Alcoholism doesn’t happen overnight. If so, it would be easy to identify and easy to treat. Instead, alcoholism slowly progresses over months, years, or even decades. The stages of alcoholism can occur so slowly that addiction may seem normal by the time a person has a problem.
For this reason, it is important to identify the stages of alcoholism. Doing so can help you end an addiction before it destroys you or someone’s life. Let’s take a closer look below at the four stages of alcohol addiction.
What Are the Stages of Alcoholism?
The four stages of chronic alcoholism include:
Stage 1: Social Drinking or Light Drinking
Having a few beers with some friends on occasion is hardly a cause for alarm. However, for some casual drinking lays the groundwork for substance abuse. The important thing to notice at this stage is that the drinking may progress. Eventually, the occasional get together may turn into a weekly bender, and then a daily drink.
This is how alcoholism slowly progresses. You may slowly start finding more reasons to drink such as:
- A Friday gathering at the bar
- A way to wind down at the end of a busy day
- Finding a reason to celebrate the otherwise mundane events
- Drinking to relieve your depression or anxiety
Stage 2: Inability to Say No to a Drink
You may get to a point where every time you have the opportunity to drink, you may dive headlong into it instead of saying. This is also known as the early stages of alcoholism. You or others may start to notice behaviors that are attributed to your drinking.
For instance, you may experience your first blackout and wake up the next morning with no memory of it. You may also hide or bend the truth about your drinking. Furthermore, drinking starts to become the centerpiece of your life. You start to grow uncomfortable with your drinking. However, you’ll still drink when alcohol is in front of you.
Stage 3: Your Problem Becomes Obvious to Others
Alcoholics are typically the last people to realize they have a problem. Even if they do admit it, someone else generally has to point it out. At this stage, you are in the middle of alcoholism. You may get to the point where you can’t drink without getting drunk.
As a result, you exhibit destructive behavior that is dangerous to you or others. Your friends or family may no longer want to be around you because you drink too much – even when there is no reason to drink at all. People have approached you about your problem, but you continue to brush them off. You also continue to get worse.
Stage 4: Full-Blown Alcoholism
At this stage, the effects of chronic heavy drinking are starting to take their toll. The effects of full-blown alcoholism are obvious including:
- You lost your job
- You are facing financial problems
- Your spouse may have left you
- You experience health or psychological problems
- You continue to drink regardless of the consequences
At this point, you are on the verge of hitting rock bottom. When that happens, you are ready to get professional help at an alcohol addiction treatment center in Texas.
Learn More About the Stages of Alcoholism
You may have gone through the four stages of alcoholism and are looking for help. Right Step Houston is here to get you on the right track. We offer detox, rehab, and aftercare for alcohol and drug addiction. To find out more about our treatment services, call us at 1.844.768.0169.