Stages of Alcohol Addiction

Dr. Purushothaman
September 12, 2013

Alcohol is a typical beverage that is consumed in many cultures and countries in the world. While some people may be able to enjoy these kinds of drinks regularly with relatively few negative side effects, others are going to find themselves rapidly losing control of this habit and seeing it transition into a very dangerous dependency. This is why it is vital for all those that drink or have loved ones that drink to take a careful look at the stages of alcohol addiction and some of the effective treatment plans that can be offered by an alcohol rehab center.
The initial stage usually begins with experimentation and very casual use. This can take place at nearly any age and a very high percentage of people will find themselves in this stage. This could be as little as having a glass of wine with dinner with one's family to binge drinking at a party in their younger years. Right after this initial use comes the regular use.
Regular use is what many individuals are going to stay at indefinitely. They can have several drinks in the week or even a small amount daily, still can stop themselves at any point and will never engage in risky behavior or use. What sets the casual drinker apart from the alcoholic is the next stage: risky use.
When an individual finds themselves bridging the gap between these two steps, it can come from any number of reasons. There is no set amount of alcohol or frequency in which it is consumed that can be identified as risky use, but the side effects often become clear as the user will begin to display symptoms that they are forgoing their own health and safety in an attempt to drink alcohol or while under its effects.
The fourth stage is dependence, and this is when this problem can become life threatening. Just as with the previous stage however, individuals may still be totally functional during this stage. Some of the signs may include legal troubles or loss of a job, but not all addicts are going to show these symptoms. Many may be able to control their drinking habits until restricted times, such as evenings and weekends, but they will show anxiety if they cannot drink during these periods.
The final stage is full addiction. Those that are completely addicted will find that their physical and emotional health starts to deteriorate. The user's whole being is focused on finding and drinking alcoholic beverages at all times and continued use will result in increased risks of liver failure, diabetes, and other serious health issues.
Just as with a drug rehab program, alcohol rehab must begin with the user or their family and friends taking that first step and acknowledging the issue does exist, and the finding an effective and comprehensive treatment center to treat the addiction.

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