11 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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When people begin looking for rehab solutions for themselves or a dear one, they are often skeptical about whether or not rehab is effective. Some people even ask us for data on the effectiveness rates of various treatment choices. In a moment, we’ll get to the statistics. In summary, we can claim that rehabilitation works for those who are dedicated to it.

The importance of the addict’s dedication cannot be overstated. If the recovering drug addict is not 100 percent devoted to reaching and keeping sober, no rehab program, no matter how good, will be helpful for long-term abstinence. Experts are correct: no addict can be fully helped until he or she desires to be treated and helped.

In 1995, the National Addiction Centre of the Department of Health revealed the findings of research showing that 47 percent of drug users who received residential and inpatient treatment remained sober 5 years after finishing their programs. Three-fifths of individuals who received community-based treatments were able to maintain their abstinence for five years.

Additional investigations in the roughly 20 years since have found similar results. However, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse conducted a study in 2012 that revealed even better results. The study looked at the success rates of private treatment centers and discovered that the best facilities have success rates of 60 to 80 percent. The disadvantage is that the lowest-performing facilities were only able to obtain a 20 percent success rate.

It’s critical that we talk about why some rehab centers have such low success rates. Residential treatment, on the other hand, certainly works for many people, as indicated by the fact that the top centers have 60 percent or higher success rates.

While data on rehabilitation success rates is difficult to come by, several studies suggest that certain specific approaches are successful for particular addictions. This is simply a general summary of treatment data for common substance addictions. The success rate of rehabilitation varies based on the substance, the sort of treatment performed, and the events surrounding each individual.

In general, the duration of treatment plays an important influence. People receiving medication-assisted treatment for less than 3 months, for instance, do not have better outcomes. Those who have been on medication-assisted treatment for 3 years at the very least have a reduced relapse rate than those who have been on it for less than 3 years.

Addiction Recovery Success Rate in Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehabilitation

According to a 1999 study, the amount of time spent in rehab was highly linked to better outcomes. Patients who were in treatment for a specific amount of time (4 weeks for inpatient, 90 days for prolonged stays) were 5 times more likely to be substance-free. Long-term treatment, according to another study, yielded superior results. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most addicts require at least 3 months of treatment to be effective in recovery.

The level of care required varies from person to person. Someone with a weak addiction might not need inpatient treatment and instead, start with an intensive outpatient program. Treatment after detox is nearly always required, as simply eliminating chemicals from the body does not fix the root cause of substance abuse. Detox alone increases the chances of relapse.

Success Rates Of Opioid And Heroin Addiction Treatment

To avoid temptations and relapse, opioid addiction is commonly treated with drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. According to studies, individuals who took MAT medications cut their heroin consumption by 90 percent. Furthermore, outpatient treatment has a 35 percent completion rate, whereas inpatient treatment has a 65 percent completion rate.

Success Rates Of Alcohol Rehab

According to recent studies, on average one out of every 4 patients sustained their sobriety within the first year of treatment. The remaining individuals who had completed alcohol treatment were sober 3 out of 4 days on average and had cut their regular alcohol use by 87 percent.

Most people who struggle with alcoholism seek help from 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). According to one study, those who attended 12-step meetings increased their sobriety from 20 percent to 80 percent after a year, while 19 percent did not drink at all. One study indicated that after 16 years, 67 percent of persons who followed 27 weeks of AA were still sober, compared to only 34 percent of people who did not attend AA.

Success Rate of Cocaine Rehab

Although disulfiram (a medicine used to manage alcohol dependency) has already shown success in certain patients, there are no FDA-approved treatments to treat cocaine addiction. Behavioral therapy interventions are the most prevalent type of treatment, with contingency management proving particularly beneficial. People who stay sober are rewarded with tokens that can be exchanged for movie tickets or restaurant vouchers in this sort of therapy. Improved success rates have also been seen with cognitive-behavioral treatment.

According to research, 42 percent of patients who received therapy took cocaine in the year leading up to a 5-year checkup, with 25 percent indicating weekly usage. Those who remained in residential treatment for at least 90 days had better one-year results than others who did not.

Success Rate of Meth Rehab

Treatment for meth addiction occurs in a variety of modalities, each with differing degrees of efficacy. In any case, detoxification alone is ineffective: a research study found that people who simply underwent detox and those who did not use meth at the same rate. In addition, 33 of 100 patients in residential rehabilitation stayed sober after 3 months, and 14 patients remained sober after a year, according to the study. This suggests that long-term assistance and aftercare are crucial components of meth treatment.

The Matrix Model appears to be the most successful treatment for meth addiction, according to research. This four-month program combines counseling and behavioral therapy to treat withdrawal symptoms like despair and anxiety. According to a research study, after six months, 60 percent of individuals who engaged in this treatment were sober.

