Despite the cravings and physical dependence, recovery outcomes for alcoholism increase the longer one remains sober.
From ancient oriental martial arts to the modern day "Dr. Dolittle" you can find the concept of the "Drunken Monkey". It seems to be an established malady in the primates of the planet.
Craving -- A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
Impaired control -- The inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion.
Physical dependence -- Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when drinking is stopped.
Tolerance -- The need for increasing amounts in order to feel its effects.
Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease with symptoms that include a strong need to drink despite negative consequences, such as serious job or health problems. Like many other diseases, it has a generally predictable course, has recognized symptoms, and is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors that are being increasingly well defined.
Alcoholism is a treatable disease, and medication has also become available to help prevent relapse, but a cure has not yet been found. This means that even if an alcoholic has been sober for a long time and has regained health, he or she may relapse and must continue to avoid all alcoholic beverages.
For an enlightening take on plant derived intoxication throughout history, check out the audio files at "Plants of Power"
Treatment is effective in many cases. Studies show that a minority of alcoholics remain sober one year after treatment, while others have periods of sobriety alternating with relapses. Still others are unable to stop drinking for any length of time.
Treatment outcomes compare favorably with outcomes for many other chronic medical conditions. The longer one abstains from drinking, the more likely one is to remain sober.
It is important to remember that many people relapse once or several times before achieving long-term sobriety. Relapses are common and do not mean that a person has failed or cannot eventually recover. If a relapse occurs, it is important to try to stop drinking again and to get whatever help is needed to abstain from drinking. Ongoing support from family members and others can be important in recovery.
Alcoholism is a form of Drug Addiction