While many people assume alcohol abuse is harmless, the drug can actually lead to devastating consequences. Across the US, drinking is considered socially acceptable and almost a rite of passage. According to National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 88,000 alcohol-related deaths occur annually in America. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the 4 stages of alcoholism, so proper treatment can be sought before it’s too late.
Stage 1: Occasional Abuse
The occasional drink or two may seem harmless, however, the stages of alcoholism are progressive. For example, going out once a week for drinks could quickly develop into a problem if you use alcohol to treat your mental illness symptoms. Many people are comfortably able to drink every now and then without developing an addiction. However, the risk is always present.
Stage 2: Increased Use and Tolerance Building
With increased use comes tolerance building. The more you drink, the more alcohol it takes to feel the same euphoric effects. Additionally, without your usual drink or two after work, you might start feeling sick. These are often the beginning of alcohol detox symptoms.
Furthermore, you may notice you participate in certain activities as an excuse to continue drinking. For example, you might go out with friends more often, have a drink with dinner every night, or frequently go to your local bars on the weekend.
Stage 3: Problem Drinking
Problem drinking is when your alcohol negatively affects your personal life. The signs your use has become problematic include:
- Frequent fights or arguments with loved ones surrounding your drinking
- Financial struggle
- Job performance problems
- Isolating oneself from friends
At this stage of alcoholism, you’re very much unable to stop drinking. While you may not think you are physically dependent on the drug, it’s obvious it has taken a significant toll on your lifestyle.
Stage 4: Alcohol Addiction and Dependence
Stage four is addiction development. At this point, you need alcohol in order to function normally. Your alcohol abuse is out of control, and you physically and psychologically crave it. For example, at this phase, if you decide to go a day without drinking you may feel extremely sick and depressed. Without help, going through withdrawal from alcohol dependence can be extremely dangerous or potentially fatal.
Stages of Alcoholism Treatment with Steps to Recovery
Fortunately, at Steps to Recovery, we offer alcohol treatment in Pennsylvania. With our 12 step focused programs and comprehensive addiction therapy methods, you’ll reach lasting recovery and fulfillment before you know it. For example, the wide range of programs we use include:
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive Outpatient
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Sober Living
- Alcohol counseling
Stop letting alcohol addiction control your happiness. Help is just around the corner with at Steps to Recovery. Call us today to begin treatment: 866-488-8684