Understanding The Various Stages Of Alcoholism: When Does It Become Dangerous?

By Juliet D'cruz

If you are unsure about the stages of alcoholism and when it becomes dangerous, you’re not alone. This guide will help you understand them so you can make a decision on when help is needed. This issue is something that should be addressed sooner rather than never.

Alcoholism has been known to affect personal and professional relationships. It can also be hazardous to your health. If you or someone you know may be dealing with alcoholism, an inpatient treatment in New York may be your best option.

Successful treatment for alcoholism starts with you. It can save yours or someone else’s life. We will talk about each stage of alcoholism and the signs you need to look out for in case you need confirmation. With that in mind, let’s get started:

The Pre-Alcoholic Stage

This one is difficult to spot since this is only the beginning. You will notice that alcohol is part of this person’s life in a minor way. They may be drinking to relax after a stressful day.

Some may even use it to help themselves in social situations (since there is a saying known as ‘liquid courage’). Either way, people at this stage will begin to rely on alcohol as a tool to cope with stress or become more social.

At this point, they can choose to remain in this stay or live a life without alcohol. Again, it’s tough to spot. But if you notice them drinking alcohol at any get-together or when they feel stressed, that’s when you’ll get a good idea that they are pre-alcoholics.

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Early-Stage Alcoholism

This is known as the prodromal phase. At this stage, a person will usually be drinking multiple times in the span of hours. Females may drink up to four times in two hours while males tend to have at least five within that same time period.

This is where they are starting to gain more momentum on their drinking habit. It may be easy to ignore, however this is where things can go a bit too far. You may want to consider this one of the dangerous stages of alcoholism (assuming you catch it soon enough).

Just because someone is an early-stage alcoholic doesn’t mean they’ll be drinking every day or week. However, they will use it often if they are out and about. It may be under the pretense that they are having a good time

If someone is speaking to you and noticing that there appears to be a potential alcohol issue, please heed those words. Someone may have a good eye for a person that could be on the verge of a downward spiral due to alcohol. The sooner you act on it, the better things may be for yourself and the person you love that may already be an alcoholic.

The underlying context you want to spot here is that they won’t go through the day or night without alcohol. This can also open the gates for a much more serious problem that may be noticeable.

Middle Alcoholic Phase

At this point, this is where alcoholism can be a little easier to spot. Some people may try to hide it, but fail to do so. It can become quite obvious that a drinking problem is occurring.

Some in this phase may begin to drink at inappropriate times. For example, they may sneak in small bottles of alcohol and consume it while at work. From there, they may not be in the best state in being productive.

The person’s mood will be irritable and they may have communication issues with those around them. Plus, they will start drinking more in order to achieve the effects they have experienced in the early stages.

This can get to the point where they may pass out intoxicated. You will also need to be on the lookout for any noticeable changes including stomach bloating, facial redness, sweating, lapse in memory, sweating, and shaking.

You may also notice that people will put drinking before other priorities in their life such as their family, education, or even their job. This is where you want to consider getting them the treatment they need and fast.

The sooner you get them treatment, the better things may be. Otherwise, it may end up reaching this next stage.

End-Stage Alcoholism

This is the final stage of alcoholism. It’s also the most dangerous point where treatment is an absolute must. This is where alcohol abuse will be obvious.

This is where people can drink all hours of the day. It can bleed in all other areas of their lives as well. They’ll be in financial trouble, have strained relationships with their family, may face potential job loss, and life for them may not be in the best shape.

They may deal with depression, irritability, and all kinds of health problems such as liver damage. Of course, end-stage alcoholism will be easy to spot for these reasons. It’s important that they not only receive treatment, but also get a check up done as well to survey the damage alcohol has done to their body.

Alcohol-related illnesses include but are not limited to cancer and cirrhosis. These illnesses can be fatal if they are not treated properly. There is no other choice to help them get the treatment they need both for their mental and physical well-being.

Final Thoughts

If you notice any stages of alcoholism in someone you know, they need help as soon as possible. The farther they are in terms of stages, the more serious it will be. Likewise, the sooner you identify the signs of the early stages, it may be easier for them to get the treatment they need.

Alcohol may be seen as something that can be used every now and then. Yet, beyond that can be grounds for future trouble. You now know the stages of alcoholism and knowing where a person may be in that regard.

Remember, you are not alone and help is always available when needed.  

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