8 Stages of Sobriety in Alcohol Addiction

Residents at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation support and encourage one another to reach their goals of a sober, productive, and fulfilling life. Contact us to learn more about our proven track record of helping people in their journey to recovery.

What is Alcoholism?

According to the National Institutes for Health, about 14 million adult Americans in the United States battle with AUD. Alcoholism is a physical and mental dependence on alcohol that also affects day-to-day functioning and is characterized by a strong desire to drink and a loss of control. Drinking to counteract withdrawal symptoms like shakes and nausea can indicate advanced alcohol use disorder (AUD). Read on to learn about the stages of sobriety.

Stages of Sobriety

Max Glatt developed a hypothesis regarding alcohol abuse recovery. Because recovery is rarely a straight line, Glatt’s recovery theory is sometimes depicted as a curve, with the upward slope denoting progress toward recovery and the downward slope denoting the degeneration into alcoholism. Many people battle relapse and repeatedly go through earlier stages. Some supporting data has surfaced since its publication in 1958, but Glatt’s paradigm is typically used to define the Alcoholics Anonymous spiritual growth component (AA).

This is how the curve will typically look:

Stage 1

The addict reaches their lowest point, feeling completely helpless and searching for an escape.

Stage 2

The addict genuinely wants to get help and reaches out.

Stage 3

The addict thinks it is possible to move forward without alcohol and that there must be another way. The alcoholic gives up drinking and evaluates their needs, including their spiritual convictions.

Stage 4

Any disease or tremors an alcoholic experiences when consuming are treated and assisted.

Stage 5

The recovering individual feels hope, has clearer thinking, has more stability in their life and relationship, and even builds new friendships.

Stage 6

The addict gains more control over their drinking as time goes on. Their emotions swing less, and their behavior improves.

Stage 7

The user develops a set of new interests and a better sense of fulfillment within society.

Stage 8

The addict continues therapies of all kinds, learning new tools and ways of being. As a result, their life improves in all areas.

Before Recovery

Before someone goes into recovery, they are often at one of the five stages of alcoholism. These are as follows:

Pre-Alcoholic: A person starts drinking to unwind or relieve negative emotions in the pre-alcoholic stage. At this point, tolerance may start to rise.

Early Alcoholic: Alcohol can impact a person’s relationships, employment, and daily life in the early stages of addiction. These interruptions may result in feelings of guilt and humiliation, which may encourage drinking more.

Middle Alcoholic: Drinking becomes more regular at this stage, and people may attempt to cover up or justify their drinking. They might also make an effort to stop, only to restart.

Late Alcoholic: The person can no longer regulate their drinking. Additionally, they could show outward signs of ongoing alcohol consumption.

Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

Deciding to recover from addiction is the first step to a better life. Contact us to discover the benefits of living with others who will hold you accountable to pursue healthy relationships and remain sober.