The Truth About Rehab Success Rates

Some Rehab Success Rates May Be Too Good to Be True

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2013, up to 90 percent of people with a drug addiction go into treatment, which is considered to be the best chance of a successful recovery. But success in recovery is a widely debated topic. Rehab success rates can vary wildly from one facility to another based on the different criteria that each has for success. So, how should success be measured in rehab?

The Problem with the Common Definition for Success

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, a study revealed rehab success rates: 40 to 60 percent relapse during the first 12 months of recovery. These statistics are not surprising to some who are aware of the relapsing nature of addiction, which rivals type II diabetes. But when confronted with a rehab that claims to have 90 percent rehab success rates, how is it possible that they can have such a high drug rehab success rate?

The answer lies in the duration of their criteria. Facilities that claim to have such high rehab success rates only base it on those who finished the program and only consider a short time after the person has left rehab.

Defining Success in Treatment

When a person uses drugs or alcohol after finishing their rehab program, most people would deem it as a failure of treatment. However, once you begin to understand that addiction is a chronic disease that has no cure, then the purpose of treatment becomes clearer: to assist an addict in managing their addiction. In fact, in programs such as the 12-step, relapse is considered complete failure and the person must start from day one – a fact that drives many people away instead of welcoming those who are suffering from a chronic, relapsing disease.

Therefore, relapse cannot be the only criteria for success. A drug rehab success rate should be based on an addict’s willingness to continue with treatment, which requires constant evaluations and alterations to the treatment approach, much like you would with any chronic disease such as diabetes. A patient who was treated for a chronic disease such as hypertension who, through the course of treatment, had their symptoms reduced would consider the treatment a success, even if after treatment was stopped, the symptoms surfaced again.

When there is a relapse, it is not an indication of failed treatment, but rather that treatment requires adjustment.

Continued Care and Drug and Alcohol Rehab

What one is looking for in a drug and alcohol rehab is an understanding of the disease of addiction. Ultimately, an addict is expected to go through a major change in their life when receiving treatment. This change must then be managed and nurtured long after leaving rehab. Continued care is a key component in treatment. As such, a rehab should be able to:

  • Help their patients to find a long-term support group or community.
  • A rehab should encourage its patients to stay in treatment for longer, and remain in support groups and aftercare services once they leave.
  • Education and resources should be provided to an addict’s family so that they can help to support to addict too.
  • A facility should provide options for aftercare, such as sober living homes, as an extension of their services.
  • A rehab should be able to provide an individualized treatment approach that can be adapted.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.


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