What is the Percentage of Alcoholics Who Stay Sober?

What is the Percentage of Alcoholics Who Stay Sober?

People shadow

People have asked me throughout my recovery: “What is the percentage of alcoholics who stay sober?”

It is a tricky question because the person asking it is usually basing it on at least one assumption.   For example, we might be at the drug rehab that I used to work at, and they will be talking to me about treatment there, and then they will ask that question.  So really what they are asking is: “What is the percentage of people who stay sober after going through a treatment like this one?”

Then there are people who might ask this question when you tell them that you have been to AA meetings.  They are really asking “What percentage of people stay sober who go to AA?”

And so on.  So there are a lot of different ways to ask the question.  They all seem to involve a different group of people:

* Those who are alcoholic but have never sought professional help or AA, but tried to get sober on their own.

* Those who are alcoholic and have entered into an inpatient rehab facility.

* Those who are alcoholic and have gone to an AA meeting.

* Those who are alcoholic and who actively participate in AA and continue to attend over a long period of time.

And on and on and on.

All of these different groups, and the question just sort of lumps them all together.

The most common assumption behind the question though is this one:

“What percentage of alcoholics remain sober after seeking help of some kind?”

That is the general and most common assumption behind the question, so let’s tackle that one.

If you look at the numbers in this addiction infographic that is based on government data, you will find that while almost 10 percent of adults have some sort of addiction problem, only about 13% will ever seek help for it.  That right there is a scary statistic in its own right.  Most who need help do not ever seek it.

Next, you will see that of those who seek help and do attend treatment, only 1 out of 5 people will still be clean and sober after 90 days of leaving rehab.  Ouch.  A 20% success rate at the 90 day mark, and most people would like to think of abstinence as being “permanent.”  The numbers get even worse if you go out to six months or a year.

Furthermore, the churn rate in AA is deplorable, as pointed out by the 75% drop out rate in the first month of AA attendance.  Furthermore, AA World Services found in their census data that a full 95% of all who attend an AA meeting leave within a year and never return.  Shocking to say the least.  Most who visit AA do not stick around.  They simply leave, and reject the program.

Of course, a small percentage do stay and use the program to better their lives, and that is fine.  But you have to be at least somewhat alarmed at how many reject the program outright.

If you really want a rough estimate that sort of gives a decent answer to the question, you can always say “about 5% stay sober.”  This is not far from the truth.  In all actuality, you can see a sort of drop off rate as people try to stay sober for longer and longer.  In other words, if 100 people try to get sober, about 5% of them will make it to 90 days sober.

Now take all of the people who made it to 90 days sober.  About 5% of THOSE people will make it to 2 years sober.

So there is sort of this drop off rate that slides, and it is a pretty scary slope.  Make it to 90 days and you are not out of the woods yet.  Make it to 2 years and you are STILL not out of the woods yet.

However, if you make it to 4 years sober, then your chances of achieving “permanent sobriety” jump significantly.  The statistics show at that point that if you make it to 4 years sober, you will probably stay sober forever.  Of course with addiction there are no certainties.


  1. Glenda, I was in a similar marriage and just couldn’t see myself out of it. I thought my “love” was a bondage I couldn’t escape. I hope for your sake you wake up and divorce the man. He’s not going to “sober up soon”. Things are going to get far worse, irretrievably so. Life is fabulous when you’re not carrying dead weight and taking the consequences for someone else’s behavior and actions. As his wife (if you haven’t already divorced him), you are his main enabler. I thought the following was a shockingly eye-opening article. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/04/06/enabler/

    Freedom from misery is around the corner, but it’s up to you, not him. Be brave!

  2. Right on, Dale! I’ve been sober for 26 years and can’t remember when I attended my last meeting. AA was the lifeboat I needed to stay sober and I recommend it to anyone seeking recovery, but after many years in AA, I gradually quit going, I didn’t feel the need to continue even though some members like to scare people who quit going to meetings. I know some people might relapse without meetings, but I just didn’t think I should attend out of fear. If you have solid sobriety, you’ll turn conversations into meetings and people you meet into fellow “travelers” on the path to greater and better recovery, whether they’re alcoholics or not.

