Stages of Alcoholism Atlanta, Georgia Addiction & Detox Program

The stages of alcoholism are a helpful tool to help determine the progression of alcoholism but they are by no means a rule. They outline the typical trajectory of alcoholism to reveal the steady decline from social to chronic alcohol use. The further someone’s drinking progresses, the easier it becomes to notice their lack of control. Middle-stage alcoholism is when their drinking problem reaches more serious levels.

alcoholism stages

It can quickly become a cycle of negative alcohol consumption that may be impossible for them to overcome on their own. Middle-stage alcoholism occurs when a person starts to prioritize drinking above their relationships, their career, and/or their education. This is also the stage where treatment for drinking can be the most beneficial. This is because the impact of drinking on their better health has typically not progressed to a level that can’t be reversed with healthy lifestyle changes. When a person has progressed to this stage, their drinking habits start to become noticeable to friends and loved ones. Some people are good at hiding their drinking or lying about the extent of their drinking.

Valliant’s Model of Alcohol Abuse

As increased drinking continues, you become more dependent on alcohol and are at risk of developing alcoholism. Using alcohol during adolescence (from preteens to mid-20s) may affect brain development, making it more likely that they will be diagnosed with AUD later in life. However, most people with AUD—no matter their age or the severity of their alcohol problems—can benefit from treatment with behavioral health therapies, medications, or both. It also includes the journey of alcohol addiction and into recovery. He outlines the ways people can recover from their problematic drinking behaviors. And you can shift from the downward spiral of alcoholism and toward the upward trajectory at any point.

  • To understand how alcoholism works, it’s important for people to be aware of the stages of alcoholism.
  • When a person enters this phase, the long-term effects of heavy drinking start to become impossible to hide.

As a person with a high tolerance continues to drink heavily, their body adapts to the presence of alcohol. After ongoing heavy use, the body may develop a physical dependence. A person with a dependence may go through withdrawal symptoms without a certain level of alcohol in their body. When the normally high level of alcohol in a person’s body sober house begins to drop, they may feel physically ill. They may only feel well when they maintain a consistent level of alcohol in their bloodstream. The center is conveniently located in Houston, Texas, and is led by experienced master’s level counselors and medical professionals who specialize in personalized treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.

Cardiovascular Health

In Texas, 18.7% of adults (consistent with nation-wide results) reported binge drinking in the past 30 days or excessive use weekly. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks for a female and five or more for a male in two hours. Excessive or chronic use, for purposes of the study, was considered eight or more drinks for women and 15 or more for men. The line in which it passes from a harmless pastime to a life-threatening problem can sometimes be blurry. By examining behavior and possible signs of an alcohol use disorder, one can get a clearer picture if they have a problem, or to help a friend or loved one who may not see the signs in themselves.

  • At this point, the person feels that they must drink to go about their day.
  • By the time a person is in end-stage alcoholism, there can be no denying that drinking has taken over their life and damaged their health.
  • Teens and young adults feel pressure to drink in excess in order to fit in.
  • During the first stage of alcoholism, the person is experimenting with alcohol.

As the drinking progressed, he found that his research subjects would reach a point where they were no longer drinking for social reasons, they were drinking for psychological reasons. Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition involving frequent or heavy alcohol use. People with alcohol use disorder can’t stop drinking, even when it causes problems, emotional distress or physical harm to themselves or others. Using a variety of alcohol addiction therapies, we help you heal inside and out.

Online Therapy

Delirium tremens, which is mentioned above, is one of the most dangerous ones. Those who try to quit will often experience painful and overwhelming symptoms, and these withdrawal symptoms can even become life-threatening. Often times, these individuals may not even realize that they have a drinking problem either.

This includes issues such as liver cirrhosis, more severe withdrawal, polysubstance abuse, and suicide. Reaching the ‘end’ stage of alcoholism can sound frightening, and it is. This stage means, without intervention, early death can be likely.

Warning signs may include notable interpersonal conflicts, drinking every day or multiple times throughout the day, or changing to friend groups that enable drinking habits. In 2019, nearly 14.5 million individuals age 12 and older struggled with alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the United States. Despite the wide range of consequences it can cause, drinking alcohol remains a widely acceptable and normalized behavior. AUD is a complex and chronic illness that affects how an individual thinks, acts and behaves. No one is born with AUD; it develops from a combination of risk factors.

Learn why is ecstasy addictive and the suggested treatment for addiction. It is considered binge drinking of men when they consume more than five drinks in a two-hour window. What might seem harmless at first can get worse if it’s not treated. Drinking large amounts of alcohol at one time is dangerous, and can even lead to coma or death.


Addicts suffering from built-up chemical dependency experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms. To avoid potentially fatal complications, medically supervised alcohol detox is essential. People with alcohol addiction physically crave the substance and are often inconsolable until they start drinking again. Alcohol addiction is characterized by a physical and psychological need to drink.

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