Why do most alcoholics fail at staying sober?
The number one reason is: They try to stay sober on their own -- alone -- and without help, and without a program of recovery.
Why do so many AA's fail at maintaining sobriety? Similar reason as #1: They may start out well. They start feeling good. Life looks good and things are starting to get better. So, once again, the alcoholic is saying to self: "I can do this!" instead of "WE can do this!"
As a real alcoholic -- my #1 defect is: I want to do everything alone -- on my own, and I want to do it my way -- on the highway.
"I don't need your help and I don't need your silly Steps!" LOL.
So, if I were to rephrase my answer above -- in accordance with the 12 Step Program of Recover -- I believe the number one reason, that an alcoholic, after a sufficient time of being sober -- returns to drinking again, because: They forgot the First Step -- or, they never really completely took a First Step -- so that they could continue practicing the First Step DAILY!
If we ask the AA re-tread "why did you start drinking again?" Most of the time -- they will answer "Oh. I stopped going to meetings." (As IF going to meetings would keep them sober).
They still haven't learned "what it is" that keeps them sober -- and most often, it's NOT in the going to meetings that keeps them sober -- however, it is suggested that they do continue regular attending regular meetings.
According to the book, alcoholics anonymous, (the big book) The first paragraph of Chapter 7, is an indicator of what the book's authors agreed -- was the BEST way to insure staying sober. If you don't know what that is -- I'd suggest that you read the book.
Best wishes and Happy Sobriety!