Remaining alcohol-free is a very difficult task for most people with alcohol dependency. Individuals who do not seek help after detoxification may have a relapse rate as high as 50%-60%.
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.
Alcoholism 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.