For example, pre-alcoholism turns into beginning-stage alcoholism faster for some people. Family history can be used to predict how fast someone progresses through each stage if there’s a family history of alcohol abuse. Alcohol use disorder is a progressive disease that includes a beginning, middle, and end stage, which can result in life-threatening health conditions.
In the brain, alcohol abuse can decrease brain mass and damage areas of the brain responsible for mood and memory. Late-stage alcoholism also increases the risk of alcohol-related dementia, which is fatal. Alcoholism can also cause liver failure, which is fatal without a liver transplant. Alcoholism is a progressive addiction, which gets worse when people abuse alcohol for long periods. The latter stage comes with deadly consequences that include damage to the heart, brain, kidneys, and liver.
Can Alcoholism Cause Organ Failure?
When a person has become an alcoholic, they begin to exhibit a variety of behaviors that have a negative impact on their health and personal and professional lives. For example, alcoholics will continue to drink despite it causing them negative consequences. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ Coping with alcoholic dementia can be difficult for a person who is experiencing it, as well as for their loved ones. When the individual does not consume alcohol regularly, they may experience withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of each stage can aid you in seeking help before your problem turns into dependence and addiction. But when alcohol consumption gets out of control, you may find yourself on a dangerous path toward addiction. Edmund has an extensive background in addiction research and medical writing, working collaboratively with doctors, substance use disorder specialists, and clinical experts across all content on Recovered. The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care.
The 3 Stages of Alcoholism
E. Morton Jellinek, a pioneer in the study of alcohol abuse and dependence, suggested “progressive phases of alcoholism” in 1950, which led to the Jellinek curve, which is still widely used. Knowing what AUD looks like is the first step in combating it. Compulsive behaviors are prominent in addiction, and 3 stages of alcoholism people with alcohol addiction often drink whenever and wherever they desire. Drinking large amounts of alcohol at one time is dangerous, and can even lead to coma or death. Furthermore, you may become dependent on the feeling you get from drinking and find that these episodes increase in frequency.
During end-stage alcoholism, some people may develop involuntary rapid eye movement (nystagmus) or a thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency that results in weakness or paralysis of the eye muscles. This can also play a role in the development of alcoholic dementia. During the middle stage of alcoholism, symptoms become apparent to friends and family members. You may start missing work or important social events because of drinking issues or hangovers. Depending on how long alcohol has been abused, someone can suffer from one or all of these problems. For this reason, it’s important to seek alcoholism treatment sooner rather than later.
Stage 3: Late-Stage or End-Stage Alcoholism
They may not be addicted to alcohol physically yet, but emotional dependence on drinking is there. The person’s physical appearance won’t change, but they may be “hung over” due to excessive alcohol use all the time. They will then explain they were just looking for a good time, which involved drinking. Treatment of alcoholism in this stage is relatively challenging because of the heavy denial that is present and the psychological dependence on alcohol. If you think a family member or loved one might be showing signs, signals or symptoms of alcoholism, know that it won’t “go away” on its own.
An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help. If you’re concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person. Being at a later stage can make recovery more challenging, but recovery is possible at any stage of alcoholism.
Support for Me and My Family
Alcohol withdrawal can begin within hours of ending a drinking session. Visible signs of alcoholism may become apparent during middle-stage alcoholism. The overwhelming need for the body to operate with alcohol in the system begins to put the disease in the driver’s seat. As the stage progresses, the disease takes hold and develops into middle-stage alcoholism. A person with early-stage alcoholism may also exhibit a high tolerance to alcohol.
- Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections–even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
- An employer who appreciates his staff’s quality work will want someone struggling with alcoholism to go to rehab and get healthy again.
- By the time you reach the later stages, you have at the very least, a dependence on alcohol.
- While end-stage diseases are normally terminal, there is no clinically recognized condition called end-stage alcoholism.
Blood alcohol levels peak about minutes later, and within a few hours, the alcohol will be broken down through metabolism and the liver. In healthy adults, the liver can process about one alcoholic drink per hour. Intoxication occurs when the blood alcohol levels rise faster than the rate at which the liver can metabolize the alcohol. Most addiction professionals agree that an at-home detox or “going cold turkey” is never advisable. The best practice would be to talk with an addiction counselor or mental health professional about safe options to detox from alcohol. At HVRC, we offer a full continuum of care, from acute medical detoxification to sober living programs.