4 Stages of Alcoholism You Need To Know

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Before starting to take a deep insight to different stages of alcoholism, let’s figure out the definition of alcohol drinks:

  • Ethanol is an ingredient produced by fermented mixture of fruits, grains and other types of sugar.
  • And alcoholic drink is a kind of drink which contains a certain amount of ethanol.

Meaning of alcoholism

Alcoholism is the most serious form in highest level of excessive alcohol consumption. Within alcoholism, people abuse drinking and lost control to manage their drinking habits.


A kind of alcoholic drink - Image from StockNation

In alcoholism status, although drinkers may understand that excessive drinking will show bad results and cause different diseases, they still always desire to drink without control.

Stages of alcoholism

An alcoholism must experience different medical conditions through 4 main stages:

#1. Pre-alcoholism

Pre-alcoholism is the beginning stage. In this stage, there is no any signs related to changes in health condition, both about physical and emotional in patients. However, they ignore the risks from excessive alcohol intake.

Alcohol drinks become the first choice of them in every meal. And they consider alcohol consumption is the best way for relieving pains or stresses.


People in pre-alcoholic stage have not developed physical tolerance

Excessive alcohol intake appears most popularly in young generation, who are under a lot of pressures from work and study. It also happens to those who overcome a traumatic event. They always tend to drink every time they fall into a down mood.

Sometimes, the stage of pre-alcoholism appears in a long time before the drinker starts to becomes an alcoholism. This sign is very dangerous because it can distribute to destroy the normal sense about drinking and set the human body up to the first stage of alcoholism.

Pre-alcoholism do not show any signs, therefore it goes undetected for a long period of time. When it starts to appear, it may contain these following symptoms:

  • Having alcohol intake in a high frequency, usually at the same time of the day
  • Drinking alone
  • Drinking becomes the best reliever for pains or stresses

#2. Early alcoholism stage

Early alcoholism is considered as the first stage in development of alcoholism. When in this stage, the drinkers also suffer the first stage of alcohol addiction.

In this stage, drinkers will lose the ability to control the amount of alcohol consumption. Hence, patients will feel really hard to resist drinking. And the tolerance of alcohol intake grows constantly during this stage.

Your body will get used to a certain amount of alcohol intake. It’s when you have to drink more than times to satisfy your drinking want. The term of drinking always appears in your mind and alcohol consumption becomes an obsession to you.


Drinkers at this stage will frequently desire to drink at any situations

The thought of drinking appears in a high rate in drinker’s mind. They always want to know when they will be able to drink or when will be their next drink. And that thought turns into frequent desire.

It is hard to detect this early-alcoholism stage. If it is recognized, the symptoms may include:

  • Desire for drinking becomes indispensable part of the day
  • Alcohol drinks become the first solution for relieving pain or stress
  • Ability of memorizing decreases after drinking
  • Reduce productivity in work or study
  • Difficulty sticking to predetermined drinking limits
  • Frequently fall into binge condition
  • Stress forms from high frequency of alcohol consumption

With a large amount of alcohol intake, the body encounters many troubles in handling. Therefore, from this point, a more serious stage is formed.

#3. Middle alcoholism

The main feature of this middle stage is the loss of control in alcohol consumption. A lot of signs will be showed in this stage, including the visible physical condition and social effects.


You may show many negative effects in work or study due to your frequent alcohol intake. You will also drink while doing another thing such as driving or taking care of your child.

Excessive drinking will partly change your characteristics, leading to arguments with your spouse or friends. Alcohol abuse will cause bad impacts on daily life.

Drinkers in the middle stage of alcoholism begin to experience different physical impacts including:

  • Patients will fall into binge or drunken behaviors
  • Frequent headaches, nausea, muscle tremors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Always be ready to drink in all time of the day
  • Loss of interest in former (non-drinking) favorite activities
  • Frequent anxiety, depression or mood swings
  • Attempting to hide one’s drinking from intimates
  • Making unkeepable promises to limit drinking but can’t do any
  • Obvious deterioration in job performance, social behavior and self-care
  • Spending money on drink when it was budgeted for other things

Your anxiety is actually increasing as the way alcohol does progressively more damage to the brain and body. Nutrition is negatively affected, leading to depletion of important vitamins and minerals.

#4. Late alcoholism

Drinkers in the late stage of alcoholism suffer different serious health damages but keep drinking as their top priority in life.

The bad effects of long-term excessive alcohol intake are showed during this stage. Health condition becomes more serious. However, drinkers still keep drinking and regarding alcohol as the first priority in their life.


Alcoholism leads your life into a short path

Alcohol becomes the most necessary thing in their life. They always think about alcohol, desire and find out reasons to use it. All their daily activities, even their plans are left behind.

As the last stage in alcoholism formation, it is easy to realize the differences and changes in their behaviors and daily activities. There are some most popular symptoms for the most serious stage of alcoholism:

  • Totally lost control over drinking
  • Intense physical cravings for alcohol
  • Always think about the next drink
  • Being unable to get through even one day without multiple drinks
  • Signs of memories loss
  • Job loss or repeated warnings about reduced performance

At this stage, the body with excessive alcohol amount witnesses the significant functional decrease. Liver cells lack the ability in generation of bone, tissue and blood.

The liver faces to struggles in nutrients balance, lead to difficulty in supplying nutrients to the body. Nutritional deficiency constantly damages mental aspects including emotional stability, biological clock , and even mental confusion. Continuous deficiency can lead to the formation of central nervous system diseases in extreme cases.


It is obvious that your health will get much worse in this stage. However, even the last stages of alcoholism can be helped with therapy, detoxification, and rehabilitation.

Balanced alcohol consumption - Good health


Alcoholism can have serious impacts on your health, your daily activities, and even your relationships. Be careful with your drinking level to avoid unexpected events!


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