    • I’m curious did you actually read the AA literature? Have you heard about the twelfth step? Maybe the saying “paying it forward”? The whole point of AA sums up to carrying the message and being of service. Not simply putting down the bottle or baggie or needle. Imagine the civil rights movement without any people? Black people would still be sitting on the last bench in that bus..

  3. Live your life ! Let him go ! Your son has to walk his own path & write his own history no matter what the history is …. it is his life. You love him just the way he is but you live your life ! You must stop enabling him because he has to learn to walk & fall and get back up on his own till he is tired of falling and getting up and stays on his knees and begs for help … not manipulate for help ! The wisdom is to know the difference go to Al Anon and heal yourself otherwise it is the blind leading the blind.

  4. No you did it with AA … and you have managed to stay sober with resentment and heck whatever works works 🙂

    • No, she did it without AA. But thanks for assuming that your court ordered meetings which are full of negative reinforcement and people that would most certainly dispel any notion of “attraction not promotion” have any part whatsoever in this woman’s choice to abstain from drinking alcohol.

      • The pope just admitted that their was no Adam and Eve and that it was a fable the church crated he also stated their was no hell that was going to burn eternal fire on sinners it was all about controlling the sheep ! So I am sure it will be just a matter of time before they admit Jesus was a fable as well ….. the fable of Jesus was and still the #1 money maker for the church yet their is not one bit of proof that he ever walked the planet …. not one thing jesus wrote down or wore or even a fragment of his personal belongs are left ZERO ! Every thing about Jesus was written by other people over history. Not one thing written by jesus 🙂 = Hoax . If Jesus was alive today wink wink he would not even be good enough of an opening act of David Copperfield or Chris Angle. Heck religious freaks have been trying for thousands of years to prove Jesus was real so desparite the faked the shroud of Jesus ….. and pictures of jesus bleeding out the eyes … my guess a meth head saw that . I once thought I saw jesus in my corn flakes and he spoke to me and said tell all people far and wide that when I come back I will be short one trick ! I will not preform walking on water due to the holes in my feet !

        • Wow you’re brilliant, unparalleled to every great philosopher, scientist , theologian , you must be a zillionaire! I feel honored you spent that much time and effort proving beyond a shadow of a doubt there is no Jesus! Stupendous my friend!

          • Jodi Jesus will always be your imaginary friend …. its okay to play make believe. Most people believers or not would laugh if Jesus walk up and said I am Jesus I am back all would laugh !

          • Oh and not practicing,just would rather live believing in God dying and finding out there’s not one,than not believing and dying and finding out there’s not one,! I’m not so ignorant or egocentric to KNOW anything other than all that’s for sure it’s I have to stay black and die!

          • Jodi, thank you for your comments and great perspective! Although I have never been religious, your views show why going down the faithful road beats the road of doubt and cynicism. Also, thanks to your attackers, this point has been accentuated greatly!

        • Your banter may work when you post on an article where English is not the primary language, but unfortunately you can see that we communicate in English here. Both in regards to spelling and context. “Chris Angle”? “Preform walking on water”? Your opinions (all unsubstantiated) which you spewed out are all duly noted and thrown in the gutter where they originated. Every time you try to discredit Jesus, you do the son of God a huge favor by discrediting everyone from your camp. God bless

