Sober living

Stages Of Alcoholism & The Jellinek Curve

Stages Of Alcoholism & The Jellinek Curve

The glamorous way that drinking is sometimes portrayed in the media also may send the message that it’s OK to drink too much. For young people, the influence of parents, peers and other role models can impact risk. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior. Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem.

E. Morton Jellinek, a researcher who contributed a lot of work toward the study of alcoholism and helped shape society’s evolving view that alcoholism is not a moral failing. According to the CDC, nearly one million people worldwide die each year as a result of liver cirrhosis. At Sunrise House, we accept most types of private (non-government) insurance and offer a variety of payment options. Vision issues, including decreased peripheral vision, blurriness, and delayed glare recovery. Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.


The effects of alcohol, but their motor skills and judgment are still impaired. They may also blackout after drinking, a common sign of Early Alcoholism. Today to speak with an admissions navigator about treatment options for your loved one in order to help with their drinking problem.

5 Stages of Alcoholism

Alcohol affects the central nervous system in an individual’s brain. When alcohol is abused on a frequent and long-term basis, it is known to cause the development of various neurological disorders. Alcohol abuse can cause an array of cardiovascular conditions once an individual reaches end-stage alcoholism. When it comes to the preparation stage, the individual is building a sense of urgency regarding their desire for sobriety. They’ve usually made steps toward taking action, such as intending to join a gym, seeing a counselor or attempting to quit addiction by themselves without attending a treatment center.

If you take a good look at your body, you may recognize the changes externally and internally. A beer belly is not only a sign of how calorie-filled alcohol is but also that your liver is struggling to do its job. While you may still see yourself succeeding in all areas of your life, you are in denial.

Stage 5: Addiction Or Alcoholism

This is why supervised detoxification is highly recommended for alcohol withdrawal during stage four. The withdrawal symptoms of alcohol are not to be taken lightly. End-stage alcoholism is notorious for causing cirrhosis of the liver. This occurs when the liver becomes unable to metabolize alcohol, sending it back to the bloodstream. As a result, the liver begins to harden and become scarred, which is known as cirrhosis. Developing alcohol-related illnesses like cirrhosis of the liver, brain damage, heart attacks, strokes, and even various types of cancer.

  • The person now spends the bulk of their time servicing the disease by drinking.
  • In some cases, a doctor can prescribe medications that ease the symptoms to make the process more comfortable.
  • However, some people in this phase can abuse alcohol and go about their lives as usual.
  • Throughout the following years, Jellinek conducted another study on a wider sample size which led to another piece.
  • See why Newsweek Magazine named us as one of America’s top addiction treatment centers for the second year in a row.

Luckily, alcoholism treatment centers offer treatment plans that include each of these important tools. With the combination of professional alcoholism treatment and sobriety maintenance, recovery is possible for anyone. Alcoholism is a progressive, five-stage disease that can be treated through professional medical attention. Treatment and recovery are possible during any of the stages of alcoholism. However, the risks of alcoholism significantly decrease the sooner an individual receives treatment. While some of the effects of alcoholism can be permanent, treatment often results in a full recovery. In addition, people suffering from alcohol dependence acquire tolerance.

Stage #1: Occasional Abuse And Binge Drinking

Have contact information for a recovery program, such as Bradford, available when they are ready to speak to a professional. In early alcoholism, a person may not yet have lost control of their personal life, but they must begin to look internally to prevent the problem from worsening.

5 Stages of Alcoholism

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It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. It rewires an individual’s brain chemistry causing changes in behavior and body function. Whether a person binge-drinks or is high-functioning, alcohol dependency happens in the same way. Knowing the stages of alcoholism or alcohol use disorder can help you or a loved one figure out what kind of treatment is needed to heal.

How Does Addiction Develop In The Brain?

During end-stage alcoholism, a person may struggle with involuntary rapid eye movement or weakness and paralysis of the eye muscles due to thiamin deficiency. This deficiency can also cause dementia if not treated immediately. Many people think of Benadryl as a benign over-the-counter medication that can relieve allergy symptoms and allow you to sleep. They are unlikely to view it as a drug that gets you high, can get you addicted, and even comes with withdrawal symptoms when discontinued….

