The 5 Stages of Drug & Alco­hol Addic­tion


For tho­se with seve­re phy­si­cal depen­dence, alco­hol with­dra­wal may result in dan­ge­rous with­dra­wal sym­ptoms such as sei­zu­res or even death. Con­se­quent­ly, in this stage, most addic­tion pro­fes­sio­nals recom­mend deto­xing from alco­hol under medi­cal super­vi­si­on. As indi­vi­du­als con­ti­nue to drink alco­hol over time, pro­gres­si­ve chan­ges may occur in the struc­tu­re and func­tion of their brains. The­se chan­ges can com­pro­mi­se brain func­tion and dri­ve the tran­si­ti­on from con­trol­led, occa­sio­nal use to chro­nic misu­se, which can be dif­fi­cult to con­trol.

  • Howe­ver, they need to con­su­me more alco­hol in order to pro­du­ce the same effect they expe­ri­en­ced in the begin­ning.
  • Too much alco­hol affects your speech, mus­cle coor­di­na­ti­on and vital cen­ters of your brain.
  • See­king help may feel impos­si­ble, but it’s the best decis­i­on you can make for yours­elf.
  • This stage of alco­ho­lism starts when peo­p­le expe­ri­ence an incre­asing tole­rance to alco­hol and rai­se their alco­hol inta­ke with grea­ter fre­quen­cy and quan­ti­ty.
  • Envi­ron­men­tal and gene­tic fac­tors asi­de, the sheer num­ber of drinks peo­p­le con­su­me in a given peri­od of time can put them at risk for deve­lo­ping an alco­hol use dis­or­der.

They begin to feel the effects of alco­hol and they are in dan­ger of deve­lo­ping an addic­tion. Inter­ven­ti­on, sup­port groups and addic­tion tre­at­ment should be con­side­red befo­re sub­s­tance abu­se pro­gres­ses. The most des­truc­ti­ve form of alco­ho­lism is chro­nic alco­ho­lism, an emo­tio­nal­ly, soci­al­ly and phy­si­cal­ly devas­ta­ting dise­a­se. Alco­ho­lism emer­ges from alco­hol abu­se, when there’s a pat­tern of drin­king despi­te nega­ti­ve con­se­quen­ces.

The 3 Stages of Alco­ho­lism

Alco­hol abu­se often means drin­king more often than not and drin­king too much. As the pat­tern of drin­king to cope with dif­fi­cult fee­lings con­ti­nues, tole­rance to alco­hol deve­lo­ps. This means the per­son needs more alco­hol to get the same effect, so they begin drin­king lar­ger amounts. Some peo­p­le can drink a lot and still func­tion at work, school or in rela­ti­onships. They may think they have their drin­king under con­trol, but find they are drin­king more.

If you or a loved one are suf­fe­ring from alco­ho­lism, being able to iden­ti­fy an individual’s cur­rent stage of alco­ho­lism will aid in fin­ding pro­per alco­hol tre­at­ment. To pro­per­ly tre­at the who­le per­son and not just the addic­tion, Nova Reco­very Cen­ter offers a long-term alco­hol rehab pro­gram that lasts a full 90 days. This indi­vi­dua­li­zed tre­at­ment pro­gram pro­vi­des ade­qua­te time for cli­ents to work through beha­vi­oral pro­blems, emo­tio­nal issues, and any psy­cho­lo­gi­cal trau­ma that has con­tri­bu­ted to their addic­ti­ve beha­vi­ors.

How can I pre­vent alco­hol use dis­or­der?

The­se indi­vi­du­als may start to deve­lop an emo­tio­nal attach­ment to drin­king. This more an indi­vi­du­al turns to alco­hol to “feel good”, the more at risk they are of deve­lo­ping an alco­hol use dis­or­der and poten­ti­al­ly nee­ding alco­hol tre­at­ment. At this point, an indi­vi­du­al may deve­lop a serious dise­a­se, such as cir­rho­sis of the liver. As indi­vi­du­als con­ti­nu­al­ly con­su­me alco­hol, their liver pro­du­ces scar tis­sue ins­tead of new healt­hy tis­sue. Over time, the scar tis­sue in the liver pre­vents the neces­sa­ry flow of blood. The pre­sence of scar tis­sue also impairs the body’s abili­ty to clean toxins from the blood, con­trol infec­tions, pro­cess nut­ri­ents, and absorb cho­le­ste­rol and cer­tain vit­amins.

Alt­hough they are still drin­king, they’ve likely begun tel­ling fri­ends and fami­ly mem­bers about their plan to chan­ge their beha­vi­or — but they may still feel some ambi­va­lence about their choice. It’s a dise­a­se that typi­cal­ly deve­lo­ps gra­du­al­ly over time as a per­son drinks more and more regu­lar­ly, which cau­ses che­mi­cal chan­ges to occur in the brain. It stands to reason that alco­hol reco­very is also 5 stages of alco­ho­lism a gra­du­al pro­cess with no set time­line. Call Nova Reco­very Cen­ter today to learn more about our alco­hol addic­tion tre­at­ment opti­ons and start your reco­very jour­ney now. In fact, the events of the sum­mer can easi­ly dis­gu­i­se an addic­tion pro­blem. The­r­e­fo­re, it’s important that you’re awa­re of the dif­fe­rent stages of addic­tion so you can reco­gni­ze if a drug or alco­hol addic­tion is deve­lo­ping.

Stage 2: Increased Tole­rance

Self-care and self-under­stan­ding are both pre­sent in this tre­at­ment stage, but coun­seling is requi­red to keep them on the right path. The use of alco­hol can dra­sti­cal­ly modi­fy the way that che­mi­cal signals are pro­du­ced and trans­mit­ted in the brain. In addi­ti­on, addic­tion to alco­hol can chan­ge how cer­tain parts of the brain respon­si­ble for decis­i­on-making, con­trol­ling urges, memo­ry, moti­va­ti­on, plea­su­re, and reward pro­ces­sing are con­nec­ted.

5 stages of alcoholism

But when alco­hol con­sump­ti­on gets out of con­trol, you may find yours­elf on a dan­ge­rous path toward addic­tion. It starts inno­cent­ly enough, with an occa­sio­nal drink—but befo­re you know it, drin­king beco­mes a habit that’s hard to con­trol. As time goes on, alco­ho­lism pro­gres­ses, affec­ting your health and well-being. Howe­ver, with pro­per tre­at­ment and sup­port, most peo­p­le with alco­ho­lism can reco­ver and lead healt­hy, pro­duc­ti­ve lives.

At this point, the indi­vi­du­al is enjoy­ing the bene­fits of quit­ting alco­hol while focu­sing on sus­tai­ning the achie­ve­ments made in the action stage. Dia­gno­sis is based on a con­ver­sa­ti­on with your health­ca­re pro­vi­der. The dia­gno­sis is made when drin­king inter­fe­res with your life or affects your health.

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