Alcoholism is a serious illness, and one that requires medical attention and treatment. Just like many other types of diagnosable diseases, there are varying stages of alcoholism. Being able to identify these stages can help you, or someone you love, receive the right kind of treatment for recovery.
Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse
Both binge drinking and alcohol abuse are only considered precursors to alcoholism, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t problematic. Ignoring the signs of alcohol abuse and binge drinking can cause immediate problems. Additionally, it can lead to the development of alcoholism in the near future.
Binge drinking requires a person to consume enough alcohol for his or her BAC, or blood alcohol content, to reach a concentration level of 0.08 grams percent or above. For women, this can happen with an average of four drinks in two hours, while it might take five drinks for men over the same amount of time.
One of the most dangerous and ignored stages of alcoholism is early-stage or early-onset alcoholism. During this stage, the initial signs of an alcohol dependence are visible. Individuals might drink daily, or they might feel unwell when they aren’t drinking.
Not everyone struggling with early-stage alcoholism drinks in excess every day, nor do they necessarily black out or deal with memory loss. However, they may have a chemical dependence. This means that the central nervous system is having difficulty functioning without alcohol. Over time, the tolerance increases, and people need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol just to keep cravings and withdrawal at bay.
A person struggling with chronic alcoholism is likely someone that drinks alcohol every day and has been doing so for multiple years. At this stage, it’s very common for individuals to suffer serious consequences as a result of their addiction.
For instance, it’s difficult for even a functioning chronic alcoholic to maintain healthy relationships, make responsible financial choices or hold down regular employment.
The last stage of alcoholism is end-stage. For those with end-stage alcoholism, nothing seems more important than the regular procurement and consumption of alcohol. Trying to quit drinking, even for a day, will likely lead to withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings.
Those with end-stage alcoholism may also have physical and visible effects of alcoholism. These can include things like liver issues, high blood pressure or spider veins on the face and body. While it can be very challenging to go from an end-stage alcoholic to a sober individual, it certainly isn’t impossible.
Getting Help for Each of the Stages of Alcoholism
Whether a person is struggling with alcohol abuse or end-stage alcoholism, the only true means of recovery comes through alcohol addiction treatment and rehab. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you can complete the right program to embrace sobriety for a lifetime. Call 866.262.0531 and start walking your path to recovery right now.