What Is End-Stage Alcoholism?

About End-Stage Alcoholism

What Is End-Stage Alcoholism?

While the concept of alcoholism and alcohol addiction might seem pretty cut and dry, it is much more complicated than what it might seem on the surface.

There are many different stages when it comes to alcoholism, each with its own set of mental and physical side effects and ailments. The final stage is what is known as end-stage alcoholism and it is by far the most severe of all the stages.

It also has the most significant consequences when it comes to both physical and mental health.

In this blog, we will take a look at what exactly end-stage alcoholism is and where it fits on the list of stages of alcohol use disorder. We will also take a look at some of the signs and symptoms of this type of alcoholism and how you or a loved one can get help for it.

What Is End-Stage Alcoholism?

Simply put, end-stage alcoholism is the final stage of alcoholism. At this point, someone who is in this stage of alcoholism has been abusing alcohol for an extended period of time, usually several years. They have ly developed numerous physical and mental health problems as a result and are now dealing with that on top of their alcohol addiction.

At this point in their alcoholism, they have also ly done a lot of damage to their personal life as well. They might have lost their job, run money, and been cut off by family and friends due to their destructive behavior. If someone has reached this stage of alcoholism they need to seek out medical care and treatment immediately before their symptoms begin to worsen and they risk dying.

What Are the Different Stages of Alcoholism?

To get a better understanding of end-stage alcoholism, it’s important to know the different stages of alcoholism and what they all mean. There are 6 different stages when it comes to alcoholism and alcohol abuse. They are:

  • Social drinking
  • Binge drinking
  • Heavy drinking
  • Alcohol dependency
  • Addiction
  • End-stage alcoholism

Social Drinking

The first stage of alcoholism is social drinking. This is by far the most innocent and non-threatening stage. It is also the stage in which the majority of people stay when it comes to their alcohol consumption. Social drinking is just what it sounds . It’s going out with some friends or coworkers and having a drink or 2, maybe at happy hour or another social event. 

Binge Drinking

The second stage is known as binge drinking. Binge drinking takes the concept of social drinking to the next level.

It still might incorporate being out with friends or coworkers in a social setting, but where social drinking involves having a few drinks over an extended period of time, binge drinking involves having many drinks in a short period of time, oftentimes with the end goal to be to get drunk quickly. While binge drinking is more serious, it can still be done without always resulting in a drinking problem developing.

Heavy Drinking

Once someone has hit the binge drinking stage, the next step in the progression is what’s known as heavy drinking. When a person has hit this stage, alcohol has become a significant part of their daily life. They will begin to drink more frequently and oftentimes on a daily basis.

They will also ly drink in excess most of those days as well. While a person can reach this stage and still not be considered to have an alcohol abuse issue, it is at this point where a conversation might need to be had about an alcohol issue developing.

Alcohol Dependency

At this point in the progression, an alcohol-related problem has begun to develop. At this point, the drinker has begun drinking in order to feel normal.

They may even begin experiencing early stages of withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.

At this stage, the drinker might also begin to show some of the typical signs of dependency such as a lack of motivation, changes in activities or social groups, or trouble completing basic daily tasks.


If a person’s drinking problem has still not been addressed once they hit the dependency stage, the next step is full-blown alcoholism or alcohol addiction. At this point, the person will begin to behave in easy that have a negative impact on them and their health. It can also have a negative impact on their friends, family, and loved ones. 

They will continue to drink even if they know that they shouldn’t because their dependency has grown to a point where they believe that they can’t function properly without drinking.

They will also experience the fullest extent of withdrawal symptoms should they try and stop.

Many people will seek out treatment once they reach this stage either on their own accord or through the help of their family and friends.

End-Stage Alcoholism

For those who reach the addiction stage and do not seek out help, the next stage they will reach is end-stage alcoholism. At this point, their alcoholism can cause a great risk to their overall health, both mental and physical.

