What Are The Stages of Alcoholism?
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Peace Valley Recovery is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to provide patient-centered care that focuses on healing and recovery from addiction. This blog provides information, news, and uplifting content to help people in their recovery journey.
Alcoholism doesn’t develop in a day. It isn’t something that comes about overnight. In reality, alcohol addiction is a progressive condition. What starts as casual drinking advances into dependence and addiction over time. The majority of people who struggle with alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), took months or years to reach that point.
Additionally, no two individuals have identical reasons that lead them to develop alcohol use disorder. Despite the variation in specific causes and timeframes from person to person, the disease itself follows a pattern.
If you or your loved ones need help to identify the signs of problem drinking, four stages of alcoholism have been identified: pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, chronic alcoholic, and end-stage alcoholism. These categories were developed because it’s vital to help people understand alcoholism as an illness rather than a moral failing.
If you can identify with one or two stages, please understand that alcoholism is a progressive disease. People rarely spend an indefinite time in the early stages of alcoholism; it almost always progresses eventually.
Additionally, the DSM 5 journal indicates 11 diagnostic criteria for determining the presence of an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol abuse of any kind puts people at a greater risk of developing more serious problems over time. Someone who experiences even 2 of the 11 criteria qualifies as having a mild disorder. 6 or more criteria denote a chronic alcohol use disorder, otherwise known as alcoholism.
What does the progression through the stages of alcoholism look like?