Learn the Stages of Alcoholism and Start Recovering Today | Find Personalized Treatment and Transportation Options

Most people who become alcoholics do not become addicted to alcohol the first time they take a drink. Like other addictions, alcohol addiction develops in stages, with the addiction growing progressively stronger from one stage to the next. Getting the right help at any of the stages of alcoholism is important for ensuring the safest recovery. Different institutions may define the stages of alcoholism differently, but it’s common to see the process divided into five stages.

Stage One: Exposure to Alcohol

There are different models for the stages of alcohol addiction, but one of the more common ones is the five-stage model. In this scheme, alcohol addiction begins with the mere exposure to alcohol. At this point, the potential addict may not take a drink, but alcohol is available.

Stage Two: Alcohol Experimentation

The second of the five alcoholism stages entails occasional, experimental drinking. At this stage, the potential addict is consuming alcohol every once in a while and may occasionally binge drink. Some people never get beyond the experimental stage, but those who do are at a higher risk of addiction.

Stage Three: Regular Consumption of Alcohol

In the third of five stages of alcohol addiction, drinking has become a regular habit. The drinker is consuming alcohol more frequently and consuming greater amounts to achieve the same effects. The person is becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol just to function.

Stage Four: Chemical Dependency on Alcohol

Dependency is one of the most significant and dangerous stages of alcoholism. The stages of an alcoholic addiction eventually lead to this physical, chemical dependency on alcohol. During this stage, an individual cannot function without a drink because they begin to experience physical symptoms like sweating and tremors without one. Greater quantities of alcohol are consumed, but the drinker has not yet suffered any noticeable disruptions personally or privately. This kind of alcoholic is a functioning alcoholic who is able to hold down a job and continue their daily routines.

Stage Five: Addiction and Alcoholism

The alcoholism stages end in addiction. At this point, the drinker never feels normal unless there is alcohol in the bloodstream and perpetually hunts for the next drink. Alcoholics at stage five often engage in risky behavior such as theft, and they can become belligerent. During stage five of the stages of alcohol abuse, the alcoholic no longer cares about any personal or social problems excessive drinking may cause. The desire to drink is no longer just physical but psychological, too.

Hope for Recovery

Even alcoholics who reach stage five have hope for getting sober when they enroll in a customized alcoholism treatment program. At WhiteSands Treatment Center, we specialize in providing personalized and effective care that can help alcoholics successfully beat their addiction. Our board-certified staff is standing by to help you with detox and recovery. Call today or fill out the contact form for more information.