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Summer Drinking or Alcoholic Bottom?

summertime alcoholismSummer Drinking or Alcoholic Bottom?

For reasons we don’t really understand, many alcoholics hit bottom during the warm summer months.

It could be the longer days, vacation time, or the heat. But whatever the reason, there is always an uptick in DUIIS, calls for treatment, and relapses in the summertime.

Are you concerned your drinking is out of control this summer? Or are you concerned about a loved one’s drinking?

How do you know when recreational, summertime alcohol use has crossed the line into alcoholic drinking? While this is a judgement call that can only be made by the individual, here are some helpful “stages” of alcoholic drinking to use as a comparison.

Serenity Lane

The stages of alcoholism

Created in the 1950s, the Jellinek Curve describes the five stages of alcoholism.

1) Pre-alcoholic

If you or a loved one drink to feel better about yourself, to alleviate pain, or to help with worry and anxiety, you or your loved one could be in the pre-alcoholic stage of alcoholism.

At this stage, it is very easy for drinking to escalate without help.

2) Early alcoholic

Signs of this stage of alcoholism include blacking out from excessive drinking, lying about drinking, drinking excessively, or thinking obsessively about drinking.

3) Middle alcoholic

At this stage of alcoholism, struggle with alcoholism has become apparent to those around you, and maybe even to yourself: you might miss work, find yourself feeling irritable, or undergo physical changes like rapid weight gain or loss, facial redness, or stomach bloating.

For those in this stage of alcoholism, a support group can be particularly helpful.

4) Late alcoholic

At this stage, drinking has overtaken everything in your life: work, family, relationships, and health. You may not be able to stop drinking without showing signs of withdrawal, including tremors and hallucinations.

Alcohol rehab, therapy, and detox are effective treatment options for those in this stage of alcoholism.

5) Recovery

Rehab is itself a stage of alcoholism, going from detox, to treatment, and then to maintenance, or the maintaining of a sober lifestyle. And then, transcendence.

The health effects of alcohol abuse can be staggering, including cancer, brain damage, and cirrhosis of the liver.

It’s unclear why some people can drink and not become alcoholics, while others are much more prone to drink and find themselves with an alcohol use disorder.

The age at which you started drinking can play a part, as well as genetics and environment. If you’re in an at-risk category, alcohol abuse can quickly escalate.

So this summer, if you recognize yourself or a loved one in any of the stages described above, seek help.

With treatment, recovery is possible no matter what stage of alcoholism you may be experiencing. It’s never too late to live a sober life and enjoy many summers to come.

Non-profit treatment centers for
alcohol and drug addictions.
Treatment facilities located in:

Coburg, Eugene, SE Portland, SW Portland, Salem, Albany, Bend, and Roseburg, OR