What Percentage Of Individuals Relapse After Leaving A Rehab Center?

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Relapse Percentage After Addiction Treatment

Article Contents

Provisional data from the CDC reports that 71,730 Americans died as a result of drug overdose in 2019. This total is higher than the 67,367 overdose deaths reported in 2018. 

In 2018, approximately 148,000 people attended drug rehab, but that was only 35 percent of those who were in need of treatment. 

Getting help for substance abuse is an important part of continued sobriety. Each program is designed for a common goal, attaining and continuing a sober life. However, the means to get there, and the measure of completion can, and is often, quite different facility to facility. 

Success Rates Of Addiction Treatment

Because there are so many different types of substance abuse treatment programs, it can be difficult to measure how successful a rehab facility has been. 

There is no set of criteria that has to be met to determine success rates, so oftentimes, programs measure success by some or all of the following: 

  • interviews with prior patients
  • interviews with current patients
  • studies conducted at the facility by the facility
  • number of people who complete treatment
  • rate of sobriety shortly after leaving treatment

Some may believe that sobriety is a good measure of how successful a treatment facility is, however perhaps a better measurement might be the quality of the services and care that is offered at a facility, as well as qualified staff and adequate accommodations.  

Relapse – Defined

As a person works to achieve sobriety, a significant fear is that they will relapse. For many who struggle with addiction, a relapse could indicate failure. However, this is not the case. 

The term relapse generally refers to a setback or interruption in the process (e.g. not using drugs) that results in returning to old behaviors (e.g. substance abuse). 

Sobriety and relapses are both viewed as ongoing processes.

Relapse After Treatment

When a person goes to a substance abuse treatment facility, the goal is sobriety. Sadly, one study found that relapse rates after twelve months range from 80-95 percent of cases of alcohol and tobacco treatments, and these rates tend to be similar across other substances of abuse. 

But there are many factors to consider when looking at percentages like this.

For example: 

  • What kind of treatment program did each subject attend? 
  • What interventions were used at these substance abuse treatment programs?
  • How many times has the person attended rehab? 
  • Was attendance voluntary, court, or family ordered?
  • Did the person stop abusing substances on their own or with help?
  • What substance was the person abusing?
  • Was the facility they attended specialized?

Successful Substance Abuse Programs

There have been numerous changes in the field of addiction treatment. Facilities offer supervised detox, medication-assisted treatments (MATs), evidence-based interventions, and focus on research-based therapies. 

These changes support a higher number of success stories, and research is supporting that these different intervention methods are more successful than what was consider addiction treatment two decades ago. 

Progress is being made in this field and the success of clients is the proof. 

Seeking Addiction Treatment

Regardless of the percentages or relapses, one thing is certain, substance abuse treatment works. For those who have decided they want to achieve sobriety, there are programs that meet their needs and will help them reach their goals

We have a team of qualified professionals who are waiting to take your call. Contact us today and allow us to help you find the substance abuse treatment location that will meet your needs.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.
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