Alcohol addiction happens progressively. Slowly, you may find yourself drinking more to achieve the desired effect. There are many reasons why people drink. For instance, some individuals use alcohol to escape stress, pressure, or trauma. Recovery from alcoholism is an uphill battle, but it’s possible with the assistance of a top-rated Massachusetts alcohol rehab.
At Baystate Recovery Center, we believe that with second-to-none treatment and support, you can discover a whole new and exciting life without alcohol, and we can help you get there.
The Stages of Alcoholism
Alcoholism doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs in 5 stages.
Stage 1: Occasional Use and Binge Drinking
The first stage is where you start experimenting with alcohol. Usually, this happens in your teen years or early adulthood. Since you’re still new to alcohol and don’t know your limits, you can easily binge drink.
Binge drinking is where you take a lot of alcohol at once. For women, this is four or more drinks; for men, it’s five or more. Some might assume that there's no harm in binge drinking when done rarely. However, it can lead to serious and even life-threatening health risks.
Stage 2: Drinking More
Drinking regularly marks the second stage. During this stage, you tend to use drinking as an excuse to socialize, avoid feeling lonely, relieve stress, and prevent boredom. Drinking all alone is also common. However, you may need to take more alcohol to attain the same effect you did initially. Drinking frequently makes you likely to develop a dependence on alcohol as time goes by.
Stage 3: Problem Drinking
You begin having problems due to drinking in the third stage. Problem drinking is where your drinking causes you social, financial, emotional, and physical issues. Social signs may include:
- A decline in social activity because of erratic behavior
- Relationship problems
- An abrupt change in friends
Problem drinking is also characterized by sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, you’re likely to fall ill due to consuming alcohol, but this isn't enough to stop you from enjoying its effect. And if something goes wrong, you’ll feel the urge to drink.
Stage 4: Dependence
A dependence on alcohol can develop before you're addicted. Alcohol dependence means you no longer have control over your alcohol intake. This is also where you acquire tolerance, so you'll drink more alcohol to reach the desired effect. Withdrawal often occurs in stage 4 as soon as you become sober after prolonged drinking.
The symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Severe agitation
- Body tremors and aches
- Racing heartbeat
- Sleep problems
Stage 5: Alcoholism or Addiction
In this last stage, you become physically and mentally addicted. As a result, you’ll feel a need to consume alcohol and not just want it. You can never stay long without drinking and may even abuse other substances alongside alcohol. Alcohol addiction in stage 5 can lead to chronic medical conditions like mental disorders, heart disease, brain damage, and liver damage.
Beat Your Alcohol Addiction
At Baystate Recovery Center, we understand how alcohol addiction can take a toll on your life. But there’s hope. As a top Massachusetts alcohol rehab, our expert team can help you win the fight against addiction. Ultimately, you’ll be able to lead a healthy, fulfilling, alcohol-free life. Contact us today to begin your sobriety journey: https://baystaterecoverycenter.com/contact/.