The Four Phases Of Alcohol AddictionFebruary 10th, 2012
Alcohol abuse is one of the most common problems in existence today with more than 50% of the population being current alcohol users. Alcohol addiction accounts for more than 40,000 deaths per year due to the addiction itself and the problems connected with it. The problem of alcohol addiction follows a timeline or can be broken down into phases to describe the problem of how someone becomes an alcoholic.
Costing society more than $185 billion dollars every year alcoholism doesn’t usually start out as a full blown addiction. Here is the sequence of phases that paint the picture of an individual falling into the trap of addiction:
1. Simple Experimentation – The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 47% of high school students use alcohol. The reasons usually center around the fact that alcohol use seems to be a solution to some type of a problem. No matter the problem alcohol use begins with simple experimentation.
2. Reliance On Alcohol – Once the individual has used alcohol several times, the substance can “seem” to provide a solution for whatever problem they are trying to solve by using it. Now it has value to the individual and the reliance begins.
3. The Need For Alcohol To Function – After an individual starts to use alcohol more and more frequently they begin to develop an alcohol addiction. This is where they experience mental and physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. They start to alienate those around them, and create problems in their life in an effort to continue drinking.
4. Full Alcoholism – This is the final phase of alcohol addiction. It is where the individual mentally and physically needs alcohol to function. Other parts of life have been alienated to a great degree and the individual usually struggles with many personal and professional issues as a result. At this point the individual usually ends up in prison, or dead without some type of professional help for alcoholism.
When addiction to alcohol becomes a major problem in one’s life the individual often seeks treatment. Statistics indicate that a higher percentage of people get help for alcohol than illicit or prescription drugs however a major percentage of people are still struggling without help.