Do You Understand The Stages Of Alcoholism
Most folks do not have a problem with moderate drinking. However, if your alcohol use becomes out of hand, you may find yourself on a deadly path to addiction.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismTrusted Source, 17 million American individuals have alcohol use disorders. Another 865,000 Americans between the ages of 13 and 18 have alcohol use problems.
It is critical to realize that alcoholism does not develop overnight. It develops as a result of long-term alcohol misuse.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of each stage will help you get help before your problem progresses to dependence and addiction.
Stage 1: Occasional substance misuse and binge drinking
The initial stage of alcoholism is widespread alcohol experimentation. These drinkers may be inexperienced with various types of alcohol and are likely to push their limits. This stage of experimentation is prevalent in young people.
Binge drinking is also common among these experimental drinkers. While they may not drink on a regular basis, they consume extremely huge amounts of alcohol at once. According to Medline Plus, binge drinking is defined as:
Men must consume five or more alcoholic beverages within two hours; women must consume four or more alcoholic beverages within two hours.
Many binge drinkers consume more than this amount. This is especially true for teenagers who attend parties where the major activity is drinking. You may believe that binge drinking is harmless if you only do it on occasion, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol at once is dangerous, and can potentially result in coma or death. Furthermore, you may develop addicted to the high you get from drinking and notice that these episodes become more often.
Stage 2: Increased alcohol consumption
When a drinker’s alcohol consumption increases, he or she moves out of the experimental stage. Instead of just drinking at parties every now and then, you can find yourself drinking every weekend.
Increased alcohol consumption can also result in drinking for the following reasons: as an excuse to meet together with friends in order to relieve tension caused by boredom or to confront despair or loneliness
Moderate drinking is not the same as regular drinking. It usually has a stronger emotional attachment to it. A moderate drinker could match a glass of wine with a meal, whereas a frequent drinker consumes alcohol to make them feel better in general.
As you continue to drink more, you get increasingly reliant on alcohol and are in danger of developing alcoholism.
Stage 3: Addiction to alcohol
Alcoholism develops as a result of frequent, uncontrolled alcohol consumption. While any kind of alcohol misuse is harmful, the term “problem drinker” refers to someone who begins to feel the effects of their habit.
You may become more sad, worried, or sleep-deprived. You may begin to feel ill as a result of excessive drinking, but you like the results too much to care. Many drinkers at this stage are more prone to drink and drive or face legal ramifications as a result of their drinking.
There have also been unique social changes associated with problem drinking. These are some examples:
- Relationship problems
- Reduced social activity as a result of unpredictable conduct
- A quick shift in friendships difficulties conversing with strangers
Stage 4: Full-Blown Alcohol Addiction
There are two aspects to alcoholism: dependency and addiction. A person can be reliant on alcohol but not yet addicted to it.
After the problem drinking stage, dependency develops. You now have an addiction to alcohol that has taken over your daily routine. You are aware of the negative effects of alcohol, but you no longer have control over your usage.
Alcoholism also implies that you have established a tolerance to drinking. As a result, you may need to drink more to get “buzzed” or drunk. Increased drinking is more harmful to the body.
Withdrawal is another feature of addiction. As you sober up, you may experience unpleasant sensations such as:
Unrelated hangover sickness body tremors sweating acute irritability, a pounding heart rate and sleep deprivation
Addiction and alcoholism are the fifth stages.
Addiction is the final stage of alcoholism. You don’t want to drink for the sake of drinking at this point. Alcoholism is defined by a physical and psychological desire to drink.
People who are addicted to alcohol physically want the substance and are frequently inconsolable until they resume drinking. They may also be addicted to other drugs.
Addiction is characterized by compulsive behaviors, and those who are addicted to alcohol frequently drink whenever and wherever they want.
What is the prognosis?
One of the most serious issues with hazardous drinkers is when they don’t realize they have a problem. Alcoholism is an issue at any level. The only safe method to consume alcohol is to stop completely. There is no safe amount of alcohol!
Early detection of alcohol problems can aid in the prevention of dependence and addiction. Medical treatment may be required to cleanse the body of alcohol and get a fresh start. Because many alcoholics suffer from psychological issues, individual or group treatment may aid in the recovery process.
The deeper you get into the stages of alcoholism, the more difficult it is to stop drinking. The following are the long-term consequences of binge drinking:
- Injury to the liver
- Coronary heart disease
- Alcohol-induced brain damage
- Suicidal ideation is elevated in drinkers who have mental health problems.
If you suspect you have a drinking problem, consult your doctor.
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