During end-stage alcoholism, the liver will become damaged sometimes even permanently.

Since the liver is so vital to the overall performance of the body, this can result in other significant health problems such as liver disease, cancer, dementia, or even a stroke.

If you or someone you know has made it to this stage it is important to seek out medical care immediately. If not treated right away, end-stage alcoholism can lead to permanent brain damage and death. 

What Are Some of the Symptoms Associated with End-Stage Alcoholism?

We briefly mentioned some of the extreme symptoms that can be a result of end-stage alcoholism above, but it’s important to know all the symptoms associated with this stage of alcoholism, especially if you have a family member or loved one that you fear might be at this level when it comes to their alcohol abuse. Let’s take a look at some of the serious health complications that can occur as a result of end-stage alcoholism.

Liver Disease or Cirrhosis

When a person reaches end-stage alcoholism, they are drinking so much that their liver is unable to metabolize all that alcohol in a timely manner.

When that happens, the liver will send the alcohol back into the bloodstream which can cause the liver to harden and scarring of the tissue can occur. The scarring of the tissue is known as cirrhosis and it is considered the final stage of alcohol-related liver disease.

Even before contracting cirrhosis, the drinker might begin to notice other symptoms associated with the early stages of liver disease. These symptoms include:

  • Significant digestive issues such as abdominal swelling and dry mouth
  • Dermatological issues such as the yellowing of the skin
  • Brain and nervous system problems such as memory loss and numbness in extremities

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Also known as alcohol dementia, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome occurs when there is a shortage of the B1 vitamin which can result in dementia- traits developing. This condition can result in:

  • Changes in vision
  • Trouble maintaining balance
  • Leg tremors
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

Is End-Stage Alcoholism Treatable?

While the ultimate goal is to get treatment before the alcohol issue gets to end-stage alcoholism, the good news is that it is still treatable, although it’s significantly harder to treat.

with any other substance abuse issue, the first step is to enter into a detox program. By entering into a detox program, it allows you to go through all the stages of withdrawal and rid your body of any and all harmful substances in a safe and comfortable manner.

During detox treatment, you will have access to around-the-clock medical care and supervision. Detoxing should be done at either a medical facility, a dedicated detox center, or a treatment center that also provides detox services such as Harmony Place. Self-detoxing can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening. 

After detox has been completed, the next step is to enter into a treatment program. your situation, your treatment professional will recommend a course of action and a treatment plan. Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectic behavior therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy have proven to be most effective for those suffering from end-stage alcoholism.

Support groups, such as AA are also a great way to help recover from this stage of alcoholism. These support groups are particularly helpful once treatment has been completed and you return to your normal, daily life.

Do You Suffer From End-Stage Alcoholism?

End-stage alcoholism is very serious and can lead to major health issues that can ultimately lead to death. If you or someone you know is suffering from end-stage alcoholism it is crucial to get them the help that they need before it is too late. Contact us today to learn more.

Источник: https://harmonyplace.com/blog/about-end-stage-alcoholism/

End Stage Alcoholism

What Is End-Stage Alcoholism?

An addiction to alcohol does not happen overnight. You may start out with a drink in the evening after a challenging day at the office or when socializing with friends.

At a golf outing, you may have had more drinks than you had planned. As your body develops a tolerance for the substance, you drink more.

At a certain point your alcoholism progresses from the early stages to end stage alcoholism, which presents with unique signs and symptoms.

A Progressive Disease

As with many other diseases, alcoholism is a progressive disease with a beginning, middle, and end stage. Early treatment is critical, as the most severe symptoms of the later stages can result in life-threatening health conditions. Alcohol use disorder contributes to approximately 88,000 deaths a year in the US, as the third leading preventable cause of death.

When you reach the end stage of alcoholism, your drinking has taken over your life. You undoubtedly have noticed, at this point, a significant negative impact on your work, your relationships, and even your finances, in addition to detrimental effects on your physical and mental health.

