7 Stages of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a process that begins before the first drink and often ends in death. The seven stages of alcohol addiction development can be subverted at any time with alcohol rehab and addiction treatment. Don’t let your alcohol addiction get to a crisis point before you call.

Alcohol Addiction Stage 1: Abstinence

Yes, alcohol addiction can begin well before you take your first drink. If you have a genetic predisposition to develop addiction or if you have attitudes and perceptions consistent with what addicts typically exhibit, your alcohol addiction can start before you begin drinking.

Alcohol Addiction Stage 2: Initial Use

This can mean experimental use, occasional use of alcohol or very occasional binge drinking (i.e., once or twice a year). Initial use of alcohol is not necessarily problematic for the user or those who love him or her. Though the occasional drinking experience may cause problems while he or she is under the influence or the next day during a hangover, it isn’t yet at the stage of addiction.

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Alcohol Addiction Stage 3: High Risk Use

illustration of whiskey bottle and tumblerHigh risk use of alcohol means lots of drinking and bad choices made under the influence. The pattern and frequency of alcohol abuse is high enough in this stage that it is dangerous for the drinker and those around them.

Alcohol Addiction Stage 4: Problematic Use

Problematic use of alcohol is when the negative consequences of drinking begin to be evident. The first health effects are noticed including issues with liver function or sexual transmitted diseases. DUI charges may occur or other legal issues due to drinking and making poor decisions. This is often the first time that those close to the alcoholic begin to notice that there is a problem.

Alcohol Addiction Stage 5: Early Stage of Dependency

The early stage of alcohol addiction is characterized by noticeable issues with the drug. Missing work starts to happen as do fights with family members while under the influence. Occasionally the alcoholic will choose to drink despite negative consequences. This stage is the best time for alcohol rehab because early treatment is most effective.

Alcohol Addiction Stage 6: Middle Stage of Dependency

female coworker comforting struggling male coworker at a conference tableDuring the middle stage of alcoholism, negative consequences begin to compound themselves. Missing work multiple times results in losing the job. Too many fights due to alcohol abuse results in the end of the relationship. The consequences of alcoholism begin to pile up and the negative effects are irreversible.

Alcohol Addiction Stage 7: Crisis Stage of Dependency

When alcohol addiction has reached a crisis point, the effects of alcoholism are clear to everyone, including the alcoholic. Serious health problems are at issue and the alcoholic is rarely without a drink. He or she will usually believe that no one can tell that they are drunk, but few are fooled. The end of this stage is almost always an alcohol-related death if alcohol rehab is not chosen.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at The Canyon

The Canyon at Peace ParkThe only way to break free from alcohol addiction is to choose alcohol rehab. You do not need to wait until you or your loved one is living in stage 7 of alcohol addiction. Rather, the moment you know that alcohol addiction has reached a crisis point, the alcohol rehab at The Canyon is a medically appropriate choice. Don’t let alcohol destroy your body, your mind and your life for another day. Call 424-387-3118 now.


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By Wendy Lee Nentwig, Contributing Writer

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