If you’re concerned about a problem with drugs or alcohol, statistics don’t always provide comfort. But sometimes, the numbers are on your side. These five alcohol addiction statistics offer reason for hope:
1. For Every Year in Recovery, Your Chances of Lifelong Sobriety Increase
If you or a loved one is considering alcohol addiction treatment, take this statistic to heart: for every year you spend in recovery, your chances of lifelong sobriety increase. An 8-year study of nearly 1,200 adults who struggled with alcohol addiction showed that in the first year of recovery, about one-third of people will maintain sobriety. After the one-year mark, this number increases to 50%. If you hit the 5-year milestone, your chances of continuing lifelong sobriety increase to 85%. You can give yourself even better odds by surrounding yourself with healthy, positive people, committing to regular AA meetings, and considering ongoing therapy to develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress.
2. Seeking Alcohol Addiction Treatment Saves Money
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported a study that breaks down just how much addiction costs those who struggle with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Excessive alcohol use in 2010 cost the United States $249 billion. Losses in workplace productivity accounted for 72% of that figure, which translates to lost wages for those who struggle. Health care expenses accounted for 10%, with law enforcement and other criminal justice expenses adding 7%. The report attributed the remaining 5% to motor vehicle crashes caused by excessive drinking.
In light of these figures, to say nothing of the more than $3,000 per year it costs to maintain a 6-pack-a-day habit, the cost of treatment pales in comparison. Treatment costs vary by type and center, but many accept insurance or offer flexible payment plans. Compared to the costs of alcohol abuse disorder, recovery will always be the least expensive option.
Read More: What To Expect an Inpatient Treatment Center
3. Addiction Treatment Could Help Prevent HIV and Other Infectious Diseases
In a recent U.S. study, researchers found that treating addiction could help stop the spread of disease. The study, which focused on U.S. veterans, found that a strong correlation between hazardous drinking and HIV disease progression. While this study used veterans as their subjects, this information is relevant to anyone dependent on alcohol. Studies have found that limiting alcohol intake can decrease the chance of STDs by as much as 24%. If you suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder, it’s important to recognize the broad impact of addiction on your life. If you suffer from alcohol addiction, you also put yourself at risk of engaging in dangerous behavior. Seeking professional treatment can help you regain control and may even save your life.
4. Genes Are Responsible for Only Half the Risk of Alcohol Use Disorder
Although it’s true that Alcohol Use Disorder runs in families, addiction is not inevitable. Government research shows that genes are responsible for just half the risk of AUD, leaving many factors in your control. Educating yourself about the disease and various risk factors can help you learn the signs of addiction and take action before a problem develops. If you are predisposed to alcoholism due to your genetic makeup, you can lower your risk of addiction by monitoring your own use, learning healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress, developing healthy relationships and focusing on your life goals.
If you start to recognize the signs of addiction in yourself, seek treatment right away. A number of flexible options, including outpatient programs, can help you address problematic behavior before it starts to affect your everyday life and long-term health.
Read More: The Alcoholism Gene: Fact or Fiction?
5. You’re Not Alone: 80% of People with Alcohol Use Disorder Will Relapse
If you’ve tried to quit using alcohol, you can take comfort in this statistic: 80% of people who attempt to stop using alcohol will relapse at least once before achieving recovery. Although relapsing is hard psychologically, remember that it’s a normal part of recovery with the numbers to prove it. You can reduce your chances of relapsing by entering a professional treatment program that offers expert medical care, behavioral counseling and aftercare. Entering a 12-step program such as AA after completing treatment can also help you maintain sobriety as you rebuild a healthy life.
Although the statistics for alcohol addiction can often seem discouraging, the numbers can also deliver hope. If you or a loved one struggles with Alcohol Use Disorder, give yourself the best chance at lifelong recovery by entering a professional treatment program with the experience, resources, and guidance to help you overcome addiction.