The middle (second) stage of alcoholism

At the second stage of the disease the above mentioned symptoms worsen and the new ones appear.

1. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is the need to get drunk to improve the person's physical and mental state. The syndrome of hangover also develops gradually. If initially the need to drink again to overcome hangover appears only after a very high dose of alcohol, as the condition progresses, 200-300 ml of an alcoholic beverage the day before turns out to be enough to cause the symptoms of withdrawal. In the early going, the clinical pattern of alcohol withdrawal syndrome includes headache, nausea, general weakness, trembling of the hands and the whole body, cardiac arrhythmia.

Later, mental disorders like insomnia, anxiety, depression, hysteria, tempests of anger inevitably appear. The patient literally is unable to sit still, the distressful state of mind is accompanied by shivers and sweating. At the advanced stage of alcohol addiction, the syndrome of hangover lasts for 2-7 days and more.Alcohol withdrawal syndrome shows that the alcohol-induced changes in the body are now permanent. Once appeared, they don't seem to disappear even after many years of sobriety, and in case of relapse they only worsen. That is why the addiction medicine practitioners adhere to stout tactics: to achieve complete refusal from alcohol, to avoid having any alcoholic drinks for the rest of life.

2. The formation of the habitual pattern of alcohol abuse: a) permanent, b) intermittent, or c) binge drinking. In the permanent form, drinking episodes occur every day for weeks and months - for example, daily after work. If any breaks happen (due to illness, necessity to drive or some extra work to do), they mainly are reluctant and short-run, and then the person turns back to the use of the addictive substance again. Intermittent drinking has its own cycle: after a set of regular long drinking episodes, a period of stronger craving for alcohol suddenly comes, after which there may be a short 1-3-day break due to the devastation of the body, followed again by a period of relatively moderate drinking.

Finally, in speaking of binge drinking -it is a condition when the use of alcohol lasts for several days or even weeks. The state is characterized by a strong desire to drink as much as possible; then comes the "lucid interval" that lasts from a week to a month. After a drinking bout, severe withdrawal syndrome develops, mental disorders are also common: insomnia, depression, the sense of guilt, anxiety, irrational fear, etc.

3. Alcohol-induced personality changes. They affect social, intellectual and moral aspects. The patient loses the critical view of his condition. The signs of desensitization and disintegration of the personality emerge: the former hobbies and passions disappear, as well as interest in the events and the people around who do not drink alcohol. Personal degradation has an impact on behaviour and manifests itself in egocentrism, falsehood, boastfulness, rudeness, etc. Such patients develop groundless mood swings - from sociability and gaiety to depression and aggressiveness. The intellect, memory, attention, ability to perceive the necessary information weakens. However, the people dependent on alcohol demonstrate ingenuity and persistence in getting money for alcohol.