      • sober 38 years come Jan 9, 2016…..I kicked God and Church (Catholic) out of my life at age 14, I’m now 71. Had a great sponsor, we’re still long time friends, he’s sober 48 years, meanest sponsor in all of AA, made me do things that went against my grain, the sponsor from hell. He had to be from hell to put up with the likes of me, the only one who stood by me in those early years of sobriety and what I went through in those early 24’s, I kicked the 2nd and 11th steps out for a couple years. Always said if you’re gonna restore me to the sanity I had before I picked up my first drink, keep it, that’s why I drank in the first place at 14 years old, to escape the reality of my life, AA didn’t restore me to that after I came to believe in about 2 years, I listened to the group as the higher power. When I finally did the 2nd and 3rd step, and by now honest, then more honest and in my 3rd or 4th years, rigorously honest and spilled my guts with the things I planned on taking to the grave with me, I had no more to hide, no more lies of covering up my past, I told it like it was. No, the sanity AA restored me to was a sanity I had never known in my entire life. My drinking was but a symptom of my disease, I also sought professional help after about 5 years of daily meetings, 2 and 3 per day at times for 15 years. I got very active and involved in AA, I am one of them old timers now, brought up in my life in AA by the Old Timers, many have passed, but their spirits live on in my heart. I got involved in Service work early on, organizing AA conventions and working in the community, guess what, I still make coffee and door greeter at my home group, still folding up chairs and tables and cleaning up the kitchen. I’ve come to know I am but one drink away from my next drunk, my last drunk, I also came to believe that the higher power “IS”…too many coincidences in my life of prayer and meditation to call them simply coincidences, the proof is in my life, and in others who helped me along the way, when I look in their eyes, the windows of their heart, I know that He dwells in all our hearts. I see Him working at AA meetings, the hello’s, the how are you’s, where’ve you been, the hugs, the kisses, the handshakes of people who were once just like me, afraid, scared lonely, the downtrodden, the unwanted, the unneeded, the uncared for, the unloved. I love watching Him work through other people, the miracles, and there are no losers in AA, only those sick in heart and in spirit. The healers are still at work in AA around the world, spreading the word of the 12 steps to recovery. All I wanted 38 years ago was to put the cork in the bottle like I did so many times during my days of wine and four roses, but always fell off the wagon, but to stay stopped was the blessing, the Grace He gave me, when I put my drink problem in His hands, followed by my will and life some time later in the steps. I was raised in AA on those 12 Steps and the Big Book, if ever I want to know “how am I doing in recovery” all I have to do is pick up the 12 and 12 or Big Book and start reading it after letting it lay there on the shelf for a couple years. I swear someone came into my house and changed the words or put in a new paragraph or an entire page. I know I read it hundreds of times and those same words that now have a new or different meaning, I am after all, still teachable after all these 24’s. The best teachers sadly were those who went back out, I attended some of their funerals, visited them in hospitals and institutions after they thought they were cured, or they didn’t think they were alcoholic after all. But the truth is AA is not for everyone, there are over 130 different programs of recovery throughout the USA that are certified treatment programs, whatever works for you….if you are seeking sobriety please God may you find it, if you have sobriety please God may you keep it….God Bless and a sober and happy 24 wishes for all

    • You believe in AA yet state that Jesus is not real? Have fun praying to the door knob that constitutes your higher power chief.

  5. Steve,did you ever consider your discontented feelings may be due to your lack of faith, not in man made religions or gods , but in the fact that youre not the most powerful being in the universe. That no matter how hard you try, you know there are forces at work and there’s not a thing you can do about it? You might want to consider humility over ego to find peace,if this comment cause you dis ease, I am most likely correct…

    • I am a very devout catholic and can say that it really doesn’t matter whether he has belief or not. If he is not drinking and is ten years sober, then his life is better for it. Faith takes a lot of forms and the good deeds committed whilst being sober might outweigh even accepting the general premise of organized religion. I say, good job on staying clean, Steve. Your heart is in the right place, Jodi. You need so e sort of satisfaction, Steve, so I suggest you find it. Hopefully not in a bottle but so what you need to do. Wish the best of luck to you and I know where you are coming from.

  6. That’s because you don’t spend time with people in recover,in many meetings you’d find you’re a newcomer…..

  7. You may have the wrong idea about AA, the point is it’s not about you, it’s about helping others,the same principal’s as many great men have been preaching for millennia .

    • Passing it on as you say or the much used “you can only get sobre by helping others is the language designed to prothelytise the religion… its simmilar to the mind control in the Jehova Witness cult… they believe an 8000m deep ocean which was hanging in the sky fell to earth and obliterated all life apart from Noah etc…. AA believes God can cure drink dependancy (back to basics – Wally P) which is strange as God´s success rate in every other disease on the planet is zero…

  8. Notice most dry people are very selfish,your gratitude tells a different story, God bless you.and thank you for your hard work,I’m sure your experience, strength and hope had inspired many!

  9. That’s the problem PERSONAL growth,means not helping anyone else. Why do you think A A had I only grown immeasurably since 1935; because personal growth is dependant on helping others. Simple concept, pass it on.

