For most people who have alcohol dependence, the first alcohol-related life problems usually appear in the mid-20s to early 40s. Left untreated, alcoholism often persists and gets worse over time. Up to 30% of people with alcohol dependence do manage to abstain from alcohol or control their drinking without formal treatment. On the other hand, the illness can be fatal – there are approximately 100,000 alcohol-related deaths per year in the United States.
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