Alcoholism, the end stage, when an individual reached this point, it is dramatically different than the initial stages. During the end stager the addiction has taken over, and the person can no longer control their drinking impulses.
Stages of Alcoholism
There are three major stages of alcoholism, which are described below:
Early Stage Alcoholism
Early Stage Alcoholism is the beginning of the alcoholic’s chronic use and pathway to alcohol abuse. Alcohol provides a positive experience for the user. Externally, the alcoholic does not appear to be sick, they appear to be normal. Early Stage alcoholics exhibit a high tolerance to alcohol and nominally go unnoticed by most around them with the possible exception of those who are around them the most.
Individuals begin to exhibit the signs of being drunk when most they drink to their tolerance level. Those signs include problems with their speech, such as slurring their words, and they have dull motor skills, often seen as a loss of balance or coordination. When casual drinkers move into Early Stage Alcoholism, their tolerance begins to rise. They overcome those signs that casual drinkers exhibit, and are able to hold conversations without stuttering or slurring, challenge coordination or motor skills, or are affected by other normal signs that make it easy to spot someone who would be considered drunk.
Alcohol’s role taking hold
Later at this stage, alcoholic come to this point where he feels that their body and mind functions better when they take a shot. This is because they only deal with the negative effects when they stop drinking. As time passes by, assuming they maintain or increase their alcohol usage, their body becomes more and more dependent on alcohol as the cells in their body begin to require alcohol.
Common early stage alcoholism behaviors
- Drinking more than normal
- Being more social and relatable when drinking than when sober
- Creating reasons to incorporate alcohol into more and more social settings
- Drinking to combat stress, boredom or loneliness
As the stage progresses, the disease takes hold and progresses to Middle Stage Alcoholism.
Middle Stage Alcoholism
The primary way early stage alcoholics differ from middle stage alcoholics is that alcohol is no longer leveraged for a quick high. For middle stage alcoholics, drinking is a requirement, not an option.
A physiological trap
Many individuals share in physiological traps that spiral an early-stage drinker into a deteriorating health spiral. During Middle Stage Alcoholism, the body’s organs are being actively damaged. Consequentially, the drinker feels the negative effects of their drinking. When high levels of alcohol aren’t present in the alcoholic’s system they feel physically horrible. Only when they are intoxicated do they feel well.
Tolerance and cell resistance to alcohol
The cells in the body become more and more resistant to the impact of alcohol as alcoholism progresses. If the alcoholic surpasses their alcohol tolerance, they will become drunk. Again, if the person stops drinking, contributing to the downward spiral, their body experiences a type of shock as the cells themselves require alcohol for them to function.
Visible signs of alcohol addiction taking hold
Middle Stage Alcoholism is when the visible signs of alcohol addiction are apparent. The overwhelming need for the body to operate with alcohol in its system beings to really put the disease in the driver’s seat.
Common middle stage alcoholism behaviors
- Habitual drinking in non-social settings
- Relationship issues
- A decrease in social activity and/or erratic behaviour
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking such as nausea, sweating and severe irritability
End Stage Alcoholism
Late stage, or End Stage Alcoholism, is full-blown addiction almost without exception requiring alcohol detox for recovery. In this last stage of alcoholism, the individual exhibits both physical and mental health issues. On the physical side, malnutrition and their physical condition are noticeably weakened. The mental impairments are pronounced. The addict no longer comprehends the damage the disease is causing them and denies that it is a cause, not an effect of other forces.
End stage alcoholism and associated health disorders
End Stage Alcoholics often develop heart, liver, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. The list of conditions is long and includes:
- Alcoholic Hepatitis
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Hearth Failure