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Does Addiction Treatment Work?

June 11, 2018

Why Addiction Treatment? 

If you have read any of my posts before you know that only 10% of people struggling with addiction actually seek treatment.

Many people avoid treatment because they are in denial with the fact that they have a problem to begin with. Others are unaware of the options available and some feel that addiction treatment will not work.

In today’s blog we will try and answer the question, does addiction treatment work?

Relapse numbers are hard to measure

As is the case with most diseases, people struggling with addiction often relapse after treatment.

The relapse rate for people who get treatment for substance abuse is typically 40% to 60%. In comparison, type 1 diabetes is 30 to 50%, while asthma and hypertension are 50% to 70%.

The relapse statistics for addicts are often hard to measure. Since drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong disease the treatment center cannot keep in touch with a patient years or decades after rehab.

In addition, patients will sometimes lie about their drug or alcohol use. They can claim that they stayed clean but there is no way of telling if they are being honest without a blood or urine test. No treatment center has the ability to do this level of testing years after treatment has finished.

Since relapse rates are so high it is important to understand that treatment is not just a one time solution.

Treatment should be ongoing

Many people assume that one relapse means that addiction treatment was a complete failure.

However, this is not true. All it means is the treatment plan should be adjusted or started again.

Addiction is a disease that does not have a cure. It requires the proper treatment and a incredible amount of self discipline to remain sober.

There will be times where you relapse or at least entertain the thought of it happening. When this occurs you need to consider going to treatment again in order to get help.

Sobriety aside, there are other way to know if addiction treatment works.

How to measure treatment success

There are other ways to determine if treatment was successful. The true goal of addiction treatment is to improve your quality of life. Here are the factors that determine if treatment was successful:

  • Improvements in education
  • Improvements in employment
  • Better mental and physical health
  • Your legal status gets better
  • Relationships improve
  • Improved public safety

All of the other factors that determine addiction treatment success can be found on the Office of National Drug Control Policy website.

If you can improve these areas of your life you will want to continue to stay sober. You will see your life improving and realize how much better you are without the influence of drugs and alcohol.

These improvements will help you maintain sobriety.

What treatment should you chose?

Ok, so you or a loved one are looking for treatment, what kind should you chose?

The decision depends on the situation the addict is in and how severe the addiction is.

People who have severe addictions to heroin or alcohol face serious health risks during the withdrawal period. They need to be monitored by a health specialist who can administer the proper medications and medical support. This is all done at a inpatient treatment center.

Also, the environment in which you are currently living in plays a major factor. If you live in a unstable household or have friends that are negative influences than it is important to get away from them in order to recover properly.  That is why many people go to rehab facilities in florida or california so they can feel removed from the toxic environment.

If your home environment is stable and you have a good support system you should be able to complete outpatient treatment or simply go to support groups.

If you have a serious addiction it is our recommendation to go to a inpatient/residential rehab for a minimum of 30 days. Here you will get expert treatment and 24/7 monitoring.   

So how much would something like this cost?

Is it worth the cost?

Inpatient or residential addiction treatment centers typically cost between $5,000-$20,000 for a 30 day stay.

At first this may seem like a high price to pay for treatment. However, if you look at the cost of things associated with your addiction it may not seen that unreasonable.

If you got a DUI because you could not quit drinking the minimum cost after legal and court fees is $10k.

Consider this, you get caught and charged with possession. Since your addiction is severe maybe you had a large amount of the drug on you. This could result in jail time or legal fees of close to $50,000 to avoid prison.

Now consider how much you spend funding your addiction in the first place. People who struggle with cocaine addiction can spend upwards of $500 a day buying the drug. This adds up to $15,000 a month. If you went to a inpatient drug treatment center for 30 days and it cost you $10,000 than you would still be up $5,000 because you were not able to buy drugs that month.

If you need treatment do not let the price stop you from going. There are many insurance and funding options that can help mitigate the cost. Call Addiction Help Today now for your free assessment.

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Mark Lambert

Mark Lambert

Mark joined the Addiction Help Team in 2017. Learning the business from the ground up, he now utilizes his expertise in addiction, treatment and recovery to help create content for Addiction Help Today. Mark enjoys playing golf and hockey in his spare time. He is from Toronto and went to school on the east coast of Canada .

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