End stage alcoholism can cause symptoms that include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cirrhosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Jaundice from liver failure
  • Anemia
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Heart failure
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (also called alcohol dementia)

Mental health disorders related to end stage alcoholism can include thoughts of suicide.

Late Stages

By the time you reach the later stages, you have at the very least, a dependence on alcohol.

After you have passed the stage where your drinking has become a problem for you and your professional life, you reach the stage where you have such an attachment to drinking that it has taken over your regular routine. You see how it affects you, your work, and people around you, but you no longer have control over it.

You have developed such a tolerance to alcohol that you feel you have to drink more and more often to get the same effect. Your increased drinking is also damaging your physical and mental health in more severe ways.

The final stage is addiction. You are no longer drinking for pleasure now, but because you feel a physical and psychological need to drink. You crave alcohol and suffer withdrawal symptoms until you can get your next drink.

That drink can be anywhere, anytime, as long as you get it. You may also be addicted to other drugs and have mental health issues at this point. You may also be exhibiting compulsive behaviors in your end stage alcoholism.


If you try to quit drinking on your own in end stage alcoholism, you could suffer devastating consequences. You need supervision to manage withdrawal. Even between drinks, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that can be severe, including:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea that is unrelated to a hangover
  • Severe irritability
  • A racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Body tremors
  • Hallucinations

Jellinek’s Curve

In the mid-20th century, E.M. Jellinek was influential in the study of alcoholism. He developed the concept of the progressive phases of alcoholism, which became known as the Jellinek curve. He defined and described the disease’s progression, including its physical and mental characteristics.

Jellinek’s curve has been revised and refined over the years but he determined that the disease begins with problem drinking, progresses through physical problems, such as blackouts and a neglect of basic self-care, and mental problems, such as guilt and a change of moral compass. The disease reaches the end stage with obsessive drinking.


The curve turns upward after the last stage into the rehabilitation stage. At this point, treatment is necessary to overcome the addiction and to manage the withdrawal symptoms.

An addiction treatment professional will work with the individual to discover the underlying causes of the drinking addiction and to determine the best way to help, which will include detox as well as individual and group therapy, support group participation, and sober living options.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment for Professionals in Philadelphia

At Providence Treatment, we understand that end stage alcoholism can be scary and it can be overwhelming for you to admit that you need help for your addiction to alcohol. When you are ready to get outpatient addiction treatment in Philadelphia, we are ready to help you. Our expertise is in serving high-profile clients and licensed professionals you.

Don’t let addiction to alcohol or drugs take over your life. You can overcome addiction at Providence Treatment. If you need help getting clean, then contact us at 484.469.9592, and you can begin your recovery as soon as possible.

Источник: https://www.providencetreatment.com/addiction-blog/end-stage-alcoholism/

What Is End-Stage Alcoholism?

What Is End-Stage Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a common but devastating disease that is characterized by alternating periods of relapse and recovery.

Over time, active alcoholism tends to progress, and its effects grow increasingly harmful.

End-stage alcoholism is the most severe period in the disease and is hallmarked by full-blown addiction and compulsive alcohol-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

There are three recognized stages of alcoholism. When an individual reaches what is known as end-stage alcoholism, he or she has reached a point that may be dramatically different than the earlier stages.

Whereas the initial stage may be characterized by periods of sobriety, during the end stage, however, the disease of addiction has fully taken over, and the person is no longer able to control their drinking habits.

Fortunately, regardless of the stage a person is in, alcoholism is very treatable using comprehensive mental and physical health resources such as rehab centers.

Early-Stage Alcoholism

Early-stage alcoholism represents the beginning of a person’s chronic abuse of alcohol. It may begin with patterns of binging and is driven by the fact that at this point, alcohol consumption is enjoyable and relatively harmless. That is, the individual may not have occurred many adverse effects other than the occasional hangover.

