Prognosis of Treatment of Alcoholism

The prognosis of treatment of alcoholism (or prognosis of alcoholism without treatment) is mixed. Many alcoholics do well after treatment whereas many alcoholics show no improvement whatsoever despite best treatment for alcoholism and alcohol related medical condition. It is not possible to predict if an alcoholic will benefit from any (any form of treatment as there are several different methods of treatment of alcoholism and alcohol abuse) treatment for alcoholism and alcohol related medical condition. Some alcoholics even do well without any medical treatment and some shows no sign of improvement despite providing best possible management.

There are several studies, which were conducted to find out the outcome or prognosis of treatment of alcoholism and alcohol related medical disorders and alcohol abuse. A study was conducted by the “National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism” in the year 2002, to survey and find out the prognosis and outcome of treatment of alcoholism and alcohol related medical condition.

The study was conducted on 4,422 adults meeting the criteria for definition of “alcohol dependence”. Of the total sample of 4,422 adults only 25% received any treatment for alcoholism and alcohol dependence. One year after starting the study, 35.9% recovered fully from alcohol dependence (out of 35) and 11.8% became asymptomatic drinkers (they may or may not drink regularly, but always drink in lower quantity so as not to become drunk and produce symptoms of alcoholism and these individuals are at risk of relapse of alcoholism), 27.3% had partial remission and 25% were still alcohol dependent. Of the35.9% fully recovered alcoholics, 18.2% became abstainers and remaining became low risk for alcoholism and alcohol abuse in future.

The above study was a short term study and may not show the actual picture of a long term study and result. In one long term study of more than 50 years (follow up study for more than 50 years) at Harvard Medical School it was concluded that the “return to controlled drinking rarely persisted for more than a decade and the alcoholism either relapse or the alcoholics turn to abstinence”. Return-to-controlled drinking for most alcoholics is a mirage and many will eventually relapse.

The prognosis of treatment of alcoholism is not good in the long run unless the alcoholics resort to complete abstinence. The alcoholics who return-to-controlled drinking, after treatment, eventually relapse and become alcoholic again.

 

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5 Comments

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  • Dan V April 23, 2013 02.15 am

    There’s no way that anyone with a drinking problem or alcoholic can go back to controlled drinking and keep it under control. That’s like having someone get sober from cocaine then having them just do a hit every once in a while haha.

    Reply 

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