What Are The Three Stages Of Alcoholism?

May 2, 2023

There are three stages of alcoholism, and they all come with their own set of symptoms. Knowing the signs of each stage can help you or a loved one identify if alcohol is impacting their life.

At the early stage, drinking can be an occasional part of someone’s life. However, as they drink more often, they may start to develop a tolerance and dependence on alcohol.

The Early Stage

The early stage of alcoholism involves an individual's experimentation with drinking. This may include occasional use or binge drinking (drinks at parties once or twice a year).

As they continue to drink, they become more dependent on the feeling of intoxication and develop a higher tolerance. This means that they need more alcohol to achieve the same effect.

They also may start to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. This can include hallucinations, seizures and severe pain.

If you have noticed these signs in a loved one, it's crucial to take action. A comprehensive treatment program can help them get their lives back on track and recover from alcohol addiction.

The Middle Stage

During the Middle Stage of alcoholism an individual develops physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. They also begin to increase their alcohol intake in greater frequency and quantity.

They may start to binge drink, which is defined as having multiple drinks within a small window of time. This is a common sign of an alcohol problem as it can be dangerous and lead to a variety of health problems.

People in the Middle Stage of alcoholism often have an increased tolerance to alcohol, meaning that they may not show signs of intoxication as much. They may still be able to hold conversations without stumbling or slurring their words.

They can also have a greater difficulty stopping drinking, and they may experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit on their own. These symptoms can include hallucinations, vomiting, seizures and delirium tremens.

The Late Stage

The Late Stage is the final stage of alcoholism and can be the most severe of all stages. People at this point have long-term physical and mental health problems that can only be treated through medical detox, rehabilitation, and behavioral therapies.

A person at this stage may have a significant financial and legal burden, as well as severe withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit drinking on their own. They may also experience delirium tremens, which is the most dangerous form of withdrawal and can be fatal if not treated.

At this stage of alcoholism, a person’s life is completely consumed with drinking. They may be depressed, unable to function properly, and have serious health issues like liver disease or high blood pressure.

The End Stage

In the end stage of alcoholism, alcohol consumption has become a serious and life-threatening problem. It can negatively impact relationships, work and finances.

It can also cause health problems such as liver disease, cirrhosis and brain damage. It can even lead to death.

Fortunately, it is possible to break this vicious cycle and begin a new, healthy life. The best way to do this is by seeking treatment for your alcohol use disorder at a professional alcohol rehab center.

Early withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, irritability and shaking are common at this stage. The most severe symptoms include delirium tremens (DTs), which can lead to cardiovascular collapse.

Attempting to quit drinking at this stage can result in tremors and hallucinations, but therapy, detox and rehabilitation can help you get your life back. Having a strong support system can make all the difference in getting you on the road to recovery.


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