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Alcoholism (cont.)

Prognosis of Alcoholism

  • 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.

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