The 7 Stages of Alcohol Intoxication

Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen for heavier drinkers. Alcohol withdrawal can begin within hours of ending a drinking session. Alcohol detox isn’t easy and not everyone can do it on their own. That is why alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal treatment is administered by medical professionals. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, one of the central impacts is slowing the rate of communication between nerve cells. The rate of communication returns to its typical levels once alcohol leaves the body.

  • However, even though each case is different, people who suffer from alcohol use disorders tend to go through a similar five stages of alcohol addiction.
  • Being at a later stage can make recovery more challenging, but recovery is possible at any stage of alcoholism.
  • Sadly, many people use alcohol to heal trauma, for courage in areas where they are insecure, or in combination with other drugs.
  • In this stage of alcoholism, drinking is out of control and the only one who cannot see it is the alcoholic.
  • You may not be sure how to address your struggles with the stages of alcoholism.

During the early stages of the disease, the person may drink heavily and may experience hangovers in between drinking episodes. However, during the end stage, the addiction has taken over, and the person may no longer be able to control their drinking impulses. Despite substance abuse disorders creating damage to the mind and body and creating challenging relationships, recovery is possible. To find out more about rehab-related options, contact a treatment provider today.

The Five Stages of Addiction Recovery

Find support for yourself and other family members in a rehab family program. Go to an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting or set up an appointment with a mental health professional. At the end of the day, the person with addiction has to be willing to accept help. There are factors that pop up again and again when determining who might have an issue with alcoholism. If you’re in the “at-risk” population, it doesn’t take much to become dependent on alcohol or other drugs.

Many people refer to alcoholism as a “family disease” because it can have a major impact on all members of the family whether they realize it or not. Over time there is a progression of liver disease from hepatitis (inflammation) to fibrosis (hardening) and eventually to scarring of the 5 stages of alcoholism tissue (cirrhosis). This is the most damaging phase, as the body and mind are ravaged by alcohol, heroin, methamphetamines, or Opioids. There is a loss of control and an inability to function in healthy ways. Feelings of helplessness and isolation increase, and one can feel desperate.

Recovery Coaching

Effective addiction treatment providers will have addiction counselors, but they should also have mental health services as many people with alcoholism have co-occurring mental health conditions. Alcoholism kills people and destroys the lives of those who love them. People who drink too much are at risk of negative consequences in all stages of alcoholism. If you or a loved one is in one of these stages of alcoholism, reach out for help before things progress. You can find a supportive rehab facility with a treatment plan that includes evidence-based approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and a family program. They think of drinking from the moment they wake up and drink whenever possible.

Others are unaware of how dangerous their drinking practices are. Alcoholism can damage your mind and body and make your relationships difficult. With continued misuse of alcohol, the substance may begin to have a negative impact on the user’s life. Excessive drinking can damage relationships with relatives and friends and impact the individual’s work performance.

What Is Alcohol Intoxication?

They are dependent on alcohol and feel helpless to control urges to drink without help. They may develop gastrointestinal problems as well as heart and liver issues. Detox from alcohol and a strong recovery program is the only way they can survive the disease.

5 stages of alcoholism

With so many effects on the body, the usual first step in treating alcoholism is detox—or getting alcohol out of your system. Depending on the severity of the alcohol use disorder, this stage can be mildly annoying or severe. Early withdrawal symptoms include headaches, anxiety, nausea, irritability and shaking. If you think a family member or loved one might be showing signs, signals or symptoms of alcoholism, know that it won’t “go away” on its own. Their brain is changing—and without help, there can be serious long-term consequences. During this stage, your condition may become evident to friends and family, although some people can become highly adept at hiding problem drinking.

Occasional Abuse & Binge Drinking

But because many people drink and alcohol is widely accepted, problematic patterns often go unnoticed at first. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

  • They may feel as if they are failures and may have no idea what to do.
  • There’s a clear lack of insight into the negative impact of excessive drug or alcohol use and a strong focus on the positive effects they experience from using their drug of choice.
  • These conditions include heart disease, liver damage, brain damage, malnutrition, and mental disorders.
  • If you notice signs of alcohol misuse or addiction in a loved one, you should encourage them to seek help.

A point worth noting is each drug or alcohol would have a physical, emotional and physical effect on the body. Typically, when each individual uses a substance, they may not become dependent right away. Although every person and every case is different, most who suffer from substance use disorders go through some form of 5 stages of addiction. Cirrhosis of the liver
Our liver filters out harmful substances, cleans our blood, stores energy and aids in digestion. Too much alcohol can be toxic to liver cells, causing dehydration and permanent scarring—which ultimately affects the blood flow.

Long-Term Health Problems Associated with Chronic Heavy Drinking

You’ve likely become more irritable, and alcohol may start to affect you differently. You’ll need to drink more to achieve the same effects you used to feel and often pass out from alcohol. Changes in your body such as facial redness, stomach bloating, shaking, sweating and memory lapses start to affect you. Individuals in this stage may not be drinking every day or even every week. However, they still use alcohol frequently and can’t imagine a “good night out” without it.

  • After ongoing heavy use, the body may develop a physical dependence.
  • By Buddy T

    Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.

  • Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain.
  • Alcoholism emerges from alcohol abuse, when there’s a pattern of drinking despite negative consequences.
  • This new phase of research laid the groundwork for how we understand alcohol addiction today.