas. You may need professional care and rehab.

Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

Trying to quit drinking alone is very difficult, if not impossible. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, get help right away. Sometimes the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be dangerous and require medical detox.

After you have detoxed from alcohol and the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, professional counselors can help you get to the root of your addiction and start working on a solution so you can learn to lead a sober life.

Learn More About the Stages of Alcoholism

If you would like to learn more about the stages of alcoholism or discuss your addiction to alcohol, contact Right Step Hill Country today. We offer comprehensive treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. Call us at 1.844.675.1628 to speak with a treatment specialist and get started with your treatment.

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