What Is Alcohol Addiction? The Various Stages of Alcoholism

More than 107 million people across the world are estimated to be struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol accounted for 2.07 million deaths among men and 374,000 deaths among women in 2019 alone. Alcohol addiction is a disease that can have devastating effects on individuals and their loved ones. Understanding the various stages of alcoholism is the key to recognising the signs, seeking help, and achieving long-term recovery.

Binge/Intoxication Stage

The binge/intoxication stage of alcohol addiction is characterised by excessive drinking and impaired judgment. During this stage, people may engage in heavy episodic drinking, commonly known as binge drinking, where they consume large amounts of alcohol within a short period. This behaviour often leads to intoxication, resulting in impaired cognitive function and decision-making abilities.

At this stage, alcohol becomes the primary focus for the individual, leading to neglect of personal responsibilities and relationships. Binge drinkers may experience memory loss or blackouts due to the high levels of alcohol consumed. Additionally, they may exhibit risky behaviours such as driving under the influence or engaging in unsafe sexual activities.

Binge/intoxication stage is just one phase in the progression of alcohol addiction. If you or someone you know exhibits signs of excessive drinking and impaired judgment during this stage, seek help and support from professionals who specialise in addiction treatment. At the Providence Projects, we have over 25 years of experience. We’ve helped more than 10,000 people overcome addiction, which gives us confidence in our ability to turn lives around and promote positive, lasting change.

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Negative Affect/Withdrawal Stage

During the negative affect/withdrawal stage of alcohol dependence, people may experience symptoms like anxiety and irritability when they stop drinking. This stage occurs after the binge/intoxication stage and is characterised by a strong craving for alcohol to relieve these distressing symptoms. The negative affect/withdrawal stage is a critical phase in the progression of alcoholism. It can be extremely challenging for people to abstain from drinking due to the discomfort they feel during this stage.

At The Providence Projects, we understand the difficulties faced during this phase of alcohol addiction. Our dedicated team of professionals provides compassionate support and evidence-based treatments to help you navigate through withdrawal symptoms safely. We offer a range of services tailored to meet individual needs, including medical supervision, therapy sessions, and relapse prevention strategies. Our goal is to empower you or your loved ones on the journey towards recovery and provide them with the tools necessary to overcome the negative affect/withdrawal stage and move towards a healthier, fulfilling life.

Preoccupation/Anticipation Stage

In the preoccupation/anticipation stage of alcohol addiction, you may find yourself constantly thinking about alcohol and planning your next drink. This stage is characterised by an intense focus on obtaining and consuming alcohol. Your thoughts become consumed with when and where you can drink, and you may spend a significant amount of time searching for opportunities to indulge in your addiction. During this stage, it’s common to experience cravings and a strong desire for alcohol. You may find it difficult to resist these urges, leading to increased consumption and an escalating dependence on alcohol.

Why Worry about Alcohol Abuse?

Don’t underestimate the impact of excessive drinking on your overall well-being. Alcoholism is a serious condition that can have devastating effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health.  Alcoholism can lead to liver disease, heart problems, and even death. Not only does it harm your body, but it also affects your relationships, work performance, and overall quality of life.

The good news is that you can easily find help. Seeking therapy for alcohol addiction can provide you with the support and guidance needed to overcome this destructive habit. At The Providence Projects, we understand the difficulties experienced during each stage of alcoholism. That’s why our holistic therapeutic approaches are personalised to address these particular difficulties and increase the chances of a successful sobriety journey.

Finding Help for Alcoholism

Dealing with alcoholism alone is going to be too much of a burden. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, finding the right help is one of the essentials for lasting recovery. The Providence Projects offers a unique and effective therapeutic approach to treating alcohol addiction. Through the years, we have witnessed numerous success stories, and we’re confident in everyone’s ability to overcome even the biggest of challenges when sufficient resources have been made available to them.

The Providence Project’s Therapeutic Approach

The Providence Project’s therapeutic approach combines various methods to address alcohol addiction and dependence. Our team of experienced professionals understands the complexities of addiction and provides a compassionate, supportive environment for individuals seeking recovery. We believe in a holistic approach that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of addiction. Through individual counselling, group therapy sessions, and educational workshops, we aim to help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Our programme also includes family support services to help rebuild relationships affected by alcoholism. Additionally, we offer aftercare support to ensure long-term success in sobriety. At The Providence Project, we are dedicated to guiding you towards a life free from alcohol dependency, empowering you to make positive changes and find lasting healing.

As we move into Alcohol Awareness Week, it seems there has been a lot in the news over the last week or two about alcohol. Just some of the research and studies that have been printed this week includ...