Serenity Lane Portland West Treatment Center Explains the Stages of Alcoholism in New Blog Post

PORTLAND, Ore. — Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office, an addiction treatment center in Portland, Ore., recently published a blog post outlining the stages of alcoholism and the progression of alcohol use disorder (AUD). The post explains alcohol addiction progresses little by little, and a person’s drinking can evolve from casual or experimental drinking to an addiction that harms various aspects of their life. Anyone who has AUD most likely developed the condition over several months or even years.

The post cites research by scientist E. Morton Jellinek, who found there are four stages of alcoholism: the pre-alcoholic stage, early-stage alcoholism, the middle alcoholic stage, and end-stage alcoholism. In the Jellinek Curve that traces the development of alcoholism, the pre-alcoholic stage is the most difficult to identify in oneself and loved ones because everyone is affected by alcohol differently. Alcohol interacts with those parts of the brain that release neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that affect energy levels and feelings of contentment or happiness. When the brain becomes accustomed to having the presence of alcohol to stimulate it to release the "happy" chemicals, it will no longer release these chemicals on its own. At this stage, an individual starts the habit of drinking alcohol as a way to cope with various challenges they encounter in everyday life.

In early-stage alcoholism, the individual begins to regularly binge drink and starts to experience blackouts as a result of drinking. While they don’t drink every day, they tend to drink frequently, and most of their social activities and nights out include drinking. Binge drinking occurs when a person consumes approximately four standard alcoholic drinks within two hours. This part of the Jellinek Curve is now easier to detect, compared with the pre-alcoholic stage, and it is the stage when drinking begins to become a cause for concern.

In the middle alcoholic stage, the drinking habit is now more noticeable to loved ones and friends of the affected individual. It is at this stage that a person may drink even at work, or is drunk while driving or taking care of their loved ones and children. At this stage, the body and brain have begun to adjust to the frequent presence of alcohol in the body, and the affected person feels the need to drink more frequently and in larger amounts to achieve the desired level of intoxication. Physical signs include bloating or weight gain, shaking, facial redness, memory loss, and sweating. This is also the stage where treatment for drinking may be the most beneficial.

And finally, end-stage alcoholism is the stage where it is impossible to hide the long-term impact of heavy drinking. Drinking has become an all-day activity and is no longer just for social occasions. At this stage, the affected person may have already attempted several times to stop drinking with little to no success. Drinking alcohol has evolved into the number one priority for that person to the point that even family relationships and their job are at risk. It is also at this stage that the affected person may experience serious health problems, such as heart disease, liver damage, and other alcohol-related illnesses.

Founded in 1973, Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office was set up as a private, nonprofit treatment center for alcohol and drug misuse. Serenity Lane offers a full range of addiction treatment services, from residential to outpatient care. All of its programs have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). They are currently the only treatment center in Oregon that is fully licensed to provide medical withdrawal support. They have a professional medical staff and offer 24-hour nursing care.

Those who are interested in learning more about the services provided by the Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office can check out their website, or contact them on the phone or through email.


For more information about Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office, contact the company here:

Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office
(503) 244-4500
10920 SW Barbur Blvd
Portland, OR 97219