Quitting Alcohol: Steps to Stop and Stages of Alcoholism

Quitting Alcohol
Quitting Alcohol: How to Stop Drinking

Alcohol has been an integral part of American society, as it symbolizes one’s coming of age, especially in the TV shows and movies people love to watch. In some cases, films show high school students and college frat parties indulging in these beverages in some insane way. As a result, it has made people find their way into drinking. 

The issue with this is that it creates a pathway into the world of alcoholism. This substance is also readily available in most stores, whether it’s a convenience store or a specialized shop, making it difficult to control due to legality. People end up getting sucked into the world of addiction because of what they see in media and pop culture, which causes difficulties in substance abuse. 

Quitting Alcohol: Steps on How to Stop Drinking

Drinking alcohol is the most challenging drug to stop because it is legal, meaning the law only prevents its purchase from minors as part and parcel of state laws. However, the issue is that many of the youth still purchase alcoholic beverages, which is typically where the issue of alcoholism begins. 

Before any treatment from a drug rehab center or program, it pays to determine whether or not a person requires addiction treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) entails alcoholism as people who binge drink very often. Males might drink over five drinks a day in the past month, while females can have four drinks or more over the same period. Heavy use can develop alcoholism in people, even those who do not have it running in their blood. 

Once someone is suffering from alcoholism, rehabilitation can be a significant next step to equip someone with tools and help them not pick up a drink. It is essential to note that not all drug rehab programs will be a drop-in fit for all people. These might require plenty of trial and error to find a system that matches each person’s needs. 

One process that every alcohol-dependent person needs to go through is detoxification. A medical procedure known as a detox for short, it entails removing the harsh symptoms of withdrawals that can occur because of the addiction to the substance. It requires heavy medical supervision to do correctly because of the chemicals being used to help flush out toxins. These need to be administered to the bloodstream with the patient kept in a controlled environment to avoid any relapses. 

Treatment in a center for addiction can be in both an in-patient or out-patient setting. The former is where the process happens behind closed doors, often including the detox process and plenty of intensive cognitive-behavioral therapy or other proprietary methods. The latter type is where patients can go in and out of the rooms, with the freedom to roam around still and go back home. 

Understanding the Stages of Alcoholism

Alcoholism isn’t something that people develop in a span of a night. It entails a gradual build-up over time of excessive drinking and abuse. Many people typically start to see signs when they enjoy the feelings of intoxication or just pouring more drinks each time. There generally are four stages of developing alcoholism and addiction, which are as follows:


A pre-alcoholic can be confused with just someone who loves to unwind and drink at the end of the day. These look like typical symptoms to a casual observer, as many people enjoy a good drink, whether these people are alcoholics or healthy ones. The signs will include pouring a drink or two at the end of each workday or even partying hard on weekends. Those who experience this are often in their pre-legal age or at university, where plenty of experimentation occurs. 

Stages of Alcoholism
Stages of Alcoholism

Early Stages

When a person starts to experience alcohol-related blackouts or extreme intoxication each time they go out to drink, this is an early sign of a brewing alcoholic. People might not be able to say no to even just one drink and end up enjoying the rest of the night without thinking about responsibilities the coming day. Some people might hide their drinking habits or even transfer them to other times, such as spiking their drinks at work or school. 

Middle Stages

Someone in their middle stages of alcoholism can be quite obviously suffering from the disease. They might miss out on work often or social obligations because of being too drunk or hungover. Some might sneak out of work, home, or school to have a drink in between and try to hide it. There will be physical symptoms that change in an alcoholic’s body and their behaviors typically change due to being confronted about their addiction. At this point, finding help is the best time to do so because it still hasn’t gotten to extreme difficulty. 

Later Stages

Late alcoholism can be deadly, as this can be the point of no return for some people. They might develop health issues and other ailments due to abusing alcohol multiple times a day. People might lose everything they own, such as their jobs, cars, or even their families. Some might get into crime or be slapped with harsh penalties for driving under the influence. The other unfortunate ones can experience organ failures, which can be the cause of their death. No one wants to be at this point, so getting help for a loved one is essential at the middle stage before it gets severe. 

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking?

Those addicted to alcohol who abruptly stop drinking will develop withdrawals, and these can be very serious due to how uncomfortable they make people feel. When someone gets the idea to stop drinking, they need to seek help within 72 hours to ensure that the detoxification process is started to prevent harsh feelings. To avoid relapses and extreme discomforts, it pays to seek professional medical help to ensure the smooth flushing of toxins and chemicals from the body. 

Is Alcoholism Hereditary?

The addictive personality is known to be part of a person’s bloodline. Typically, those who suffer from alcohol addiction are known to have a higher incidence of developing it than those who do not have it running through their family. While people might think they are healthy and safe from obtaining this disease, it can always happen to anyone who overindulges the substance. 

Alcohol can be both physically and psychologically addictive, making the brain develop an addiction to it if it isn’t hardwired to have the personality. The point is that those who have the disease of addiction have a higher chance of developing alcoholism than someone who doesn’t have it. However, it can still happen to anyone who abuses the substance daily. Other instances like childhood traumas and an individual’s environmental situation can have a large effect on their addictive personality. 

It pays to be safe with consumption, as this chronic disease can develop larger problems if it is allowed to spiral out of control. While people might think that seeking treatment from a rehabilitation center is the end-all-be-all solution, addiction sticks with them throughout life due to it being chronic. 


Alcoholism is more deadly than people think. While the term is thrown around often because of media and television, it is a chronic disease that requires plenty of care to ensure the best recovery of people suffering from it. Stopping it in its tracks is always better than suffering from health effects in later years of life. Remembering that it can run in the family’s blood can show people how they might be even more at risk than others, so using everything in moderation and with caution is essential.