Alcoholism is a complex and devastating disease that can have severe consequences on an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As the condition progresses, it can lead to end stage alcoholism, a stage where the effects of excessive alcohol consumption become irreversible.

What is End Stage Alcoholism?

End stage alcoholism is the final and most severe stage of alcoholism. It is also known as late-stage alcoholism or chronic alcoholism.

This stage often occurs after years of heavy drinking and can have serious and irreversible consequences on the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health. At this point, an individual’s body has developed a tolerance to alcohol, meaning they need to consume more and more to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to the development of life-threatening conditions such as liver disease, pancreatitis, and heart problems.

In addition to physical health issues, those with end stage alcoholism may also experience severe mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. They may also struggle with maintaining relationships and holding down a job due to their addiction.

Individuals in this stage need to seek professional help to address their addiction and its consequences. Treatment options may include detoxification programs, therapy, support groups, and medication. Without proper treatment, end stage alcoholism can lead to serious complications that can ultimately result in death.

What Happens to a Person’s Body During End Stage Alcoholism?

Female nurse wearing mask administering medicine through an IVEnd stage alcoholism, also known as late-stage or advanced alcoholism, is the most severe and final stage of alcoholism. This is when a person’s body has been heavily affected by chronic alcohol consumption and has developed serious health complications.

Firstly, end stage alcoholism can greatly impact a person’s liver. The liver is responsible for breaking down and metabolizing alcohol in the body. However, excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to scarring of the liver tissue, known as cirrhosis. This condition can eventually cause liver failure, leading to other health issues such as jaundice, abdominal pain, and fluid accumulation in the abdomen.

Secondly, end stage alcoholism can also affect a person’s brain. Long-term heavy drinking can cause brain damage and impair cognitive function. This may result in memory loss, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and even permanent brain damage.

End stage alcoholism can weaken a person’s immune system. Alcohol interferes with the production of white blood cells that are essential for fighting off infections and diseases. As a result, individuals with end stage alcoholism are more prone to illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Furthermore, heavy drinking can also negatively impact a person’s cardiovascular system. It increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. End stage alcoholics may experience irregular heartbeats or even heart failure.

In addition to these physical effects on the body, end stage alcoholism can also have devastating consequences on one’s mental health. A dual diagnosis program can treat those who are struggling with co-occurring depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, or behaviors due to chemical imbalances caused by excessive drinking.

What Are the Signs of End Stage Alcoholism?

End stage alcoholism is characterized by severe physical and mental health problems caused by long-term excessive alcohol consumption. Some common signs and symptoms of end stage alcoholism include:

The liver is one of the organs most affected by chronic alcohol abuse. End stage alcoholics often experience liver cirrhosis, which can lead to serious complications such as jaundice, ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen), and hepatic encephalopathy (brain damage caused by liver dysfunction).

Alcohol contains empty calories that provide no nutritional value. As a result, chronic heavy drinkers often suffer from malnutrition due to poor diet and lack of of essential nutrients from food.

End stage alcoholics may experience frequent bouts of diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain due to inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract.

Chronic heavy drinking can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders.

Prolonged alcohol abuse can result in brain damage and neurological disorders such as dementia, memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with coordination and balance.

Alcohol-induced pancreatitis is a painful condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed due to excessive drinking.

End stage alcoholics are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.

Alcoholism can strain relationships with family members and friends due to irresponsible behavior or refusing to quit drinking.

End stage alcoholics may engage in risky behaviors like driving under the influence or getting into fights while intoxicated, which can lead to legal consequences.

Despite the severe consequences, end stage alcoholics are unable to control their drinking and continue to drink despite negative impacts on their health, relationships, and other areas of life.

Note that not all end stage alcoholics will show all of these symptoms, but that health consequences are the signature sign of end stage alcoholism.

How Does Alcoholism Progress to the End Stage?

Glass of whiskey neat, with blurry sleeping woman in the background

Alcoholism progresses to the end stage in several stages, each of which presents its own set of challenges and consequences.

  • Early stage: An individual develops a tolerance for alcohol and begins to drink more frequently and in larger quantities. During this stage, the person may also experience cravings for alcohol and start to show signs of dependence on it.
  • Middle stage: The person’s drinking habits become more frequent and excessive. They may start to neglect their responsibilities, relationships, and health as a result of their drinking. This can lead to social isolation, financial problems, and physical health issues.
  • Final stage: This is the late or end stage of alcoholism. At this point, an individual has developed a severe alcohol addiction and has lost control over their drinking behavior. They may continue to drink despite experiencing negative consequences, such as losing their job, damaged relationships, or legal troubles.

End stage alcoholism is characterized by physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. The individual requires increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects, and experiences withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking. As a result, they may prioritize drinking over all other aspects of their life.

Is End Stage Alcoholism Fatal?

End stage alcoholism can indeed be fatal and result in death. Chronic alcohol abuse can cause serious damage to the body’s organs, including the liver, heart, and brain. As a result, individuals with end stage alcoholism may experience life-threatening complications like liver failure, heart disease, and neurological damage.

