There are those who believe (the alcoholics anonymous crowd mainly) that there is no cure for alcoholism – that if you’re an alcoholic or an addict, then no matter what treatment you go through, you’ll still be an alcoholic or an addict for the rest of your life.
This is not a position which holds much hope for anyone considering treatment or a rehab. The idea that you will always be liable to relapse and descend into alcoholism or addiction again could easily dissuade many people from bothering to make changes at all.
Wouldn’t it be more useful to encourage people and remind them that lasting change is possible. If you can heal the underlying causes of the addiction, then a former alcoholic no longer has such a tendency. Of course they would be prudent to be very respectful and observant of their relationship to alcohol. But people in recovery should not live their lives as a ‘dry-drunk’, believing that they are just one drink away from their previous excesses.
Can a former alcoholic ever drink sensibly again? Some can and some cannot. Abstinence is an option for some, and the only option advocated by AA, but that does not mean it is the only option which works. The cognitive therapy approach advocates self-understanding, but leaves the choice of whether to drink again to the individual.
There is only a cure for alcoholism if the problems that are causing it in the first place are dealt with.