Does Drug Rehab Really Work?


One of the many questions addicts and their loved ones ask is whether or not drug rehab actually works. Is it worth the cost? Will it help a person live a sober life, or will they only stop using drugs for a short period of time? These are all valid questions to ask. It’s important to know the outcome of rehab. If you have a loved one who has an addiction and is in need of rehab, here is some information about success rates and what will help increase the odds of success.

Some Statistics About Drug Rehab

When you’re researching rehab centers for your loved one, you’re likely to come across a number of statistics related to success. Nearly every drug rehab center out there will tell you that they have a very high success rate, but they often don’t define what they consider “success.” Is it being drug-free for 30 days? Six months? A year? Without this information, it can be hard to compare different rehab facilities.

You’ll also find information about inpatient, residential, and outpatient treatments as well as the detox process. This data can help you determine the right type of program for your loved one. Inpatient treatment and residential treatment are the two most expensive options, but they also have the highest success rates. Surveys show that 21% of those who complete one of these programs were still sober five years later. For outpatient programs, 18% were sober for five years, while 17% of those who completed detox stayed substance-free.

These may seem like very small numbers, and they look like they reinforce the idea that rehab doesn’t work. However, again, it depends on what you consider “working” and how you define success.

Effective Drug Rehab Doesn’t Necessary Mean Sobriety

Living a fully sober life is the end goal of rehab, and it should be what your loved one is aiming for. However, the life of an addict and their journey to sobriety isn’t as straightforward as many people think it is. Rehab doesn’t magically remove the addiction, but it can improve their life.

Many addicts relapse, but that doesn’t mean rehab failed. Instead, it means they weren’t quite prepared for how insidious addiction is. They may need to learn a few new tools for dealing with cravings, or they may need to make more drastic life changes. Either way, it’s not a failure, it’s a lesson. As long as the addict is dedicated to sobriety and is willing to admit their mistake and try again, they haven’t failed.

Drug rehab can be seen as effective if the addict stops using drugs as frequently or in large quantities. It can also be seen as successful if they go longer between relapses. It shows that they’re learning how to deal with their cravings and their addiction.

Personal Growth as a Sign of Success

Another way of determining if drug rehab is working for your loved one is if they’ve grown as a person. Are they keeping a steady job? Are they doing well in school? Have their relationships with family and friends improved? All of these things can be a measure of success. The most important type of personal growth is the desire to be sober. If an addict relapses, do they recognize their mistake and seek help on their own? That’s perhaps the biggest sign that rehab has worked for them. They know they had a moment of weakness, but they know they’re not alone any longer.

Let Us Help

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60% of addicts will relapse at least once. Understanding that and recognizing relapse as a step to sobriety, not a sign of failure, is vital in keeping your loved one on the right track. Here at Good Landing, we will help addicts gain the skills they need to combat addiction. Drug Rehab does work, as long as the addict is willing to admit they have a problem. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.