    • I agree with you 100%. Based on a lot of these posts, people used AA for self-seeking, self-absorbed motives: to get themselves sober and only them and to heck with helping anyone else who was in the same shape they were in when they first came to AA. What would they have done if they showed up at their first AA meeting and there was no one there because all the people who got sober took on the same attitude of no longer needing it for themselves? To thine own self be true 🙂

  10. You will be fine I have been sober 29 years stopped meeting at about year 11 or 12 raised a family and all is good 🙂 I was struck sober in a detox centre AA taught me living skills and I still will reach out and help others can’t help doing that seems God seared that in my heart and soul 🙂

  11. That’s like trying to put statistics on how many people never eat sugar again although they’re told their diabetes will kill them. What were the odds that you would be born.? Heavens to Betsy, it’s about people gaining QUALITY of life and not making every one around them miserable. How many brand new cars will go ten years without a problem? How many natural disasters are looked at as a positive? But the stories after the disaster of people helping people are beautiful and poignant! Our country was at it’s best after pearl harbor and 9/11. Hmmmmm, I wonder, is there a link about the connection of the human spirit, people helping people. That’s what AA is about NOT statistics!

  12. Eight years ago I had seven years sober and had a glass of beer. It’s been down hill ever since. In the past five years I have made repeated attempts at sobriety through AA but keep getting drunk. I do every thing suggested. If there is one thing I can count on is that my mind will “click” over from reality and I’m drunk, every day. I cant take this crap no more. Thinking of offing my self because the pain is to great. The odds are staked against me. I am a real alcoholic like the book says, 100% hopeless. I am not the guy that got a DUI and went to meetings. I am screwed. Hate going to meetings any way with all that fake bravado and getting an ear full of bs. I am so done with it. I cannot do this another day, no way.

    • I haven’t had a drink in over 22 years. I still go to AA because we are a group of people who have been there and know what alcoholism feels like. Not counselors or doctors who think they know how to fix us, but real veterans of this disease who know the pain first hand. I would add one thing to any program of recovery. It’s a sincere, deep down desire to live without alcohol. When AA began those in recovery were critically addicted and had no option but to quit or die. Wanting to quit was assumed in the program. I struggled for over two years because I knew I needed to quit, but subconsciously was still in love with the buzz.

    • Actually, all you have is NOW. And right now I choose not to ingest mind altering substances of any type that will turn me into some monster I do not know. Doesn’t matter if they are legal, illegal or prescription. If you cannot live with out them, then you are not really living anyway. 7+ years and same for cigarettes.

  13. 100% of all alcoholics hate to be told NO.
    As in NO you can’t stay sober because the percentage says you can’t. Long after everyone gave up on me… that’s when I got sober. that was 13 years ago. When it comes to relapse the guy who lives in the plains doesn’t worry about falling off of the mountain. The guy that goes and hangs out at the cliff everyday is much more aware of the possibility of falling. that’s why I go to AA to hang out with the other former “mountain climbers”. However as for the guy that lives in the plains..? there’s a lot of sinkholes out there and the less he looks for them the easier it will be for him to fall…

  14. Jodi, chill out. You sound a lot like a dry drunk to me. Remember to breathe, and don’t feel like you have to correct EVERYone.

  15. Go to a sobriety countdown at a stadium then you get a better picture then anywhere else. I went to founders day in Akron once they did the countdown and this is when you see a pro-AA audience. 20K stand up, by the time you get to five years your at roughly 10 percent of crowd standing, by 25 years maybe a couple hundred if that, by 50 one guy will be standing up. Thus if you get like me sometimes and go into the poor me’s because your family still sees you as a freak after 24 years then you realize just how lucky you really are. God disciplines those he loves. Its amazing how many people die drunk, and quick. I got sober in 1990, at that time my sister was a wall flower once in a blue moon drinker, she was always needy though. Well she married an AA’er in 1999, by 2003 he was drinking, by 2004 my sister was drinking and cracking, by 2009 she was dead. This all in the course of me the entire time sober. Really people dump these silly questions and who gets sober who doesn’t, what you need to do and don’t want to do. Hell you don’t even know if you’ll be sober in 5 years let alone alive. I got one word stay close to God, that’s it. Forget the rest. You being sober is a miracle. By the way if your sober after 4 years your set, not hardly a 4 year member is a greenhorn. If that’s in sobriety terms your just maybe leaving diapers.

