Addiction Recovery Statistics

Addiction recovery statistics may look discouraging at first glance. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that relapse rates among addicts are as high as 60 percent, which is comparable to rates for other chronic, biologically based illnesses. But relapse rates don’t necessarily reflect the long-term success rates of recovery programs. With self-awareness, behavioral changes and a reliable support system, an addict or alcoholic can get past a relapse and go on to build a fulfilling life in recovery.

Factors That Affect Recovery

Recovery statistics can teach you a lot about how others have achieved long-term abstinence from drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviors like gambling or compulsive sex. Take a look at the factors that influence success rates as you develop your own recovery strategies:

  • Participation in self-help groups. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 45 percent of addicts who attended self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous reported that they hadn’t used in the past 30 days. Available through outpatient rehab facilities, inpatient centers or community-based programs, self-help groups offer a support system for the addict who’s coping with the realities of a sober life.
  • Specialized rehab programs. Out of the 45 percent of drug users in the NSDUH survey who relied on self-help groups to support their abstinence, almost 33 percent had received addiction treatment within the past 12 months. Addiction treatment may include outpatient recovery services, inpatient rehab, residential treatment or supervised medication therapy.
  • Pharmaceutical support. American Family Physician notes that recovery rates for opiate addiction are bleak; up to 90 percent of those who are addicted to heroin or other opioids relapse within six months if they detox on their own. But with anti-addiction medications like buprenorphine or methadone, recovery success rates are considerably higher.
  • Emotional development and important life events. The Journal of Studies on Alcohol found that emotional maturity may play a role in the success of recovery from alcohol addiction. Positive events like getting married, getting a job and becoming a parent increased recovery rates in a group of alcoholics. Many addicts develop emotional maturity as part of the recovery process itself as they learn about the causes of their addiction and discover healthy ways to live without drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviors.

The severity of your addiction, the extent of your support system, age, gender and co-occurring health conditions can also affect recovery rates. For many addicts, finding a rehabilitation program that addresses their physical, emotional and spiritual needs is the key to long-term abstinence.

Statistics and Your Recovery

What do statistics mean for your own recovery? It’s important to remember that while statistics can provide motivation or direction for the recovering addict, each individual is different. Your motivation to change, your willingness to explore your addiction honestly and your ability to draw strength from others will play a big part in your recovery process.

A comprehensive rehabilitation program includes aftercare services like self-help groups, family counseling and relapse prevention to support your abstinence after you graduate from treatment. If you have a co-occurring disorder like major depression, chronic anxiety or bipolar disorder, your recovery plan must include mental health services as well as addiction counseling. Contact us here at Alta Mira to find out how you can increase your own chances of recovery through a treatment plan that targets your specific needs.