Additionally, individuals with end stage alcoholism may engage in risky behaviors while intoxicated, such as drunk driving or engaging in violent behavior. These behaviors can increase their likelihood of experiencing fatal accidents or injuries.

What is the Average Life Expectancy of Someone With Alcoholism?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, individuals who struggle with alcoholism have a significantly lower life expectancy compared to those who do not. On average, the life expectancy of someone with alcoholism is about 10-12 years shorter than someone without alcoholism.

This is due to the numerous health complications and diseases that can arise from chronic alcohol abuse, such as liver disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It is important to seek help or spend time in an inpatient rehab to improve overall health and potentially increase life expectancy.

How is Alcoholism Treated?

Middle-aged heterosexual couple listening to therapist taking notesAlcoholism is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by a strong and uncontrollable urge to consume alcohol, despite its negative consequences on physical and mental health. However, with the right treatment, alcoholism can be managed effectively.

The first step towards treating alcoholism is a detoxification program. This involves removing all traces of alcohol from the body, which can cause severe withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, tremors, and anxiety. Detox should always be done under medical supervision, as it can be dangerous without proper care.

After detox, clients typically transition to a partial hospitalization program (PHP). This program offers intensive treatment and support for individuals struggling with alcoholism. It involves attending therapy sessions and group counseling daily while staying at home or in a sober living facility. A PHP allows individuals to receive treatment while still being able to maintain their daily responsibilities.

Many individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction also have underlying mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the addiction and the mental health disorder simultaneously to ensure long-term recovery.

Outpatient treatment is an option for individuals who do not require intensive care but still need support in maintaining their sobriety. Outpatient programs offer flexibility, as individuals can attend therapy sessions while still going about their daily lives.

After completing any of the above treatments, it is essential to continue with aftercare support. An aftercare program can include ongoing therapy sessions, group meetings, and relapse prevention techniques to help individuals maintain their sobriety long after they have completed formal treatment.

It is vital for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction to seek help from professionals who can provide them with necessary tools for recovery and help them achieve long-lasting sobriety.

Find Healing at Principles Recovery Center

At Principles Recovery Center, we believe that true healing comes from addressing the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Through evidence-based treatment programs, including detoxification, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services, we help our clients uncover these issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us today and take the first step towards finding healing and lasting recovery.

What is End Stage Alcoholism?

Home > Addiction Treatment > What is End Stage Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a complex and devastating disease that can have severe consequences on an individual's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As the condition progresses, it can lead to end stage alcoholism, a stage where the effects of excessive alcohol consumption become irreversible.

What is End Stage Alcoholism?

End stage alcoholism is the final and most severe stage of alcoholism. It is also known as late-stage alcoholism or chronic alcoholism.

This stage often occurs after years of heavy drinking and can have serious and irreversible consequences on the individual's physical, mental, and emotional health. At this point, an individual's body has developed a tolerance to alcohol, meaning they need to consume more and more to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to the development of life-threatening conditions such as liver disease, pancreatitis, and heart problems.

In addition to physical health issues, those with end stage alcoholism may also experience severe mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. They may also struggle with maintaining relationships and holding down a job due to their addiction.

Individuals in this stage need to seek professional help to address their addiction and its consequences. Treatment options may include detoxification programs, therapy, support groups, and medication. Without proper treatment, end stage alcoholism can lead to serious complications that can ultimately result in death.

What Happens to a Person’s Body During End Stage Alcoholism?

Female nurse wearing mask administering medicine through an IVEnd stage alcoholism, also known as late-stage or advanced alcoholism, is the most severe and final stage of alcoholism. This is when a person's body has been heavily affected by chronic alcohol consumption and has developed serious health complications.

Firstly, end stage alcoholism can greatly impact a person's liver. The liver is responsible for breaking down and metabolizing alcohol in the body. However, excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to scarring of the liver tissue, known as cirrhosis. This condition can eventually cause liver failure, leading to other health issues such as jaundice, abdominal pain, and fluid accumulation in the abdomen.

Secondly, end stage alcoholism can also affect a person's brain. Long-term heavy drinking can cause brain damage and impair cognitive function. This may result in memory loss, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and even permanent brain damage.

End stage alcoholism can weaken a person’s immune system. Alcohol interferes with the production of white blood cells that are essential for fighting off infections and diseases. As a result, individuals with end stage alcoholism are more prone to illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Furthermore, heavy drinking can also negatively impact a person's cardiovascular system. It increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. End stage alcoholics may experience irregular heartbeats or even heart failure.

In addition to these physical effects on the body, end stage alcoholism can also have devastating consequences on one’s mental health. A dual diagnosis program can treat those who are struggling with co-occurring depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, or behaviors due to chemical imbalances caused by excessive drinking.

What Are the Signs of End Stage Alcoholism?

End stage alcoholism is characterized by severe physical and mental health problems caused by long-term excessive alcohol consumption. Some common signs and symptoms of end stage alcoholism include:

The liver is one of the organs most affected by chronic alcohol abuse. End stage alcoholics often experience liver cirrhosis, which can lead to serious complications such as jaundice, ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen), and hepatic encephalopathy (brain damage caused by liver dysfunction).

