It goes without saying that alcohol consumption can lead to a host of health problems, whether it’s gaining stubborn belly fat to more serious issues like liver disease, heart attack and even cancer. In fact, researchers have associated alcohol drinking with more than 60 diseases.

Despite this, alcohol appears to be an essential in many people’s lifestyles today. If taken moderately, that is no more than two drinks for men and a drink a day for non-pregnant women, alcohol is generally considered acceptable. But if the amount or frequency of drinking goes above this, early signs of alcohol addiction can develop as a result.

If you notice some odd signs in your loved one who drinks alcohol regularly, watch out! They could be heading towards addiction. Here are some signs to look at:

First Stages of Alcohol Addiction

During the first stages of alcoholism, the person starts to rely on alcohol to influence his or her mood. They resort to alcohol in order to cope with emotional problems and they begin thinking more and more about consuming alcohol. While already showing subtle signs of alcoholism, the person’s family or close friends may not immediately recognize this.

Additionally, during this stage, the person becomes tolerant on the mood-altering effects of alcohol. As a result, they will seek to consume more in order to achieve that effect or as many put it “numbing the pain. A person in the early stages of alcoholism can consume huge and frequent amounts of alcohol without appearing intoxicated.

Middle Stages of Alcoholism

As the person continues to indulge himself in alcohol, the need and desire to drink becomes stronger. The person consumes large amounts of alcohol on a more frequent basis, as well as during the day. This is also the time when the alcoholic starts losing control over drinking, mental senses are gradually deteriorating and the body’s ability to process alcohol weakens. When the alcoholic suddenly stops drinking, withdrawal symptoms like severe confusion, agitation and seizures appear.

During the middle stages of alcoholism, the addict may now realize that there is something wrong and his loved ones may start noticing as well. Despite the knowledge, many alcoholics during this stage deny the drinking problem to themselves and to others because of their heavy dependence to the drink. To them, letting go of alcohol becomes unthinkable.

Last Stages of Alcoholism

During this stage, the alcoholic is still obsessed with alcohol and binges on it beyond rational thought. His overall health considerably deteriorates as the bodily organs become damaged and unable to function properly. Physical illnesses like stomach problems, blackouts and high blood pressure occur on a daily basis. Also, most alcoholics in this stage experience Vitamin B-1 deficiency.

This person also loses the ability to think rationally and memory and speech can also be affected. Additionally, the person’s emotional instability can lead to problems at home and the society.

Continually drinking during this stage can cause the alcoholic serious health problems and even result to death. It’s not only the beverage itself that can kill the person. Fatal accidents, suicide, and injuries are likely to happen as the alcoholic’s mental and physical well-being becomes impaired.

Alcoholism one way or another can be devastating not only to the alcoholics themselves but also to the people around them. If you notice these signs on someone important to you, take action immediately before it’s too late. To get the best possible chances of recovery, consider bringing your loved one to a rehab or a sober living facility. Places like these are extremely helpful in bolstering an addict towards overcoming their addiction and renewing themselves.