Health A-Z

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About 30% of alcoholics are able to abstain from alcohol permanently without the help of formal treatment or a self-help program. For the rest, the course of the illness is very varied. Some people will go through periods where they remain sober, but then relapse. Others have a hard time sustaining any period of sobriety.

It is clear, however, that the more sober days you have, the greater the chance that you will remain sober. Another motivating fact remaining sober can increase life expectancy by 15 or more years.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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