Addicts can recover, but it is not easy. Stopping an addiction is not the difficult part, although many people think so because no matter what a person is addicted to, withdrawal is painful. That's why the recidivism rate is so high for ANY addiction, whether it is alcohol, drugs, sex and love, food, work, video games, gambling, shopping, cigarettes, hoarding--whatever the substance or activity is, detaching from it usually hurts. If a person does get through withdrawal, the challenge is to STAY recovered. Life doesn't stop because an addict has stop using, and the reasons they start using again is because they don't know how to deal with daily life without their buffer, which is the addiction. Boss wants you to improve your job performance, which makes any addict extremely anxious and worried. But a couple of drinks, or a hit of coke, or a slice of triple chocolate cake makes it seem better. The key word is "seem". It doesn't make things better, in fact, the opposite always happens--the problems get worse and pile up. And then the urge to use becomes overwhelming. That's when relapse happens. There are stories about people who claim to recover completely from their addictions without help, but when their lives are examined closely, they've switched addictions. The former drug addict becomes a sex and love addict because "at least I'm not doing coke", or whatever the drug of choice may be. The alcoholic becomes a workaholic, putting in 70-80 hours a week at work and rarely seeing his or her family or friends. A food addict becomes addicted to shopping and racking up credit card debts because they have lost a lot of weight. So, to answer the question, an addict CAN recover, as long as he or she remains honest about what's going on in their lives, gets help from doctors, qualified therapists and any number of self help groups, and remains vigilant concerning the possibility of switching addictions.