Stages of Alcoholism: Symptoms of Early, Chronic & End Stages

Severe alcohol consumption can impair the immune system, which can leave a person at greater risk of infections and skin sores (abscesses). As alcohol dries the skin, our natural defence against pathogens, this can also lead to repeated skin infections. How alcohol addiction physically affects different parts of your body.

Often, substance abuse can lead to problematic behavior that puts a person with an addiction in defense mode. They may blame their unhealthy behavior on difficult aspects of their life. In other cases, the individual displaying alcoholic personality traits may blame others.

After 4 to 6 Drinks (0.21 to 0.30 BAC)

Low platelet
counts affect the body’s ability to make clots to stop bleeding. Alcoholics often have defective red blood cells that die prematurely, which can cause a lower-than-normal red blood cell
count. Gastrointestinal bleeding, a symptom some alcoholics experience, can also cause anemia, as can iron deficiency.

Not only that, but for someone with an alcoholic personality, it will be immensely difficult to stop drinking once they start. For example, if an alcoholic goes to a party, they might initially say they’re only going to have a couple of drinks and then end up having several. In some instances, a loved one might confide in you about uncontrolled drinking, in which case you should take their cry for help seriously and support them in getting addiction treatment. The term “alcoholism”, although commonly still used in everyday language is considered outdated by addiction and health professionals because it carries a negative stigma and bias. Medical understanding of problematic alcohol consumption has progressed considerably.

Common Alcoholic Personality Traits & Changes

They typically drink every other day, consuming five or more drinks on average, and they often surround themselves with others who drink heavily. Most are smokers, and they’re more likely than other subtypes to use other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, opioids and amphetamines. More than three-quarters of young antisocial alcoholics are male, and about 15 percent are married. They drink approximately 201 days out of each year and usually consume five or more drinks per sitting. Chronic, long-term drinking can contribute to malnutrition by replacing foods needed for essential nutrients and by interfering with absorption, storage, or metabolism of the essential nutrients.

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This is usually a sign of dependency, in which they have a constant physical and psychological urge to drink. While most high-functioning alcoholics begin drinking at about 18, they don’t develop an addiction to alcohol until their late 30s. Approximately one-third have a family history of alcoholism, and about one-quarter have been diagnosed with major depression. On average, How To Clean Your System From Alcohol In 24 Hours? they drink about 143 days each year, and they typically consume five or more drinks at a time. Few seek help for their drinking, but when they do, they gravitate toward 12-step groups as opposed to private treatment. Alcohol use disorder is a progressive disease that includes a beginning, middle, and end stage, which can result in life-threatening health conditions.

Physical Health Effects of Alcohol

A person who is physically dependent
on alcohol may also experience cravings — an intense need or desire to drink. Usually, when someone is displaying these characteristics, it indicates that they are struggling with alcohol abuse. It’s important to know what changes to look out for so you can help your loved one.

  • This is especially true if the individual took pride in their appearance before they began to consume too much alcohol.
  • It can lead to liver problems including fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.
  • This is especially true for people who hide their alcoholism under the guise of drinking while out.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is defined as excessive drinking—bringing an individual’s BAC to 0.08% or higher—in a confined period.
  • The symptoms of PCT include fragile skin, blistering, photosensitivity, crusts, milia (small white bumps), scleroderma (hardened skin), erosions, and hypertrichosis (increased hair growth).

Over time, this can lead to impurities in pores and can cause aggressive acne. Over time, the damage done can lead to alcoholic neuropathy, where the peripheral nerves in your limbs have been badly damaged by alcohol. Alcohol is also a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you every time you have a drink. Losing valuable fluid and nutrients from your body can lead to wrinkled, dry, puffy or just generally unhealthy-looking skin. People who are addicted to alcohol may also show a deteriorating physical appearance from poor nutrition and personal neglect.