Alcohol contains empty calories that provide no nutritional value. As a result, chronic heavy drinkers often suffer from malnutrition due to poor diet and lack of of essential nutrients from food.

End stage alcoholics may experience frequent bouts of diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain due to inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract.

Chronic heavy drinking can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders.

Prolonged alcohol abuse can result in brain damage and neurological disorders such as dementia, memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with coordination and balance.

Alcohol-induced pancreatitis is a painful condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed due to excessive drinking.

End stage alcoholics are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.

Alcoholism can strain relationships with family members and friends due to irresponsible behavior or refusing to quit drinking.

End stage alcoholics may engage in risky behaviors like driving under the influence or getting into fights while intoxicated, which can lead to legal consequences.

Despite the severe consequences, end stage alcoholics are unable to control their drinking and continue to drink despite negative impacts on their health, relationships, and other areas of life.

Note that not all end stage alcoholics will show all of these symptoms, but that health consequences are the signature sign of end stage alcoholism.

How Does Alcoholism Progress to the End Stage?

Glass of whiskey neat, with blurry sleeping woman in the background

Alcoholism progresses to the end stage in several stages, each of which presents its own set of challenges and consequences.

  • Early stage: An individual develops a tolerance for alcohol and begins to drink more frequently and in larger quantities. During this stage, the person may also experience cravings for alcohol and start to show signs of dependence on it.
  • Middle stage: The person's drinking habits become more frequent and excessive. They may start to neglect their responsibilities, relationships, and health as a result of their drinking. This can lead to social isolation, financial problems, and physical health issues.
  • Final stage: This is the late or end stage of alcoholism. At this point, an individual has developed a severe alcohol addiction and has lost control over their drinking behavior. They may continue to drink despite experiencing negative consequences, such as losing their job, damaged relationships, or legal troubles.

End stage alcoholism is characterized by physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. The individual requires increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects, and experiences withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking. As a result, they may prioritize drinking over all other aspects of their life.

Is End Stage Alcoholism Fatal?

End stage alcoholism can indeed be fatal and result in death. Chronic alcohol abuse can cause serious damage to the body's organs, including the liver, heart, and brain. As a result, individuals with end stage alcoholism may experience life-threatening complications like liver failure, heart disease, and neurological damage.

Additionally, individuals with end stage alcoholism may engage in risky behaviors while intoxicated, such as drunk driving or engaging in violent behavior. These behaviors can increase their likelihood of experiencing fatal accidents or injuries.

What is the Average Life Expectancy of Someone With Alcoholism?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, individuals who struggle with alcoholism have a significantly lower life expectancy compared to those who do not. On average, the life expectancy of someone with alcoholism is about 10-12 years shorter than someone without alcoholism.

This is due to the numerous health complications and diseases that can arise from chronic alcohol abuse, such as liver disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It is important to seek help or spend time in an inpatient rehab to improve overall health and potentially increase life expectancy.

How is Alcoholism Treated?

Middle-aged heterosexual couple listening to therapist taking notesAlcoholism is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by a strong and uncontrollable urge to consume alcohol, despite its negative consequences on physical and mental health. However, with the right treatment, alcoholism can be managed effectively.

The first step towards treating alcoholism is a detoxification program. This involves removing all traces of alcohol from the body, which can cause severe withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, tremors, and anxiety. Detox should always be done under medical supervision, as it can be dangerous without proper care.

After detox, clients typically transition to a partial hospitalization program (PHP). This program offers intensive treatment and support for individuals struggling with alcoholism. It involves attending therapy sessions and group counseling daily while staying at home or in a sober living facility. A PHP allows individuals to receive treatment while still being able to maintain their daily responsibilities.

Many individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction also have underlying mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the addiction and the mental health disorder simultaneously to ensure long-term recovery.

Outpatient treatment is an option for individuals who do not require intensive care but still need support in maintaining their sobriety. Outpatient programs offer flexibility, as individuals can attend therapy sessions while still going about their daily lives.

After completing any of the above treatments, it is essential to continue with aftercare support. An aftercare program can include ongoing therapy sessions, group meetings, and relapse prevention techniques to help individuals maintain their sobriety long after they have completed formal treatment.

It is vital for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction to seek help from professionals who can provide them with necessary tools for recovery and help them achieve long-lasting sobriety.

Find Healing at Principles Recovery Center

At Principles Recovery Center, we believe that true healing comes from addressing the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Through evidence-based treatment programs, including detoxification, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services, we help our clients uncover these issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us today and take the first step towards finding healing and lasting recovery.

Dr. Carlos Satulovsky

Dr. Carlos Satulovsky ( Medical Director )
Dr. Carlos Satulovsky is a board-certified psychiatrist and has over 30 years of experience in the medical field. He graduated from Facultad De Ciencias Medicas/Universidad Nacional. He is affiliated with medical facilities North Shore Medical Center.
Table of Contents
Scroll to Top
Skip to content