  16. . I HAVE NOT HAD A DRINK / have BEEN SOBER FOR 26 YEARS … STOPPED ATTENDING MEETINGS AFTER 5 YEARS, REALLY/ SPORADICALLY till 10 years…. no meetings for 16 years…. I am back after all this time. ( 26 years no drinking) I never picked up…. but my life was becoming unmanageable … so I am back… have found a lot of the “”ISM” CREEPED BACK INTO MY LIFE.. LIVE AND LET LIVE/ BUT I THINK I M VERY HAPPY TO BE BACK.

  17. re : BICKERING AND NAME CALLING HERE…. keep the focus on yourself… live and let live… if you really believe someone is ” wrong ” THEN , BY A.A. PRECEPTS compassion for that person comes first…. a sympathetic ear may help them more than vitriol… just a thought. alanon issues here…

  18. I’ve been sober for over 17 years. I never went in for formal treatment but did start AA meetings right away. I was aware that some support was necessary. I was working as an RN on a drug and alcohol treatment unit at the time. Ironic, isn’t it? I quit AA meetings when I became annoyed by all the “God stuff.” Some members seemed not to be able to make simple decisions, like what to wear that morning, without consulting “their higher power.” I found I was becoming more and more annoyed with that. I was also becoming an atheist. So after enduring higher power this and that for a couple of years, my attendance gradually came to a halt. Of course, that was frowned upon by active members. I was constantly told I was doing something wrong, not attending enough meetings, not calling my sponsor often enough, blah, blah, blah.
    I think AA is a form of brain washing, but if that’s what you need to quit and put some order back into your life, then so be it. It just wasn’t for me. When I read the stats about how many people stay sober, I’m amazed. I was a liter+ daily drinker before I quit. I am so glad I don’t do that any more. Life is so much more beautiful without that haze of alcohol.

    • I get the faith issue what I never got was the anger associated with it especially to AA. The God issue has nothing to do with AA it was there long before you walked in the doors

  19. I am so my the by people who are sober and just miserable. For an alcoholic like me if I am going to b miserable I will b drunk and miserable. But I havery yet to find a reason to do that, been sober 3 years and can only thank the program . I had tried every other thing known to man and it is the only thing that has worked for me

  20. If the answer seems difficult to follow its because it is because it meanders all over the place comes back and meanders again.
    Simple approach using his numbers:
    1,000,000- drunks
    130,000- drunks seeking help 13%
    6,500- drunks sober after 90 days 5%
    325- drunks sober after 2 years 5%
    ????- whatever out of the woods means 4 years
    Because his perimeters keep changing its hard to actually figure out what the answer is, but my guess is his ballpark figure is right. Go to a founders day in Akron, usually there is a big meeting in the ballpark, they do a sobriety countdown. You get to five years 90% or better of the ballpark is sitting down of a crowd of 20K. Now of course got people who die sober and they count too, but once you get into the 30+ years now your in the AA Hall of Famer so to speak class. Lucky enough to live that long and stay sober thus a couple of hundred until 40 then less then 25 till the top guy or girl at 50+. Myself at near 25 years I’m usually in the top 3 or 4 at any meetings. But dedication also effects those countdowns thus I’d agree roughly to his ballpark numbers until his numbers get very vague. Then dry drunks, and so you can see the problem trying to figure the numbers.

  21. They tried the best they could to un-God the program while keeping the concept that you can’t have it be you. You go to agnostic/athetist meetings basically what are they AA meetings minus the God section of the book and God portions of the meeting. Coffee, check. Sitting in a circle/at tables, check, some type of closing, check. Meetings in Churches/ town halls, check. Only thing I recommend is leave the animosity towards beleivers out of it, the goal is don’t drink, not figure out a way to out wit AA because truth is many things in agnostic meeting is the same as standard AA meetings.

  22. Are you here to share sobriety or spit in the eye of believers? Many of these agnostic/atheist groups are about politics. I thought it was about getting and staying sober. Even though I have faith its not that I ever saw AA as some Christian fellowship, in fact I find it extremely new age in its approach. Your would never here the term higher power in a Church, or God as you understand Him. Thats always been the puzzling part to me of agnostic/atheists anger at AA, how can you be angry when it says God as you understand Him? The goal is that its not YOU, thats what Bill was trying to relay. He knew our egos were very dangerous to sobriety. Really look at your own sayings their not Nancy invented sayings their AA sayings, just puzzling how people so angry with AA in some ways made that they think their being told to do something they don’t agree with then on the other hand use concepts and slogans from the hated institution