  • The middle stages of alcoholism are often accompanied by increased tolerance, dependency, and the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the individual does not drink.
  • Even if you have tried on your own to no avail, help is available.
  • With help, you can get back the healthy, happy life you deserve.
  • People who reach this stage completely lose control over their alcohol consumption.
  • Visiblesigns of alcoholismmay become apparent during middle-stage alcoholism.

During the middle phase of the Jellinek Curve, a person’s struggle with alcohol will have become evident to friends and family. Those around the person may have noticed specific physical changes like facial redness, weight changes, sluggishness, and stomach bloating that come from the abuse of alcohol. Other symptoms, such as missing work and increased irritability or forgetfulness, may be observed. Many may benefit from support groups if they seek help during this stage. Some people — known as functioning alcoholics — can still maintain their life during this phase, but this is rare and likely to lead to liver damage or other alcohol-related illnesses. If you feel like your drinking problem is chronic but your life isn’t falling apart, don’t continue down this dangerous path. This disease is progressive, and your health will eventually bear the brunt.

The 3 Stages Of Alcoholism

7, 8 Glatt’s model is generally used to describe the spiritual growth aspect of Alcoholics Anonymous . Stage 2 alcoholism is the period wherein a person is becoming dependent on alcohol. At this stage, a person may become aware that they are drinking entirely too much, but may have trouble deciding not to have a drink. We provide them with the motivation necessary to persevere through challenging situations and explore their passion for life. When someone drinks alcohol frequently and on a long-term basis, the alcohol may begin to replace essential nutrients in their body. Long-term alcohol abuse is also known to cause issues with nutrient absorption, storage, and metabolization.

If you suspect you or one of your loved ones might be pre-alcoholic, make an appointment with your doctor. If you do have a problem, the longer you leave it, the more difficult it will be to unravel. The core physiological aspect of the pre-alcoholic stage is the development of tolerance. While there’s no uniform set of stages for alcoholism, most classifications are based on the four phases of alcoholism first defined in the 1950s by E Morton Jellinek.

It typically begins with the experimentation of alcohol, which increases your drinking pattern. The affects can range from dementia and intellectual functioning to debilitating conditions that require long-term care, even if a person has been sober for a period of time. Alcoholism was identified in 1956 as an illness by the American Medical Association .

Check out our new webinar series that unites recovery speakers from across the country in order to share a collective set of strategies and expertise. Please call us to see if your HMO, PPO, or EPO insurance plan will cover your treatment. Here are seven ways to prevent a hangover before, during, and after you drink that have shown scientific potential.

Stage 2: Increased Frequency And The Beginning Of Dependence

They should prepare a detailed plan of action to improve the chances of successfully entering treatment. According to Jellinek, up until this point, the individual has had agency over their choice to pick up the bottle or glass.

With excessive alcohol consumption, this important organ can’t metabolize Vitamin D, which could develop into a deficiency. Some common signs and symptoms of cirrhosis include fatigue, itchy skin, weight loss, nausea, yellow eyes and skin, abdominal pain and swelling or bruising. If a person has reached end-stage alcoholism, it means alcohol has completely taken over their life. Delirium tremens is one of the most severe consequences of alcohol withdrawal and it can be fatal if it is not treated by a medical professional.

It often takes a major crisis, such as job loss, threat of divorce or a DUI charge, to show them they need help. They are dependent on alcohol and feel helpless to control urges to drink without help. They may develop gastrointestinal problems as well as heart and liver issues. Detox from alcohol and a strong recovery program is the only way they can survive the disease.

While binge drinking may seem harmless, this is far from the truth. In fact, binge drinking can lead to serious health concerns such as alcohol poisoning, comas, and even death. Additionally, drinking in large amounts can lead to alcohol dependency or addiction – making it the first stage of alcoholism. If you feel that you sometimes drink too much alcohol, or your drinking is causing problems, or if your family is concerned about your drinking, talk with your health care provider.

Individuals in this stage of alcoholism will never go very long without having a drink in order to avoid severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, it is common for them to abuse other substances in combination with alcohol. At this point, people may have developed numerous physical and mental health conditions as a direct result of long-term alcohol abuse. Understanding the five stages of addiction recovery can be useful for 5 Stages of Alcoholism addicted people and their family members. Each stage clearly describes the process of recognizing and admitting the problem, preparing for addiction treatment, and dealing with life after treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. It’s an integrated theory that’s compatible with most evidence-based and holistic treatments, like the 12-step program and behavior therapy. It’s estimated that 16 million people have alcohol use disorders.

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