Externally, a person in the early stage is not perceived as being sick. Instead, he or she appears to be fairly normal to those around them, except it may be evident that they are drinking more. Early-stage alcoholics can develop a high tolerance to alcohol and fly under the radar, so to speak, of most people around them.

When people drink beyond their tolerance level, they begin to show the signs of being intoxicated, such as slurred speech and motor skills impairment.

When formerly casual drinkers advance into early-stage alcoholism, however, tolerance begins to increase. As it does, they begin to overcome some effects that other, less tolerant drinkers will suffer.

They may consume the same amount as others who appear outwardly intoxicated while continuing to walk and talk seemingly unscathed.

At least initially, alcohol can boost dopamine levels and lead to feelings of increased sociability and confidence.

Thus, burgeoning alcoholics may erroneously believe that they function while under the influence just as well or better than they do when sober.

But then again, they are only really dealing with alcohol’s adverse effects when they are not drinking. In other words, staying intoxicated keeps them from examining the reality of their conditions.

In early-stage alcoholism, the person is gradually adapting their drinking behavior and tends to go unnoticed. As time passes during active alcoholism, their body will become increasingly dependent on alcohol as it grows accustomed to its continued presence and less able to function normally without it.

As the stage progresses, the individual will devise more excuses to drink more and in higher amounts. People may “upgrade” from beer to wine or liquor, thereby always increasing the degree of tolerance and dependence and lihood of relapse.

Middle-Stage Alcoholism

During middle-stage alcoholism, the person has formed a robust dependence on alcohol. Drinking is now a requirement rather than an option, and every day alcohol consumption may be commonplace. At this point, organs are ly to be incurring damage, and some deterioration in health and well-being may be noticeable.

In other words, the person is beginning to experience significant undesirable consequences from his or her drinking. The person’s next drink is just as ly to be consumed to numb the effects of the last drinking episode as it is to achieve a state of intoxication.

Hangovers are mild forms of alcohol withdrawal. Such effects have led people to coin the term “having a hair of the dog that bit you.

” It implies that having a drink or so when you first wake up is a viable solution to the adverse effects related to last night’s binge.

When a person has developed a full chemical dependence on alcohol as they do in the middle stage, they will experience a lot more than routine hangovers. Withdrawal symptoms can be very severe and, in extreme cases, even life-threatening.

As alcoholism progresses, the cells in the body become increasingly resistant to the effect of alcohol. Cells adaptively alter how they function in an alcohol-infused environment. As this occurs, the person requires more and more alcohol to experience the effects they are seeking, which contributes to higher and higher levels of tolerance and dependence.

During middle-stage alcoholism, the disease has made it very challenging for the individual suffering to refrain from drinking. Strong emotional and physical signals, including cravings, motivate the person to continue consuming alcohol despite him or her being aware of the potentially dire consequences of doing so.

Common middle-stage alcoholism behaviors include non-social, frequent drinking, problems with relationships, employment, or legal matters, and withdrawal symptoms that onset when the person tries to abstain.

Getting Help for Alcoholism

In most cases, it is possible to recover from end-stage alcoholism, although it may be more challenging than earlier stages. And although some health issues may be ongoing or irreversible, medical and mental health treatment can help mitigate symptoms and prevent the incurrence of future problems.

Just Believe Recovery is a specialized addiction treatment that features a variety of therapeutic options for individuals motivated to achieve abstinence and sustain long-lasting sobriety and wellness. Our comprehensive programs, including residential and partial hospitalization formats, offer a great deal of flexibility for those who need treatment but can’t take time away from family or work.

Programs include services and activities designed to promote the recovery process, such as the following:

You may already suspect that you or someone you know is an alcoholic. If so, it is vital to seek help immediately, regardless of which stage the individual is suffering. We urge you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options and find out how we can help!

Источник: https://justbelieverecoverypa.com/what-is-end-stage-alcoholism/

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