Although each rehab’s idea of success may differ, the Office of National Drug Control Policy offers an overview of what therapy is supposed to accomplish. A person who is undergoing successful addiction treatment should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Lesser substance use in terms of quantity and frequency, as well as longer periods without relapses
  • Improved job or educational standing, as well as attendance
  • Physical health has improved, as evidenced by fewer doctor visits.
  • Good mental health, as evidenced by changes in mood, personal characteristics, and habits.
  • Friendships, family, and other relationships have improved.
  • Better legal standing, like successfully completing probation or engaging in fewer crimes
  • Increased safety, as seen by lesser injuries and car accidents.

The weekly rehabilitation follow-up program is used by premium rehab centers all over the world to monitor each patient’s progress as they advance through treatment, noting any obstacles and ensuring that developing concerns are discovered and handled. Long after treatment has concluded, sometimes recovery meetings, alumni groups, and a patient portal are also provided; these services help patients continue the long road to recovery and handle their new careers in healthy ways.

Effective treatment necessitates a multi-pronged strategy that addresses the individual as a whole, beginning with a high degree of care and progressing to lower, less intensive programs. Treatment length is also important; treatment lasting less than 90 days is ineffective, but lengthier programming can lead to better long-term results.

The elements of an effective addiction treatment program are as follows.

  1. Continuum of Care in Its Entirety

Patients who receive a comprehensive continuum of care go through numerous stages of therapy, generally beginning with medical detox and concluding with long-term aftercare. Over 20 years of study has shown that moving addiction recovery patients through phases of ongoing care as they improve helps them maintain favorable long-term recovery outcomes. These studies indicated that treatment that lasts longer is more effective than treatment that lasts shorter.

A typical treatment plan can include:

Medical detoxification: A patient receiving medical detox gets round-the-clock care for symptoms of withdrawal that occur as their body eliminates alcohol and drugs from their system.

Inpatient/Residential treatment: The patient resides on-site and undergoes counseling, therapy sessions, and long-term success methods.

Outpatient treatment: The patient returns to their normal routine while continuing to receive treatment at the clinic.

Aftercare: The patient continues a relapse prevention plan that is tailored to him or her, and he or she engages in support groups and alumni activities. When long-term healing becomes challenging, they are given a wide range of resources to assist them.

For persons with addiction and co-occurring conditions like depression or anxiety, dual diagnosis treatment is critical. People with these diseases may turn to drugs in an effort to self-medicate. Substance addiction, on the other hand, can contribute to mental health problems. As a result, addressing both is essential for a better recovery.

  1. Addiction Therapies Supported by Scientific Evidence

Evidence-based therapy refers to treatment that has been thoroughly researched and proven to be beneficial in the treatment of addiction. The following are the most common types of treatment:

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of addiction treatment that helps patients with certain addictions, such as opioid addiction, cope with their cravings.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) educates and teaches new ways of thinking in order to cope with challenging emotions or events in a healthy manner.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is Similar to CBT, DBT educates people on how to control their feelings and reduce conflict in their relationships.

Positive reinforcement and awards are used in contingency management to encourage users to keep working towards recovery.

Recreational therapy employs holistic ways to help the entire person heal, like yoga practice and creative pursuits like painting, music, and dance.

  1. Staff from Various Disciplines  

Recovery from addiction involves both mental and physical care. Medical experts such as physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, and other specialists, as well as positions such as dieticians, rehabilitation mentors, and fitness trainers, are frequently required for a well-rounded workforce. Without this personnel, facilities will be unable to deliver a comprehensive variety of services.

It’s also crucial to choose a center where medical personnel doesn’t have to divide their time between too many patients. Patients receive more attention and time when more skilled individuals assist them, therefore high staff-to-patient ratios can make a significant difference. Lower nurse-to-patient ratios are linked to an increased risk of medical mistakes and reduced patient satisfaction.

Relapse is an extremely common element of rehabilitation, and it’s vital to remember that relapsing does not imply that treatment or rehabilitation has failed. Recovery is a process of setting new goals, sustaining long-term abstinence, and adopting new, healthier ways of life. A mishap does not imply that all of your hard efforts were in vain.

Certain chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, are prone to relapse. Addiction treatment may include medication, continuous checkups and maintenance, lifestyle modifications, and adopting new ways of thinking, just as it does for many other disorders. Relapse does not indicate failure; rather, it indicates that it is time to find a new treatment or make changes to the current treatment plan.

Relapse Rates After Rehab For Addiction Vs. Chronic Illnesses

Addiction may have an overall lower risk of recurrence or relapse than hypertension, as per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The following are the relapse rates for several chronic diseases, including addiction:

  • An estimated 40–60 percent of drug and alcohol addicts will relapse after rehab
  • About 30–50 percent of those with type 1 diabetes will relapse.
  • Around 50–70 percent of people with hypertension relapse after treatment.
  • A projected 50–70 percent of patients with Asthma relapse



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


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