“End-stage alcoholism” is an outdated though still widely-used term used to describe advanced alcohol use disorder (AUD). While still used among laypeople and some medical professionals, especially in English-speaking countries outside the United States, neither “alcoholism” nor “end stages” are considered current concepts in the American Psychiatric Association’s latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5).1,2,3,4
However, while the idea of “end-stage alcoholism” has serious flaws, namely its potential for discouraging further treatment, it can still be occasionally useful for communicating certain ideas about advanced AUD.1,4
Here we’ll explain the concept of the stages of alcoholism, focusing on the end or late stage. If you feel that you have a problem with alcohol consumption, please get in touch with a medical professional for full diagnostics. You can also contact Boston Drug Treatment Centers to find specialized AUD treatment programs in the Greater Boston area.
The term “alcoholism” is no longer used officially among most American mental health professionals, except when communicating to laypersons and in legacy names such as the “National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism”. In the current DSM-5, alcohol abuse and alcoholism are both covered under alcohol use disorder, with some minor distinctions.1,2,3,4
In any case, alcoholism was commonly described as having “three stages”, following other conditions covered under the “disease model”, such as cancer. These were:
While occasionally useful, please note that this way of viewing of alcohol use disorder does not necessarily reflect current understanding or treatment practices. If you suspect that you or someone close to you has a drinking problem, it’s best to get in touch with a qualified mental health expert immediately. They should be able to offer a more current approach to treatment that uses more up-to-date knowledge of AUD and other substance use disorders.3,4,6
While the so-called “end-stage” is not necessarily the hopeless situation it was previously thought of, it’s best to seek treatment for AUD before it becomes worse. According to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, early treatment for AUD and other substance use disorders offers a number of benefits for affected individuals, including:6
If you suspect that you or someone close to you has problems controlling their alcohol consumption, it’s best to see a qualified clinician immediately. Better diagnostics methods have enabled physicians to accurately diagnose AUD and other mental health issues before they manifest serious physical and psychiatric symptoms.
Call Boston Drug Treatment Centers today at (617) 517-6448 to find evidence-based treatment programs and intervention specialists in the Greater Boston area.
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, our calls are confidential and are available for 24/7 help.
Calls from your area will be answered by Legacy Healing Center, and network of treatment centers who can be found here www.rehabsnearyoudisclosures.com
We are available 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work for a treatment center and will discuss whether their facility may be an option for you.
These calls are offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither this site nor anyone who answers the call receives a commission or fee dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.
If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can: browse top-rated listings, visit our homepage, or visit SAMHSA, at www.samhsa.gov, or by calling 800-662-HELP. You may also contact The Florida Department of Children and Family Services at https://www.myflfamilies.com/