What is the Success Rate for Addiction Recovery?

stone-towers-2262824_640Substance abuse and addiction are tricky matters to deal with. Each individual handles things differently, and recovery is never exactly the same from one person to another. Taking a look at recovery rates for addiction can be disheartening, but the story goes deeper than just the percentages listed by studies. There is more to look at, so we will take a look at some of the other important things involved in recovering from drug recovery.

How Do People Recover from Addiction?

Each type of addiction requires its own recovery method and treatment. Addiction of all types is considered a disease, and it is treatable through many various methods. Recovery takes mental and physical effort to be successful. Successful recovery from addiction means quitting the addiction. It doesn’t mean you won’t have relapses at some times, but that you won’t be completely controlled by the substance addiction anymore. Recovery is about you regaining power over the direction of your life.

Are Rehab Programs Successful?

Rehabilitation programs experience higher success rates when they practice evidence-based treatments (EBTs). Some recovery programs do not practice EBTs and rely on outdated methods for treatment. These recovery centers don’t see as much success, since they are not focusing on solving the right issues and tackling addiction in a lasting and meaningful way.

The best addiction recovery programs use EBTs to give people greater control over their lives. They focus not only on stopping people from using, but on how to change their life and avoid relapsing in the future. Long-term treatment and support is key to successful recovery, and it’s the one thing that unsuccessful recovery programs don’t give enough time and resources to accomplish.

Rehab centers are almost always successful at stopping someone from using an addictive substance when they complete a residential program. But, rehab doesn’t end when the patient walks out the door after their stay. They also need to stay committed to long-term, outpatient treatments, and support groups. Many of these groups exist around the US for people to get connected and stay stronger together with other recovering addicts.

Recovery Rates for Substance Abuse

It’s good to know what you’re up against when it comes to addiction recovery. It is a very difficult process, and many recovering addicts to face relapse. These statistics list full recovery as never relapsing after treatment.

  • Alcohol

Full recovery rates from alcoholism are around 10-30% in the US.

  • Heroin and Opioids

Estimated rates of relapse from heroin addiction can be placed as high as 80%, meaning an average of 20% full recovery rate.

  • Meth

The US national recovery rate for meth addiction is between 16 – 20%.

  • Cocaine

Recovery rates for cocaine addiction can reach as high as 25% for the first year after receiving treatment.

Relapse and Long-Term Recovery

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40-60% of drug addicts will relapse during their short-term or long-term treatment. This makes it sound almost impossible to recover from addiction, but the truth is that relapses are not failures. A relapse does not mean you are a full addict again, and that you have failed your recovery. In fact, relapses are just a normal obstacle on the road to recovery.

It’s not fair to classify a relapse as a failure, because it does not mean you will go back to full drug addiction. Relapsing does not mean becoming an addict again, it’s simply a mistake that can be corrected. This is why recovery statistics do not tell the full story of addiction recovery in the US.

Most recovery statistics are low because they look at recovery without relapses. It’s difficult for people addicted to any substance to recover fully without ever relapsing and using the substance again. The important part is that the recovering addict comes out of their relapse and gets back on track with quitting their addiction again.

This is where long-term support programs and therapy help. If the recovering addict has no connection with treatment centers or people that can help, it’s difficult to recover from a relapse. But, if they do have a network to check on them and help in case of a relapse, it becomes easier to fight against the cravings and start back onto the clean lifestyle without the substance.

Long-term recovery is about healthy living. It’s difficult for anyone to recover 100% from any addiction, although some are more difficult than others. Sometimes recovering addicts face relapse and failed treatments, but as long as they continue their search for true recovery they are considered a work in progress, not a failure. Taking steps to continue moving away from the addictive substance shows a commitment to long-term success, despite the obstacles and mistakes that may happen along the way.


If you have any questions, please ask below!