Although the main goal of recovering alcoholics is abstinence, there appears to be two different groups of alcoholics and this has a direct reflection on the overall success with long-term recovery.
The first of the two groups is the alcoholics with good health, a strong social support system, and determination or motivation. The likelihood of recovery is good and it’s estimated that an average of fifty-five percent remain abstinent after an alcohol detox for a year and a large majority of that percentage maintain long-term sobriety permanently.
The second of the two groups is the one who have poor motivation, poor health, psychiatric disorders and a somewhat non-existent support network. They tend to relapse often within the first number of years after an alcohol detox or other treatment. Success for this group is often measured by increasing periods of abstinence, reduction of alcohol intake, improvement of socialization, and better health.
In either group though, an alcohol detox and treatment has two stages: abstinence, discontinuing alcohol use; and recovery, the period after which often includes outside support. The craving for alcohol does not suddenly disappear either, and that’s what makes staying sober difficult to maintain for either group. In the earlier stages, discontinuing alcohol may result in withdrawal symptoms such as, but not limited to, anxiety, poor sleeping habits, panic attacks, uncontrollable shaking, and hallucinations of delirium tremens (DT). If not treated properly, people with DT have a mortality rate of more than 10%, so those in the late stages of alcoholism (heavy usage) should seek a professional who can offer a medically-managed proper care facility – even for a short period of time.
Discovering what type of alcoholic you are and what to expect is important knowledge to obtain. This knowledge will help you chose the right course of action of alcohol detox to apply to your recovery. It could be a matter of life and death.