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from: An addiction to drugs or alcohol is incredibly resilient, and rehabs that boast of 80% or better success rates are either lying, or purposefully ignorant. These types of success rates are simply not currently possible, and any rehab that advertises such impressive figures should be regarded with great suspicions.
The truth about rehab recovery statistics
Why 40% is more likely than 80%
A relatively positive assessment of post rehab sobriety rates puts the figure at closer to a 40% success, and more conservative estimates have a figure even lower than that. Addiction is a disease, there is no cure, and all we can currently hope for is remission and symptoms management.
While a 40% or worse success rate is not particularly encouraging, a quality drug or alcohol rehab still does offer addicts in recovery the best chance at achieving sobriety, and although many may need to attend a rehab twice, three times or more throughout life, the price of doing nothing is unfortunately far worse.
And addicts looking to recovery should not look to the 6 out of 10 that may use again, but at the 4 out of 10 that use a brief period of rehab to transform their lives, achieve very difficult sobriety, and live a far better life without drug or alcohol abuse.
An individuals motivation and determination to treatment, to participate actively in the therapies of rehab, to honestly soul search and self reflect on how to do better, and to stay with aftercare programming long after the end of rehab, has an enormous impact on the eventual success rates, and anyone who does all of these things during and after rehab has a great chance at beating an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Personal will and determination are intangibles, hard to quantify, but do exert considerable influence over the ultimate prognosis.
Rehab is the best chance at sobriety
So although rehab is hard, it can be very expensive, and it offers nowhere close a guarantee; it is still worth doing, it does offer the best chance at sobriety, and a determined and committed addict in recovery can use the therapy, time of sobriety, and continuing access to aftercare programs to great effect.
Remember that this is a problem for life, that addiction always threatens and beckons with temptation, and for a lot of people, a relapse or two is all a part of the process and progression of the disease. We can never hope to cure it, and we need to stay vigilant if we can even hope to control it. There are no perfect solutions, but a rehab and a 40% chance at success are actually pretty good odds.
Be very careful with rehabs that boast too much. If they lie about that, what else are they lying about?
Christian Shire is an addictions writer and recovering alcoholic. For much more on drug and alcohol treatment options, please visit choosehelp and the daily addiction recovery blog at
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