There is no standard definition of rehab. Consequently, there is no standardized way to measure the success of addiction treatments. However, this is also common for other chronic conditions. Estimates believe anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of patients who attend rehab will relapse. Of course, relapse is something incredibly personal, something often considered a part of the recovery process, and the reasons for leaving treatment early are multi-faceted.
Factors That Impact Addiction Recovery Success Rates
Nonetheless, specific factors directly relate to the perception of a successful recovery. Read on to learn more about the overall factors that impact addiction recovery success rates.
1. Understanding Addiction
Most people struggling with substance use disorders rarely understand the scope of their addiction. One of the reasons for early withdrawal is not understanding or having different expectations of the rehab program. When patients better understand the program, its characteristics, and the program duration, they are more likely to stay longer. Research suggests that long–term addiction treatment programs yield the best outcomes, meaning at least three months in an inpatient setting.
2. Reduce Substance Use
Going about addiction recovery without reducing substance use is impossible. While some people call for maintenance programs, abstinence from substance abuse can help them stay in a program longer. For most patients, achieving abstinence is the greatest accomplishment in the program. Of course, depending on the substance of abuse, medical and supervised detox might be required to prevent overdose or intense withdrawal symptoms.
3. Improve Physical and Psychological Health
An improvement in physical health, such as increasing fitness or losing weight, is an essential factor that affects addiction recovery success rates. Throughout addiction recovery, patients focus heavily on learning new healthy habits, such as following a nutritious diet, exercising daily, practicing meditation, etc. In addition, through individual therapy, they learn the skills to cope with mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. Patients who achieve this in treatment are more likely to report improvements in their outlook on life and have fewer chances of relapse.
4. Focus On Relationship Success
Addiction affects the entire family unit and every relationship you have. When patients can amend these relationships in rehab, they’re more likely to form close relationships with new people and rebuild existing relationships in recovery. Having a solid support system when leaving rehab is critical to preventing relapse. However, reintegration into the family unit and relationships can be challenging. For this reason, it’s important to consider attending family therapy to ease this transition for everyone involved.
5. Employment Success
Last but not least, securing employment is perhaps the most critical factor related to addiction recovery success rates. Work provides a much-needed sense of structure often lost when patients leave treatment. Rehab programs focusing on life skills development teach patients the skills needed to obtain employment after leaving the program. Whether patients find volunteering opportunities or employment opportunities, this is the fastest way they can be re-introduced to society. For many, employment also helps them remain sober and maintain abstinence.
Addiction Recovery Success
Completing rehab is a significant milestone on its own. But, like the old AA saying goes, “one day at a time.” Early sobriety can be highly stressful and challenging for most people. It’s essential to have an aftercare plan to support your new sober lifestyle.
Focusing on the factors above is critical to recovery success. Building a support system is also crucial in early sobriety. Other ways you can focus on addiction recovery efforts include:
- Continue individual, group, or family therapy
- Have regular check-ups with physicians, therapists, addiction specialists, and other healthcare providers instrumental in your recovery journey
- Attend peer support groups including Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, or Narcotics Anonymous
- Participate in an aftercare program
- Find educational opportunities regarding addiction and substance use
- Find healthy ways to spend time, such as volunteering, exercising, or starting a new hobby
Many treatment facilities also offer alumni programs available for patients who complete treatment. Alumni programs provide accountability and a unique opportunity to be part of a supportive recovery community.
If you or someone you know recently completed an addiction treatment program, don’t hesitate to seek help and support. You’ve already accomplished amazing things, and while early recovery can be challenging, success lies within you.