Alcoholism develops in three stages. This disease can take many years to develop into a full blown addiction. Alcoholism begins when the drinker’s physical and mental health become affected and ruled by alcohol. At this point they have gone from drinking to alcoholism.
The early stages of alcoholism usually go unnoticed by not only friends and family but also the drinker. A person begins drinking in this stage for new reasons such as daily stress or a personal or professional problem. They may drink to change their mood or avoid the one they are currently feeling.
By the middle stage the drinker progresses to no longer needing a reason to drink and may even create reasons to justify having a drink. Now he or she is drinking way over socially and legally tolerable limits. They drink until reaching a point of control loss or even blackouts. Drinking may have led to a DUI. With signs being apparent, friend and family are aware of a problem with drinking. Should they try to intervene, the drinker becomes angry when the issue of drinking is mentioned and many times denies there is a problem. The drinker feels they can stop any time they want to and may even try. Alcohol has become such a part of the physical and mental part of the drinker’s life that should they try to quit, the craving and desire to keep drinking is overwhelming.
The advanced stages of alcoholism include friends and family of the alcoholic being appalled at the self destruction the drinker is engaging in. There is damage to internal organs, and the body and mind is slipping away. Anyone who tries to talk the drinker into quitting is wasting his time. These efforts are falling on deaf ears.
At this point it is going to take a catastrophic event to get the alcoholic to decide he or she really wants to stop drinking. At this advanced stage when the drinker makes a sincere attempt to stop drinking, he or she will find out that the addiction has completely taken hold, and there will be extreme withdrawal symptoms.
It is very difficult to overcome an addiction to alcohol. Many alcoholics are able to get well, and some no matter how hard they try just can’t stop drinking. Alcohol is extremely powerful and too formidable for some, making this a battle they won’t be able to win. Regardless, it is all-important to never quit quitting.