End-Stage Alcoholism: Signs, Symptoms, Management

During the final stages of alcohol addiction, you may begin to experience consequences like liver disease, malnutrition, weight gain, heart problems, pancreatitis, dementia, and more. As your body slowly shuts down from all the alcohol, you may realize that you can’t go on living like this. With that said, those who are at the pre-stage of alcoholism are casual drinkers. Differently from casual drinkers though, they may start to depend on alcohol mentally in order to get through a stressful day. After years of reckless drinking, many alcoholics will develop end stage alcoholism, also called late stage alcoholism.

Why do alcoholics age faster?

Alcohol reduces collagen and elastin production, leaving the skin duller, wrinkled, and aged beyond one's years. Beer, wine, and liquor also increase inflammation and disrupt lipid production. As a result, the skin may look dry and wrinkled, similar to sun damage.

The use of this website is subject to our privacy policy and disclaimer. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AddictionHelp.com and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Stage 4: Physical Dependence

We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional. If you or a loved one suffers from end-stage alcoholism, there is hope for recovery. Future patients can gain knowledge on different facilities and discover what treatment options are available. If someone increases their drinking significantly, there could be a problem.

“Problem drinker” is a term commonly used in today’s society to describe a person whose drinking has caused them emotional, physical, social, or financial issues. Examples of regular alcohol use include drinking during a celebratory event or pairing a glass of wine with a meal. On the other hand, moderate drinkers will drink in order to relieve their negative emotions or “blow off steam”. In order to be in the second stage of alcoholism, an individual will have become a moderate drinker. Often times, people will develop a slight psychological dependence during this stage of alcoholism. The first stage of alcoholism is characterized by general experimentation with alcohol.

How Does Addiction Develop in the Brain?

You may also suffer from depression and anxiety when you aren’t drinking or haven’t had a drink in a few hours. You may also spend your days thinking about drinking and when you’ll be able to have your next drink. At this point, alcohol has taken priority over other responsibilities in your life, possibly including your family, spouse, kids, career, and bills. At RosGlas Recovery, we offer a unique program that treats only one client at a time.

Contact us today and speak with one of our trusted recovery advisors. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, one of the central impacts is slowing the rate of communication between nerve cells. The rate of communication returns to its typical levels once alcohol leaves the body. If a person drinks frequently or more heavily, the nerve cells in the brain adapt by reducing the number of places they can receive these messages.

How to Spot Someone in the Pre-Alcoholic Stage

A tolerance to alcohol develops, and they end up drinking more to achieve the same level of drunkenness. This behavior is dangerous because it damages neural pathways, setting the body up for the first stage of alcoholism. Typically, an individual reaches end-stage alcoholism after years of alcohol abuse.

What are the stages of alcoholism?

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.

Little by little, a person’s drinking can progress from what was once experimental or casual drinking to an addiction that has negative effects on many important aspects of their life. Anyone who suffers from an addiction to alcohol, clinically known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), most likely developed the affliction over the course of months or years. The final stage of AUD is characterized by a complete loss of control over sober house alcohol use. In other words, a person feels that they need to drink to function. When the individual is not consuming alcohol, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms and cravings that perpetuate repeated substance use. Warning signs include emotional dysfunction (both while under the influence and while sober), hiding how much or how often alcohol is being used or being unable to maintain personal responsibilities.

Helpful Resources for Families and Loved Ones

In these cases, an open discussion stating your concerns without judgment and support for treatment may be a start to approach the issue together with professional guidance. Although some severe medical conditions can be permanent, seeking help can often reverse or at least prevent problems from becoming worse. No matter how long you have been struggling, it is never too late to seek help. An increase in alcohol use may occur over a relatively short period, or progress gradually for years as different life stages come and go that may delay the progress for the time being. Perhaps a new baby, job, or love interest temporarily redirects the timeline and alcohol may fade into the background only to reemerge later in life. From the first drink of alcohol, as use grows from experimenting to more frequent consumption, a person enters stage 2 of alcoholism.

alcoholism stages