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The Stages of Alcoholism

The Stages of Alcoholism

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States.

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that 86.3 percent of adults drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime, 70 percent reported that they drank in the past year, and 55.3 percent reported that they drank in the past month.1 The prevalence of alcohol drinking in the U.S. alone is extremely high, resulting in higher rates of alcohol abuse and binge drinking. Although it is legal for individuals who are 21 and older to drink alcohol in the U.S., it does not mean drinking is safe or good for you. Alcohol is a dangerous substance that is known for causing various health problems, specifically in the liver, and can also lead to aggressive or risky behavior.

At Banyan Detox Stuart, we understand the dangers of alcohol abuse and binge drinking. Many people who struggle with alcohol abuse might not realize they are going through the stages of alcoholism. At our rehab facility in Florida, we provide various treatments and programs to treat drug and alcohol abuse.

What Are the Stages of Alcoholism?

The different stages of alcoholism become more intense as the person’s binge drinking continues. There are five stages of alcohol: pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, middle alcoholic, late alcoholic, and the recovery stage. The symptoms in each stage will become more dangerous and uncomfortable as the addiction intensifies.

Pre-Alcoholic Stage

The pre-alcoholic stage is one of the early stages of alcoholism. In this stage, alcohol abuse is not an immediately noticeable problem. During this stage, a person will usually drink at social events, but would slowly begin incorporating alcohol into their daily routine. As binge drinking progresses and becomes more common, the person will view alcohol as a remedy for stress or negative emotions. This is when the person develops a tolerance to alcohol, and the addiction begins to take shape. The drinker will reach a point where they can drink alarming amounts of alcohol without immediately feeling its side effects. As this tolerance grows, the amount of alcohol needed to produce that drunk feeling will increase, which can lead to alcohol poisoning and other health problems. At this stage, you should ask yourself whether you’re using alcohol as a way to escape from stressors or problems in your life, or as a source of comfort. If so, you may be developing alcoholism. Individuals in this stage can begin their recovery with our alcohol detox.

Early Alcoholic Stage

The beginning of the early alcoholic phase is usually defined by a blackout. At this stage, alcoholics begin to realize their problem with drinking, but are unable to stop. Drinkers in this stage may find themselves lying about their drinking habits to their family, friends, and co-workers. Mixing alcohol into drinks like soda and coffee to hide a growing addiction is also common in this stage. Your body and thoughts become fixated on alcohol as your tolerance for it continues to grow.

Middle Alcoholic Stage

In the middle alcohol stage, the effects of alcohol abuse become more obvious to the drinker and their loved ones. Family members, friends, and co-workers will begin to realize the change in you as an addiction develops in this stage. Drinkers will begin missing work or other social events because they’re inebriated or hungover. You might begin drinking at inappropriate times, like while taking care of children or driving. Feelings like anger and aggression begin to develop and become more apparent during this stage. Your loved ones might take the brunt of these symptoms. Your body will also begin to change, including redness in your skin, bloating in the stomach, laziness, weakness, weight gain, or even severe weight loss. Many drinkers try to find support groups and treatments that will help with their addiction during this stage. At our alcohol rehab facility, we provide alcohol addiction treatment for individuals who are grappling with alcohol abuse and want to make a change.

Late Alcoholic Stage

During one of the final stages of alcoholism, the effects of long-term drinking are obvious. Drinkers will feel the negative side effects of drug abuse and serious health conditions may begin to develop during this stage. At this point, you’re binge drinking all day regardless of what you’re doing or who you’re with. Losing your job is a common aspect of this stage, as well as possibly breaking relationships with spouses, family members, or children. Diseases commonly begin to develop at this stage, usually in the liver.

Recovery Stage

Once the individual receives treatment and has begun their recovery process, they are in the recovery stage. During this stage, individuals will receive treatment for alcohol addiction and be given the tools necessary to reach and maintain sobriety. Individuals in our residential treatment program will learn about the roots of their addiction and the best ways to overcome it.

At Banyan Detox Stuart, we understand the stages of alcoholism and its dangers. Alcohol abuse can destroy a person’s health and relationship with others. The aftermath of drinking is not worth it.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, call us now at 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH- Alcohol facts and statistics
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Stages of Alcoholism
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