Alcoholism End Stage

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited: September 01 ,
2020 
| 4 Sources


Whether you are an alcoholic looking for information, or love someone who is struggling with alcoholism, learning about the various stages of alcoholism can help provide you with some insight. Addiction is a progressive disease, which means that overtime, it will continue to get worse.

The amount of alcohol consumed and the frequency of drinking will increase as well as a tolerance to alcohol. As this disease progresses, it increases the risk for health concerns resulting from continued heavy alcohol use. This can include liver damage, gastritis, and various mental health concerns.

As a brief review, early stage alcoholism usually includes the beginning of a tolerance developing and drinking to relieve stress. It is important to note that drinking to relieve stress is not uncommon, and is not a direct result of alcoholism.

The second stage of alcoholism can include hiding drinking behaviors, and tends to bring in more physical consequences, such as drinking to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Seeing someone you love struggle with alcoholism can be challenging.

The presence of denial can be in the first stage of alcoholism, and for some, continue into the second. For more on the first two stages of alcoholism, please follow the link.

Learning about and understanding the final stage of alcoholism can be beneficial for an alcoholic, and their family and friends. This stage of alcoholism tends to be the most difficult of the three stages. As a result, family and friends are more likely to be impacted as well.

It is common for individuals in the final stage of alcoholism to experience significant health concerns. This can also include their mental health.

An important factor to understand is that if an alcoholic is in the final stage of alcoholism is that if the alcoholic continues to drink, it will kill them. It is possible for an individual at this stage to have a healthy recovery.

Unfortunately, even with sobriety, there will likely be irreversible damage to their health.

What the Final Stage Is

Learning more about this last phase can often help people cope better with the many issues that they will be face with.

The alcoholism final stage is also known as the third phase or last phase of the disease. Once the drinker enters this phase of the disease, he or she may have virtually no control over their drinking.

In almost all cases, end stage alcoholism is characterized by the person drinking from morning to night. This often results in loss of job as well as major issues with spouses or partners.

A significant issue to understand is that in earlier phases of the disease the person had the ability to choose to drink or not drink. In this last phase, he or she no longer has that option.

They must drink in order to function. This loss of choice is one of the most devastating aspects to this phase of the disease, and is often the one aspect that family and friends do not understand or appreciate.

What To Look For

End stage alcoholism presents itself with certain symptoms. Not all drinkers will experience all of the symptoms, but they will experience at least a few.

  • The person may begin to experience episodes of psychosis. When this happens, their behavior may become extremely aggressive or extremely passive.
  • They begin to experience a sense of fear for no apparent reason. Most people will begin to realize that they are out of control now and this can affect their will to live or to fight through the disease.
  • The alcoholism final stage is also represented by long periods of intoxication where the person may be inebriated for days at a time.
  • During this phase, they may begin to exhibit the signs of the DT's, and they may have hallucinations in both sight and hearing.
final stage alcoholism

Health Issues of Alcoholism Final Stage

It is often during end stage alcoholism that drinkers learn about their health problems. These problems can be far reaching and affect many areas of the body. While not all drinkers will have the same health issues, most will have at least some of the following.

Cirrhosis of the liver is often a very common health issue found in those who are in the final stage period. Hepatitis and heart failure are also common in this phase. The person may notice that their blood does not clot as it used to.

This can lead heavy bleeding if they are injured.Bone weakness may occur which leads to breakage. Brain and pancreas issues may also become health factors that must be addressed by medical personnel. Malnutrition is almost always an issue in end stage alcoholism.

Two Cautions

It must be understood that if the person continues to drink, he or she will probably die. Death often comes about through accident, suicide, or collapse of the body organs.

Persons in the last phase of this disease must be treated by professionals, and the sooner they begin treatment the better their chances of survival become.

The second caution to understand is that the person who is in the alcoholism final stage should not suddenly stop drinking without being under the direct supervision of a medical professional.

Going cold turkey now can lead to dangerous health problems and may even cause death.

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LPC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


More about alcoholism final stage on our alcoholism stages page

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