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Effects of Alcoholism in Houston (713) 401-3815

While recreational drinking is typically associated with fun and pleasure, excessive consumption quickly becomes a dangerous habit. The effects of alcoholism result in irreparable damage to health, relationships, families and finances. Maybe the worst effect of alcoholism is the inability to stop even when you want to.

Alcoholism is a mental disease that occurs over a period of time. Based on extensive research conducted by scientific researcher Elvin Morton Jellinek, there are four phases of alcoholism.  Author of “The Disease Concept of Alcoholism”, Jellinek strongly adhered to the belief that the progress of alcoholism was biological and not due to moral failing.  The stages of alcoholism include the following:

Phase I – The beginning stage of alcoholism goes beyond social drinking.  This can be recognized by the growing dependence on alcohol.  Warning signs include:

  • Needing to drink to deal with stress or to make it through the day.
  • Experiencing some physical discomfort when you do not drink.
  • Alcohol consumption gradually increases in order to get the same effects.
  • Tolerance levels grow as an effect of frequency and increased alcohol consumption.

At this stage, scientists believe people can stop the process if they really want to.  The important thing to recognize is that alcoholism is being developed. Alcohol Treatment Centers Houston helps people to recognize the early stages of addiction.  We also evaluate our patients to determine if a mental illness is driving the disease. People with dual diagnosis are treated simultaneously for alcohol abuse and mental illness so that they are able to stop drinking and stay sober without the use of alcohol.

Phase II

During the second stage of alcoholism, users acquire what is known as “tissue tolerance”, according to scientific research.  People who have arrived at this point will experience physical dependence and loss of control.  Here, alcoholism has gained a foothold and biomedical and psychological treatment for recovery is necessary.  Symptoms characteristic of this stage includes:

  • Emotional imbalance caused by feelings of guilt and shame
  • Denial that the problem is out of control
  • Secretive behavior. Hiding liquor and going off alone to drink
  • Frequent blackouts and chronic hangovers
  • Drinking to alleviate physical symptoms of withdrawal, rather than for pleasure or stress relief.
  • Failing at efforts to stop drinking on your own

Because addicts are in denial, they usually do not get the help they need.  At this stage, family intervention can be instrumental in helping alcoholics to get into a treatment program that can arrest the disease.  Houston Alcohol Rehab Treatment Centers provides trained interventionist to help families confront their alcoholic loved one who may be in denial or unable to stop drinking on their own.

Phase III

During stage three, the alcoholic is aware that they are in serious trouble.  They know that after one drink, they cannot and will not be able stop themselves and yet they still take that drink.  People get into real trouble at this point because many things are happening to them at once.  They have no control over their lives or their physical health.  Although many people are still able to function on their jobs and in their relationships, everything is on shaky ground.  Signs of phase three alcoholism includes:

  • Problems with the law such as a suspended license.
  • Divorce or separation threats from spouses and partners.
  • Probation, or warnings from employers or a slow decline in clientele in business.
  • Alcohol related illnesses are beginning to surface such as liver disease and emaciation.

Getting into a treatment program is not an option at this point, but a necessity.  Patients will now require medical supervision to safely go through the detox process.  Our board-certified detox specialists all have emergency trauma training, which enables them to administer appropriate treatment for medical complications caused by severe withdrawal symptoms.  We also focus on minimizing undue discomfort that typically drive people to relapse when they try to stop via the “cold turkey” method.  Medical detox is especially recommended for alcohol detox due to the high mortality rate associated with alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Phase IIII

Alcoholism at this stage has done its damage.  Health is seriously deteriorated, the alcoholic may be homeless or in jail because of fatalities in an auto accident that they caused.  The only prognosis for an alcoholic at this juncture, if the condition is left untreated, is death.  Treatment at this stage is a mandate if the alcoholic is to survive.

If you recognize any of the preceding stages occurring to you or someone you love, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Houston today at (713) 401-3815. We can help.

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