“If drinking is interfering with your work, you're probably a heavy drinker. If work is interfering with your drinking, you're probably an alcoholic.” The person who made this observation remains unknown to the world, but the observation can unfortunately hold true when it all boils down to quite a large number of people. Alcohol is a substance that a lot of people need to restore sanity in their lives, sadly however, the last thing that alcohol can restore in a person’s life is sanity. For some people however alcohol is just a way of having fun, unwinding or letting loose. Sadly this is not the case with those people, alcoholics rather, whose lives revolve around alcohol. For these people, it’s not about drinking to celebrate a promotion or drinking to mark an anniversary, it's simply all about drinking. This is when ‘alcoholism’ begins to spread its treacherous wings to trick people into believing that it is all going to be okay. Read on to know more on the four stages of alcoholism.
Four Stages Of Alcoholism
The First Stage
The first stage of alcoholism does not involve the phase when a person first starts drinking. It begins when drinking is no longer a social affair. It, in fact, basically begins when the alcohol abuser drinks alcohol as a means to escape from reality. The first stage is a physiological attempt made purely to put at bay inhibitions, problems and worries that otherwise plague a ‘sober’ individual. It’s when an individual doesn’t need a reason to drink, doesn’t need to have friends around when drinking, here it is all about creating an outlet to bid a temporary farewell to reality. One of the most obvious signs of a person’s addiction to alcohol is when the respective individual slowly but steadily increases his or intake of alcohol to get inebriated. In other words, the respective individual will need more alcohol to ‘get high’ or experience the ‘happy high’ Sometimes the individual will even have a drink or two before attending a social do and then drink a lot there too.
The Second Stage
The second stage begins when the alcoholic’s need to drink gets stronger day by day. It’s when the individual is beyond saying no to his or urges. For example, it will be extremely common for the individual during this stage to begin the day with a drink. As strange as it sounds, it is true! The individual’s tolerance to alcohol in this stage is high and hence the need to drink more than usual. Relatives, family members, co-workers and friends will observe that the concerned individual’s life revolves around alcohol. Here, alcohol is as good as an addiction; it’s when the person is referred to as a problem drinker. Noticeable physical symptoms include frequent hangovers, blackouts, hand tremors and stomach ailments. An alcoholic locked in the stage of alcoholism will not realize that the liquid is the root of all evil, but instead will blame the drinking problem on people around and life’s challenges.
The Third Stage
The third stage of alcoholism sees the alcoholic’s loss of control becoming more and more obvious. It’s when the individual intends to have ‘just a drink or two’ but is unable to control his or her urge for more alcohol after the first two rounds and ends up drinking a lot more than intended. The individual basically loses his resolve to say no to drinking, at least so consuming a drink or two. The addiction to alcohol then begins to eat into the life of the alcoholic. The job, the relationship, the hobby, the finance, all suffers due to the individual’s need for alcohol in his or her life.
The Fourth Stage
The fourth and most dreadful stage of alcoholism is characterized by the alcoholic’s chronic loss of control over him or herself. It’s as good as a disease now. In this stage is not even possible for the drinker to maintain a regular job. The drinker will start off with a drink early in the day and will continue throughout the rest of it. Alcohol is lifestyle here. The alcoholic will need alcohol to function normally and go about his or her day. It’s where an individual has no choice but to drink. Here an individual will experience withdrawal symptoms that include tremors or shakes when forcefully stopped from drinking. With the increase in the occurrence of the symptoms, the alcohol under medical supervision will make an attempt to stay away from the alcohol, only to start drinking all over again. It’s like a vicious cycle, a trap which only a very few manage to get the better of.