Alcoholism treatment is effective in many cases. Studies show that a minority
of alcoholics remain sober one year after treatment, while others have periods
of sobriety alternating with relapses. Still others are unable to stop drinking
for any length of time.
Treatment outcomes for alcoholism compare favorably with outcomes for many other
chronic medical conditions. The longer one abstains from alcohol, the more
likely one is to remain sober. (See also "Publications",
Alcohol Alert No. 17: and Treatment Outcome Research.)
It is important to remember that many people relapse once or several times
before achieving long-term sobriety. Relapses are common and do not mean that a
person has failed or cannot eventually recover from alcoholism. If a relapse
occurs, it is important to try to stop drinking again and to get whatever help
is needed to abstain from alcohol.
Ongoing support from family members and others can be important in recovery.
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