Alcohol Addiction From Start to Finish
Alcohol addiction doesn’t just happen over night yet still for some it’s just not something that is noticed right away. Alcohol addiction has many stages from the start of alcohol addiction to the final stages which can ultimately result in death. Left untreated, alcohol addiction can become a major crisis for both the alcoholic and the family members or loved ones of the alcoholic. Here’s a look at how alcohol addiction begins – and ends.
Alcohol Addiction Begins with the First Drink
From the very first drink the possibility of alcohol addiction begins. Studies have found that some individuals are genetically predisposed to become addicted to substances especially to alcohol so from the very first drink you take you could be setting yourself up for a long term battle with alcohol addiction. In fact, alcohol addiction may begin before you ever even take a drink if you have certain attitudes or perceptions related to alcohol addiction.
Using alcohol occasionally is the next stage of alcohol addiction. At this point you have taken a drink, you liked it and now you partake in drinking alcohol occasionally. You may even binge drink a few times per year at this point but to this point your alcohol addiction is not fully defined and has not caused any problems for your loved ones or family members. At this time, alcohol addiction is not a big concern…but it will be.
Over time you may begin to drink more regularly or your alcohol abuse may become such that there is a pattern involved. For instance you may now take part in risky behaviors that you only do when you are drinking such as hanging around a bad crowd, driving recklessly or getting mad while intoxicated. This stage of alcohol addiction is still considered alcohol abuse because at this point you are still not drinking regularly and the problems that result from the risky behavior have not become so dire as to hurt anyone…yet.
Now We’ve Got a Problem
Alcohol abuse becomes a problem when negative consequences begin to loom as a result of drinking. You may get in trouble with the law as a result of your alcohol abuse. DUI is likely as is the possibility of other legal problems associated with the alcohol abuse. At this time you are beginning to realize that your drinking is causing problems…or may you aren’t realizing it but your family definitely is!
Alcohol Addiction Really Begins
After you have gotten yourself into trouble as a result of drinking you do one of two things. Either you quit drinking and never make it to the phase of dependency on alcohol or you don’t quit and your alcohol addiction becomes that characterized by dependency similar to a drug addiction. At this time, you may fight with family members about your drinking, you drink even though you know it gets you into trouble and you even miss work as a result of your drinking.
You’re Addicted to Alcohol, Now What?
The middle stages of alcohol addiction include many negative consequences that seem just to loom right around you. You may miss work often and as a result you lose your job. You relationships are suffering dramatically now as a result of your alcohol addiction and you likely fight with your loved ones often. The consequences of your drinking are not only visible on the outside now but internally your body is suffering from liver damage and kidney damage from the long term alcohol abuse. Your alcohol addiction is on a one way street to nowhere now.
Alcohol Addiction Emergency
In the final stages of alcohol addiction you realize (or maybe you don’t realize) that you are now in a state of emergency. Everyone knows that you are an alcoholic, there’s no hiding that now and your are sick if you don’t drink. Your body has become so dependent on alcohol that you may experience shakes, tremors or even seizures as a result of not drinking and therefore you continue to drink to eliminate the feelings of withdrawal from alcohol. At this point in your alcohol addiction you have two choices: Seek treatment for alcohol addiction or ultimately die from a alcohol related cause.