In the USA, drinking alcohol is very common. It’s one of the country’s most widely utilized narcotics, in fact. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that among Americans aged 12 and up, 62.3% reported drinking alcohol within the previous 12 months. Learning what alcohol addiction is and the different stages of alcohol addiction is crucial in the fight against alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Addiction: What is It?
Alcohol addiction, medically described as alcohol use disorder (AUD), develops when a person’s drinking habits spiral out of control despite the toll they take on their personal, professional, physical, and mental well-being. Alcohol addiction is commonly referred to as “alcoholism” or “alcohol abuse” among the general public. Such language is both outdated and stigmatizing; it serves to promote the concept that addiction is a moral failing rather than a medical issue, and it discourages those who are struggling with alcohol addiction from seeking treatment. In 2021, 29.5 million Americans aged 12 and above would have tested positive for alcohol use disorder. However, just 1.4 million of them actually got help for their alcoholism. Fear of being judged is one of the numerous reasons people give for not seeking treatment.
Stages of Alcohol Addiction
- Stage 1: Moderate and Occasional Drinking
At this stage, people often start drinking alcohol in small, manageable amounts at the beginning of their alcohol use. This could include drinking at social gatherings or celebrating a milestone with a few drinks. Drinking at this stage does not appear like an issue, and it may even be considered as a means to unwind and enjoy oneself.
- Stage 2: Elevated Tolerance
Tolerance to alcohol’s effects can develop over time and with regular consumption. This means that people need to drink more alcohol to get the same high they used to get from lower doses. The development of a tolerance to alcohol can encourage excessive drinking.
- Stage 3: Dependence
During the dependence stage, the brain and body have adjusted to the constant presence of alcohol. At this stage, withdrawals are common when one tries to limit or stop their drinking. Withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, mood outbursts, sweating, nausea, and shaking.
- Stage 4: Addiction
Becoming completely dependent on alcohol is the final stage of alcoholism. Addiction is characterized by a persistent desire to drink alcohol despite adverse effects in social, occupational, and health domains. Relationship troubles, poor performance at work or school, trouble with the law, and even physical illness are all possible outcomes.
Receive The Help That You Deserve at Skyward Treatment Center in Houston, Texas.
The growing hold of alcohol addiction calls for a nuanced approach, and we at Skyward Treatment Center are here to help you find that path. Our Houston-based institution recognizes the complex nature of alcohol addiction, providing comprehensive care for individuals at every stage. Start your journey to sobriety off right with a medically supervised detox. Withdrawal symptoms can be controlled by the medications provided in our facility, under the care of our qualified medical staff.
After the initial phase of treatment, patients have a wide variety of options, from intensive inpatient rehab lasting 30 days to the more mobile Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and specialist dual diagnosis treatment. Our comprehensive approach integrates evidence-based therapies like Medication-Assisted Treatment, Psychotherapy, Group and Individual Counseling, and Family Therapy, encouraging a holistic recovery experience.
Call Skyward Treatment Center today to take the first, crucial step toward a life without alcohol. Get the help you need right away to start rebuilding your hope and strength. This is the first step on the road to recovery.