Health A-Z

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Expected Duration

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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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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