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What is the Success Rate for Recovering Alcoholics?

Alcoholism recovery can be a trying time for those abusing alcohol for months or years, but what do the statistics say?

Alcohol addiction is one of the most serious public health threats that America currently faces. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that in 2019 alone, roughly 85.6% of American adults over 18 engaged in binge drinking at least once. (1) According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million adults aged 18 and over struggled with a serious and diagnosable alcohol abuse disorder. Sadly, only 7.3 percent of these adults received professional treatment. Why does such a small percentage of alcoholics reach out for help? Various factors are at play – some are unaware that they are suffering from an alcohol use disorder because excessive alcohol consumption is so prevalent and socially accessible. Some are not aware of the affordable and accessible resources that are readily available to them.

Can Chronic Alcoholics Stop Drinking?

Still, others believe they can successfully handle their negative drinking habits on their own time. The sad truth is that the success rates for recovering alcoholics are fairly low – that is, unless they commit themselves completely to a long-term comprehensive aftercare program. At Absolute Awakenings, relapse prevention is one of our number one priorities. We ensure that every client is fully equipped with the tools necessary to maintain long-term sobriety.

Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Alcohol addiction recovery can be a trying time for those actively abusing alcohol for months or years. They will have to learn an entirely new way of life, adapting to a world without chemical substances to get them through uncomfortable feelings and emotions. This means that while in medical detox, inpatient treatment, and aftercare, they will be required to learn all of the healthy coping mechanisms and relapse prevention skills taught to them.

Not only that, but they will have to employ these techniques in a real-life setting once clinical care ends. This is usually when things get tricky. Communicating effectively, identifying, working through relapse triggers, and utilizing coping mechanisms are certainly not second nature. This is where the hard work comes into play – and, unfortunately, when most individuals experience a relapse. Fortunately, this relapse can be prevented with a thorough and long-term aftercare program.

Success Rates for Recovering Alcoholics

When it comes to the number of alcoholics who have stayed sober after undergoing alcohol addiction treatment, the rates are fairly low. This can be largely attributed to a lack of consistent aftercare and neglecting important facets of ongoing recovery like 12-step program involvement and continued therapy. (2) A study published by the US National Library of Medicine titled “Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders” suggested that individuals who did not participate in Alcoholics Anonymous once they completed inpatient treatment were far more likely to relapse within the first year. (3) At Absolute Awakenings, we heavily emphasize the importance of 12-step programs like AA, and we thoroughly educate our clients on all 12-step programs of recovery while mandating that they attend at least one 12-step meeting every day. They are also required to find a sponsor of the same gender and begin working through the 12 steps, meeting with the sponsor at least once a week.

Absolute Awakenings and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

At Absolute Awakenings, we provide an integrated program of alcohol addiction recovery, meaning that we tackle all of the issues that active alcohol addiction causes, including mental, emotional, and physical issues. So, if you are ready to begin your program of alcohol addiction recovery, give us a call today for more information.


  1. Alcohol Facts and Statistics | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Accessed January 16, 2023.
  2. Kelly JF, Humphreys K, Ferri M. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;3(3):CD012880. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012880.pub2
  3. Moos RH, Moos BS. Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders. Addiction. 2006;101(2):212-222. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01310.x

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At Absolute Awakenings, we take information integrity seriously. We have dedicated our resources to ensure that all content published to our blog is medically sound. As such, all content on our blog has been thoroughly reviewed by a doctorate level clinician such as a Medical Doctor, or Psy.D, so that you can trust all of the data we publish.

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