    • AA has been designated a religion by the US supreme courts more times that i can remember – the higher power has always been just a generic term for the Christian God, if you read the steps objectively you´ll see the manipulation – most long time memebers of AA have just become co-dependent in ´recoveryism´

      • You know, I really get a kick out of people who use AA as a place to either put God down, or build up there own belief. If you read the steps and this main article, it says you can leave any time you want. Trying to put our program down this way, just strokes your little ego. IF you want what we have and are willing to do some work, then stay, if not then leave.. If its a Religion, and you don’t like it, you don’t have to go! If anyone of us has a life that is so horrible and AA can make it better, well why would anyone judge how that happened? Unless it happens that your misery is looking for company!!! And that alone should make you really think and look for a solution instead of being part of the problem.. Sorry,, its your choice really

        • My concern is for people with drink dependancy walking through the doors of AA for the first time, they are fragile and easily manipulated by the almost hysterical reliance on God being able to eliminate their past sins (character defects) which AA promotes as the cause of their issues… The religiosity of many intergroups to decree that the only God you can use is the Christian one of the scpritures solidifies AA´s roots in the Oxford group (souls for Christ). Wally P is on a self confessed mission from God to convert the masses and his 3000 + back to basic meetings which promote immediate stepwork from day one is as bad as the Jehovah’s witnesses program of mind control…. Any organisation which repeats the phrase “you need to go to any lengths” but then allows you only one book written in the 30´s to work from and basically ignores the amazing work done on addiction during the past 80 years …………. is a ´cult´
          The point is that once hooked on the mind control, many people find it extremely dificult to leave because their addiction has been extended now to include co-dependence on God and the group.

          I´m all for it being a place where people with addiction can meet up with others suffering, but to present it´s own program as a solution which has in effect a zero success rate is absolutely dishonest. (appalling success rate of just 5% minus the 5% spontaneous recovery rate seen in all illness´s equals zero)

          Six months ago i took someone out of the rooms and introduced them to a wonderful CBT in the area – it was soon established her issues stemmed from childhood trauma and no amount of repeated step 4 nonsense was gonna help. In a few short months she has basically recovered from dependence on alcohol and also more importantly dependence on the group, with a new perception on addiction, it´s causes and effects..

          Without proper help and guidence she would still be sitting in 7 meetings a week coninually branding herself an alcoholic and praying to God..

          • well She will see in time if she has Basically Recovered? Hope you didn’t give her a death sentence to make yourself and your opinions RIGHT.. and the old timers had one meeting a week to go to? So the Rest of the week, They had to Pray… and form a relationship with whatever they chose.. I will not apologize for believing in God, but I do wish as you say, we (some AA’s) did not say the message of doing so many 4th Steps is whats going to fix anyone.. The reason for 6-7 is to have found a way to let go of, forgive my past, come to peace with it, and not let it keep harming my present.. I say, go to as much counseling as is required, get the help needed for past trauma.. Then,, if you choose,, Come back and try to help someone else.. Thats what this CULT as you say, is trying to get people like you to do,, Help Others who suffer, and you will find your peace.. God or NO God,, Helping others learn to have peace is not something that will make you more dysfunctional than you already are !!

  23. I am sober and an atheist. I come from a family with a long history of alcoholism. My father has been sober for 45 years and is a Christian. I like what he says “if it works for you then it must be right for you.” He is a member of AA. I am not. But he will defend my sobriety completely. The group he founded 40 years ago has a term they use for the “Jesus is all I need” alcoholics. They call them revolving door newcomers. Or 30 day coin collectors. Because they honestly believe that Jesus has cured them. I’m not as nice. I call them delusional.

  24. As I’m sitting here today celebrating my 4 years of sobriety and reading all this anger and judgement…we should all be happy for one another. We are beating the odds agains this disease. It shouldn’t matter how you became sober. All the matters is that you are.

    Other disease like diabetics don’t scrutinize one another on their treatment or how they handle themselves. As long as they are healthy is all that matters. As addicts we should do the same and stand tall for one another. We are fighting this disease and winning!

    I’m not saying I’m for or against AA. But I don’t think Bill would want anyone in or out of his program passing judgement. He would want you to spread the word of sobriety.

