In many cases, alcoholism treatment is very effective. Studies have shown that a minority of alcoholics remain sober one year after treatment has occurred, while others may have periods of sobriety which alternative with periods of relapse. Still there are others who will be unable to stop drinking for any period of time, which may require other forms of intervention or repeated professional interventions in order to attain the desired results.
Treatment outcomes for alcoholics compare fairly favorably with outcomes for many of the more chronic medical conditions. The longer that someone is able to abstain from alcohol, the more likely that individual is able to remain sober. The same applies to some of the issues associated with triggers for relapse. The longer that someone is able to resist their triggers for relapse and continue with their treatment, the more likely they are to be able to completely overcome those triggers and work towards other levels of sobriety in the long run. However, everything varies depending on the individual; some people deal with triggers that are more difficult than others, and some people find themselves surrounded by triggers that non-alcoholics wouldn't even recognize.
It is important to understand and recognize that many people relapse once or even multiple times before they are able to achieve long term sobriety. Relapses are common and do not mean that the individual has failed their goals of becoming sober. It doesn't mean that they will not eventually be able to recover from alcoholism either. When relapses occur, it is important for the individual to stop drinking and to get help to abstain from alcohol again. Encouragement and support are crucial during this time because it reminds the individual that they still have the ability to work towards sobriety even though they have had a moment of weakness.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an alcoholism problem, getting help as soon as possible is very important. Research has shown that the sooner that someone is able to get help for their addiction, the more likely they are to have success with overcoming it and working towards sobriety again. If the individual is in circumstances that encourage them to drink or continue substance abuse, getting into a rehab program where the individual is removed from these circumstances can be very helpful; however, plans need to be made for aftercare when the rehab is finished so that the individual will not return to those circumstances which had encouraged the usage to begin with. Getting involved with a support group can be a great way to continue the treatment and remind the individual that they have a choice to remain sober on a daily basis. For those who do not have friends or family that can encourage them about sobriety, a support group provides continued encouragement and also allows the individual to interact with people who are in a similar situation. With continued support and the proper treatment programs in place, alcoholism treatment can be very successful.