Prognosis of Alcoholism
- Remaining alcohol-free is a very difficult task for most people with alcohol use disorder. Individuals who do not seek help after detoxification may have a high relapse rate.
- Four key factors may influence relapse rate:
- Less education about addiction and ways to resist urges to relapse
- Higher levels of frustration and anger
- More extensive history of cravings and other withdrawal symptoms
- More frequent consumption of alcohol prior to treatment
- If a person continues to drink excessively after numerous or ongoing treatments, their prognosis is very poor. Persistent heavy drinkers will often succumb to the effects of alcohol.
- Alcohol use disorder is a chronic disease not unlike diabetes or congestive heart failure. If alcoholism is considered a chronic disease, a treatment success rate of 50% is similar to the success rates in other chronic illnesses.
For More Information
Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization
Postal Address: ACA WSO
PO Box 3216
Torrance, CA 90510
A.A. World Services, Inc., 11th Floor
475 Riverside Drive at West 120th St.
New York, NY 10115
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
"Alcohol and Crime." National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. <http://www.ncadd.org/index.php/learn-about-alcohol/alcohol-and-crime>.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, fifth edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
Burns, Michael James. "Delirium Tremens (DTs)." Medscape.com. June 29, 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/166032-overview#a0156>.
Goldstein, P., H. Brownstein, and P. Ryan. "Drug
Related Homicide in New York: 1984 and 1988." Crime Delinquency 38 (1992): 459-
McKay, J.R. "Studies of Factors in Relapse to Alcohol, Drug and Nicotine Use: A Critical Review of Methodologies and Findings." Journal of Studies on Alcohol 60.4 July 1999: 566-576.
Moos, Rudolf H., and Bernice S. Moos. "Rates and Predictors of Relapse After Natural and Treated Remission From Alcohol Use Disorders." Addiction 101.2 Feb. 2006: 212-222. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1976118/>.
Spunt, B., H. Brownstein, P. Goldstein, M. Fendrich, M., and J. Liberty.
"Drug Use by Homicide Offenders." Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
27.2 (1995): 125-134.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Facts Sheets - Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men's Health." Jan. 16, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/mens-health.htm>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Motor Vehicle Safety." Oct. 4, 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Unintentional Drowning: Fact Sheet." May 16, 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html>.
United States. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Alcohol Facts and Statistics." May 21, 2014. <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics>.
United States. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "FAQs for the General Public." Feb. 2012. <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/FAQs/General-English/Pages/default.aspx>.
United States. U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA. "Focus on Fire Safety: Alcohol and Fire." Mar. 20, 2009. <http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/focus/alcohol.shtm>.
United States. U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Acamprosate." Feb. 11, 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000272/>.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/17/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Alcoholism
Addiction is possible whenever ingesting a substance causes the basic pleasure and reward circuits in the brain to activate. Addiction is an illness that requir...learn more >>
Alcohol intoxication is defined as when the quantity of alcohol the person
consumes produces behavioral or physical abnormalities. Alcohol is the generic
...learn more >>
Cirrhosis is a chronic (ongoing, long-term) disease of the liver. It means damage to the normal liver tissue that keeps this important organ from working as it ...learn more >>