End Stage Alcoholism: What is it?
Alcoholism progresses in stages.
It develops over a long period of time.
End-stage alcoholism is the final stage of alcoholism.
Alcoholism progresses in stages. It doesn’t just become severe overnight: it develops over a long period of time as the person continues abusing alcohol.
End-stage alcoholism is the final stage of alcoholism. It is when serious mental health and medical issues begin to appear, potentially leading to lasting consequences or even death. This stage is the most destructive. Typically, when an individual reaches the end stage of alcoholism, it is because they have been abusing alcohol for years.
At this point, people who have spent years drinking excessively will have already developed numerous physical and mental health conditions in addition to their alcohol use disorder. Major organs in their body may already be damaged.
End-stage alcoholism also suggests that the person is already suffering from the social consequences of their condition. It is common for alcoholics in this stage to lose their job, ruin their relationships, lose friends, go through divorce, etc.
The Stages of Alcoholism
Before it reaches the end stage, it is important for the individual to recognize their drinking problem. Learning about the different stages of alcoholism can go a long way. Alcoholism can be broken down into six categories: social drinking, binge drinking, heavy drinking, alcohol dependency, addiction, and end stage alcoholism.
Social drinking is the least threatening level of drinking. Sometimes it does not even lead to alcohol abuse. Many people have a few drinks with their friends and never develop a problem with drinking. However, for others, social drinking is the first stage towards alcoholism.
When social drinking develops into binge drinking, this is when problems start developing. Binge drinking is a very common practice. In fact, one in six American adults practices binge drinking. Binge drinking is when a person consumes excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period of time.
This generally refers to four drinks for women, and five drinks for men, within about two hours. Binge drinking signals the threat of future heavy drinking or alcohol abuse. Alcohol poisoning can also occur after binge drinking, which puts the person at risk of severe health effects.
Heavy drinking is the third stage of alcoholism. At this stage, the person has taken too much of a liking to alcohol. Heavy drinking is defined as drinking large amounts of alcohol more frequently. They may have more than five drinks in two hours, which leads to a lot of serious problems.
Alcohol dependence eventually develops. This is the stage in which the body has adjusted to the constant presence of alcohol. At this point, the drinker needs alcohol to feel “normal”. They may experience serious withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. They also feel intense cravings for alcohol. Alcohol dependence often has an underlying emotional or mental motivation.
Alcohol addiction is the fifth stage. It is when a person drinks compulsively, even when they are already suffering from its adverse effects. They will seek out alcohol and be unable to stop themselves.
Finally, end-stage alcoholism is the point where the alcoholic is experiencing very serious health and mental issues.
Keep in mind that at any stage, the person is always at risk of alcohol’s negative health effects. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to overdose, organ damage, and death. Not to mention that alcohol abuse can lead to accidents on the road, or even criminal activity.
Health Complications and End Stage Alcoholism
The final stage of alcoholism comes with a number of health complications. The liver becomes damaged—and possibly permanently. The liver suffers from inflammation, leading to liver scarring. The result of liver damage is often liver disease or cirrhosis.
Because it is a vital organ, the damaged liver can cause other complications within the body. In fact, the liver is responsible for over 500 tasks that ensure the body is functioning properly.
Heart problems and stroke may also stem from chronic alcohol abuse in the end stage of alcoholism. The person also faces the risks of dementia and cancer. Even brain damage and hepatitis are possible.
It is important to note that no matter what stage of alcoholism the person is in, they can still regain their sobriety and learn how to live a healthy life. This is only through the help of medical professionals, however.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.