  25. one day shy of 30 years and most of you sound like judges, once you get here the white chip is free, the hardest part of this is the second step, it dosent gaurentee you sanity, sobrity or wisdom, it confers on you a posabilty, it is possible that if you do everything right you may stay sober one day ,it the possibity that even if you dont do the aa,. na, program you may stay clean and sober one day, along with this comes the possibity that you wont make a single day, one thing is certin i am not god i couldnt get sober or keep you sober,I was wooped good i have to depend on that. i had a sponcer named bill heart he was one of origionals he died with 42 years sober, all he ever realy told me is wake up every mnorning and expect the worst if you get the best be happy if you get the worst ask for help, dosent matter what form it took just the asking reopend the possibitys rule to staying clean. one day to go its possible i may get there i have 10949 days of practice

  26. Statistically, the percentage of people that quit on their own is higher than rehab/AA. 99% of rehab places use AA/NA. It doesn’t work, but business-wise rehab is a great money maker- expensive “treatment” with costumers that return again and again and again. The majority of people in AA are court ordered to be there. So, typically in AA you see the worst of the worst of drinkers and not the full spectrum of drinking problems. It is not exactly true that someone that has a problem cannot go back to drinking in moderation. Happens all of the time, but you don’t hear about it. AA is classified as a religion in spite of rhetoric that it isn’t. The history of AA through Bill W. is steeped in religion, and the man himself was cultish. Lastly, Bill W. was never cured before he died. Sure, he never drank again, his handlers saw to that to preserve his legacy, but his problem was addiction, much deeper than alcohol. He simply traded alcohol addiction for nicotine and sex addiction. In fact, he literally smoked himself to death.

  27. What a terrible ending to the article. precise statistics are used right up until the end, when it states that at four years probably you will stay sober. does “probably” mean 50% of people wIll stay sober at four years? or 90 percent. It’s almost like you ran out of space and had to end the story

  28. i quit and “white knuckled” it for a few years. the when in navy, they made me a counselor and i got back into AA. then as civilian i have worked at several treatment as a state licensed therapist. i have been retired for 10 years still go to 6-7 meeting per week. i cant go to a meeting without seeing a former patient. the recipe for long term recover seems to be treatment with involvement in aa…nothing works better for self, than working with a new guy, I have 42 years clean

  29. Unfortunately, the stats are probably way under calculated; the % who are suffering from some sort of mind altering substance addiction is likely much greater than 10%. Not to mention the other addictions that the other 90% of the population is consumed by. Not every addiction that is dangerous to your life is an addiction to a mind altering substance. And from the proof (oops) that I’ve experienced, even after 10 years with AA you are not safe. Yes maybe the odds are in your favor, but I personally know of multiple people who had over 5 years, 10 years and went back out at least once, or maybe for the last time : (

  30. Actually, all you have is NOW. And right now I choose not to ingest mind altering substances of any type that will turn me into some monster I do not know. Doesn’t matter if they are legal, illegal or prescription. If you cannot live with out them, then you are not really living anyway. 7+ years and same for cigarettes. I don’t preach religion, AA or anything but NOW. Yes, I’ve grown up since my first attempt at roughly age 25, 31-32, 34-41 and now 51-59. First time I quit smoking too and my life is better than it has ever been.

  31. If your confused you should be because it never answers the question we’ll sort or doesn’t answer. There is no assumption of AA participation needed to find this number. Simply it’s asked if you try to get sober and are a drunk with the initial intent to get sober how many stay that way for ever no other factors involved. Answer less then 1 percent. We are at this moment experiencing a period of a push to get people sober using this multi facet approach in others all methods besides AA. Which contrary to media and atheists has always been the AA position it’s never claimed a monopoly existed on a permanent answer in AA. All I can say is for me it’s worked. My sister is dead, my uncle is dead, a niece is dead many are still drinking and I’m the only one living now. I had an Uncle who got sober in the 70’s and died in the 1980’s who got and stayed sober that’s it. There is no way to put this plainly but your a person in a galaxy, in a solar system on a planet in a continent, in a country, in a state, near a city, on a street, in a house, who somehow got picked amount all those others to be sober. A rarity indeed. So the next time someone mocks your sobriety tell them bluntly better to be addicted to meeting in a cult then to be laying in a pool of my own vomit or worse yet under some rock in a cemetery. Of which I’m sure many of you have love ones like me who ended the latter

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