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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Learn more about the stages of an alcoholic

Are you feeling concerned that you or someone you know may be an alcoholic, but you want to be certain? Recognizing the stages of alcoholism can certainly help you to admit the problem and hopefully get the help that you/they need for treatment. While some would argue that there are no stages of alcoholism, others would agree that there are at least four to five stages of an alcoholic. The stages discussed below will be pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, middle alcoholic, and late alcoholic.

Pre Alcoholic

The pre-alcoholic stage typically shows no real signs of there being a problem. To anyone on the outside looking in, the person would appear normal. In the beginning stages drinking is more of a social outlet. However, as the stage progresses drinking then becomes a more frequent player in the person’s life, generally as a means to ward of stress. During this stage most of the symptoms are psychological. The person affected will become alcohol tolerant. This means that they are able to drink large amounts while still being able to function. After long periods of tolerance the person then needs larger and larger amounts of alcohol to reach the same level of satisfaction.

Early Alcoholic

The early alcoholic stage is best described as a stage in which the abuser is starting to realize they have a problem, but do not possess the mental “knowhow” to resist taking another drink. At this stage they will begin to feel ashamed of their actions and will begin to tell lies to friends and family members about how much they actually drink. They begin to look less obvious in their drinking even putting alcoholic beverages in soda or coffee. Alcohol tolerance continues to increase to very dangerous levels.

Middle Alcoholic

It isn’t until about the middle alcoholic stage that friends and family members can begin to see the change in their loved one. The person affected will begin to remove themselves from daily activities such as work and other social engagements as a result of being hung over or needing to drink. They begin to lose concept of what is appropriate and what is not and will begin drinking whenever necessary whether at work, in front of children, or elsewhere. Physical symptoms are typically increased irritability, argumentative, and aggressive. Some of the changes to the physical appearance could be facial redness, bloating, weight gain/loss, or sluggishness. However, during this middle stage is also when the abuser will try to seek help through support groups and other treatment options but will likely fail a few times.

Late Alcoholic

Last in the stages of an alcoholic is the late stage. Drinking has consumed their daily life and taken over their social life. At this point they have likely lost their jobs, and isolated themselves from others. There are diseases that can occur that might include cirrhosis of the liver and/or dementia. During this stage it is also common to see paranoia and anxiety. It is at this point that the stages can become fatal and long lasting which is why if you or a loved one has reached this stage it is time to get help.

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