If you’ve paid attention to the news regarding addiction rates, you’ll be aware that addiction is a prevalent problem in the United States. The opioid epidemic has dominated news headlines relating to addiction and health. Away from the news media, if you walk through Old Town or look on the sides of freeways in Portland, you’ll be aware of the problem on a local level.
Looking at news media coverage and certain areas of major metropolitan areas, it is understandable that you might get a bleak outlook on recovery. The way the media portrays it, you would believe there is no hope. To put it bluntly, that is not true.
In this article, we will talk about positive recovery statistics and discuss how you can turn yourself into one of the success stories.
Recovery Success Rates
Success rates vary by substance and by rehab facility entered. The statistics in this section are from the Butler Center for Research at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. These statistics are based around the number of people who enter various rehab programs, the percent of people who remain sober immediately after treatment, interviews with people who complete treatment, and internal studies
According to their studies, 89% of patients who completed alcohol rehab treatment remain sober after one month of treatment. Roughly 76% of alcohol rehab patients who complete treatment remained sober after three months, 69% remained sober at six months, and slightly more than 70% remained sober at 9 months.
Around 85% of people who successfully complete drug rehab are still abstinent from all drugs nine months post-discharge. On top of that, around 80% of patients report an improved quality of life after completing rehab.
A study conducted by StatNews, an organization dedicated to biopharma, health policy, and life science analysis, showed that roughly 22.3 million Americans have overcome a drug or alcohl problem. Another study conducted in 2015 fond that there were more people who claimed to have resolved a drug or alcohol problem in the US than had an active drug or alcohol problem.
Why Do Relapses Happen?
Despite the positive rates of recovery mentioned above, relapse is an unfortunately common event among recovering addicts and alcoholics. When you quit using drugs or alcohol, you are trying to kick a very unhealthy, deeply ingrained habit. Someone who desperately needs to lose weight will occasionally slip and have an unhealthy meal. Someone who is trying to quit smoking can slip and smoke a cigarette. The same applies to drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, relapse is a part of several people’s journey.
While it is a setback, a relapse can be a learning experience. After a relapse, you might look back and notice behaviors that led to the relapse and make changes to ensure you don’t relapse again. Be it attending more meetings, reaching out to your fellow alcoholic/addicts, getting a service position, or other relapse prevention tactics.
What Leads You To Success?
While each substance has unique aspects for recovery, generally the process is the same. The process generally involves a detoxification period (if necessary) and then either entry into a recovery program like NA or AA. To get a strong foothold in the recovery program, inpatient or outpatient treatment may be necessary.
If you’ve been to a meeting or had any exposure to the program before, you might have some basic knowledge of the steps. For AA, the steps are:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
A broad overview of the steps can be:
- Knowledge: Admitting that we have a problem, understanding the severity of our problem, and acknowledging that we can’t do it alone.
- Self-Reflection: Looking at our resentments, what part we played in them, and what character defects have affected our behavior. After this, we look at how we can control these defects of character
- Clearing the Wreckage: Making amends to people we have harmed. This involves an extensive list of people we have harmed and working with our sponsor to determine best way to keep our side of the street clean.
- Changing our behavior: Started a daily process to keep us level-headed, to keep track of our part in resentments that flair up, and be of service to those around us.
These are steps that could help anyone, whether addict/alcoholic or “normie”. We get to work on these steps and see this self-improvement happen.
OTR Can Help
Getting a strong foothold in recovery improves your chances of being a success in this program, and ultimately leading a happier life. OTR can help you in all aspects of early recovery, from detox, to therapy, to sober housing, to service and meeting attendance.