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What are Early Stages of Alcoholism?

We can divide alcohol into three or four stages

  • Pre-Alcoholism
  • Stage 1: Early Alcoholism
  • Stage 2: Middle Alcoholism
  • Stage 3: Late Alcoholism.

Before the First Stage – Pre-Alcoholism

Alcoholism begins with Pre-Alcoholism. At this point, friends and family excuse of alcohol abuse. Our society generally accepts mild alcohol abuse, especially among adolescents and those going through hard times. Teens and young adults feel pressure to drink in excess in order to fit in. Adults who did not previously drink as much, may turn to alcohol after a traumatic event or while grieving. In any case, the person drinks more than normal. A tolerance to alcohol develops, and they end up drinking more to achieve the same level of drunkenness. This behavior is dangerous because it damages neural pathways, setting the body up for the first stage of alcoholism.

Stage 1 – Early Alcoholism

In the medically world, an alcohol abuser’s first black-out signals the beginning of Early Alcoholism stage. People within the early alcoholism are aware that their drinking is “a little” out of hand. Most alcoholics strive to hide the extent of their drinking: spiking normal beverages, mixing stiffer drinks, drinking earlier in the day or pre-gaming, and so on. Drinking becomes a frequent thought in a person’s head; Will there be alcohol at the event? When can I drink next? Where can I get a drink? How can I bring alcohol? Early stage alcoholics don’t all drink for the same reason, but they all seek the mood-altering substance to feel differently than they do sober. Some drink to numb feelings about an event, others drink to feel more acutely.

As early stage alcoholics continue to drink, their tolerance for alcohol also continues to grow. Tolerance means the body becomes used to a certain amount of alcohol. It takes four or five drinks to feel as drunk as two drinks used to feel.  They begin to drink more in order to achieve the desired mood-altering effect.  However, the body can only handle so much alcohol. The alcohol may not feel the effects of alcohol, but their motor skills and judgment are still impaired. At this point, life begins to unravel, and the next stage of alcoholism sets in.

What to do if you or a loved one is in Early Stage Alcoholism

Early alcoholism is not the out-of-control alcoholic. It is the beginning of what could be a terrible journey for the alcoholic, his or her family, and friends. Fortunately, it is easier to recover from early alcoholism than the later ones. An in-depth look at the causes will give you or your loved one the best chance at a long-term recovery from Alcoholism. Group therapy, professional counseling, or a combination of both will set you in the right direction. Sobriety may require more than remaining alcohol free. Alcoholics must find new outlets to cope with trauma, grief, and stress that drove them to drinking in the first place. Counseling and learning new skills may sound scary at first. Many recovery will share their own experiences with fear, but they will also explain how their new community and skills have given them a new found purpose in life.

If you think you or your loved on may be an alcoholic, please call Bradford Health Services to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Related Content:

What is Late Alcoholism?