End Stage Alcoholism

Chronic Alcoholism
Final Stages Of Alcoholism



End Stage Alcoholism
When chronic alcoholism progresses, the final stages of alcoholism take hold.



Usually an alcoholic has been drinking for many years to reach the end stage of alcoholism and is now showing the long term effects of alcohol drinking. They are in the final of the alcoholism stages.

They now have a choice. Stop drinking or die.



Sounds simple, but many alcoholics no longer have the ability to choose and they may be suffering from alcoholism denial.

Alcohol has become their master, chronic alcoholism has become their life condition.

Usually, only a major crisis can snap the alcoholic out of his/her servitude and see what they have become, and that the future, with alcohol, is a bleak place indeed.


Characteristics of End Stage Alcoholism

  • Continual loss of control. The alcoholic has no control at all over their drinking or their life. They no longer even try. Drinking has now become a full-time job and everything else is irrelevant.
  • Feelings of impending doom and destruction. The dependent drinker feels great fear of unspecified things/events. They are constantly anxious and often foresee their own destruction (death). This is hardly surprising considering that they are in the final stage of drinking themselves to death.
  • Tolerance falls. Where before they were able to drink large amounts now their tolerance for alcohol falls and they get intoxicated very easily.
  • Delirium Tremens. When the alcoholic tries to stop drinking he/she suffers from violent shaking and sweating known as Delirium Tremens (the DTs). This is very unpleasant and can result in death. In fact 1 in 5 alcoholics who try to withdraw from alcohol without medical supervision die in the process.
  • Ongoing remorse and guilt. Not surprisingly the drinker now feels continually remorseful. Guilt is his shadow. He wakes up in the morning feeling guilty and goes to bed the same way. Not just remorse for his drinking and his powerlessness over alcohol but toward all the pain he has caused himself and others. The missed opportunities, the shame the whole thing.
  • Resentments are amplified. He feels unjustified anger and bitterness towards the world and everything/everybody in it. This just fuels his drinking. A me vs. the world complex.
  • Alcoholic blackouts. The alcoholic blackouts are now getting longer. Days or even weeks go by without the alcoholic remembering anything. To others he may seem lucid but the drinker is on autopilot.
  • Obsession with drinking. Alcohol is on the drinker’s mind day and night. Nothing else matters. Maintaining a constant supply of drink is foremost, whatever the cost.
  • Needs system comes crashing down. All other needs including water, food, sex, shelter warmth take second place to drink. In many cases the chronic alcoholic becomes homeless but this doesn’t matter as long as drink can be found.
  • Frequent contact with law enforcement. Chronic alcoholism usually results in the sufferer having more and more brushes with the law. This could be for drink driving, drunk and disorderly, assault etc.
  • Personal relationships collapse. Where before the dependent drinker had at least made some sort of effort to keep people in his life (though often by lying) now he just can’t be bothered. Any relationships he had left now dissolve in the drink. It takes a strong person to stand by someone in end stage alcoholism.

It would be unusual for the chronic alcoholic to display all these characteristics.

However, if three or more are evident then it is very likely that they are in the final stages of their disease.


How to Help Someone in End Stage Alcoholism

Without wanting to sound like a pessimist, the odds are against anybody trying to get through to a chronic alcoholic are pretty low.

To have got to this stage a person will have generally rejected many offers of help and probably been through alcoholism treatment at least once. They will be so consumed by drink and all the resentment and guilt that comes with it.

Any approach will be a minefield and it might be better to consider a professional alcoholic intervention.

It is important to remember that if the individual does not want help then there is NOTHING that can be done. You can’t force an adult to stop drinking or undergo alcoholism treatment.

It is essential you don’t blame yourself if an offer of help is rejected by someone in end stage alcoholism.



love an addict
Loving an alcoholic is one of the most painful things you will ever have to cope with. Yet, it doesn't need to be, C.P.Lehman in his book, Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict gives you the strategies that will enable you to find happiness and get your life back on track...as well as other skills that are crucial when attempting to cope with an alcohol dependent.






If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:



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Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)






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