What Is the Success Rate of Rehab?

Updated on August 10, 2020

In 2018, according to SAMHSA (a branch of US Health and Human Services), nearly 12 million Americans abused prescription pain medication alone. That’s not including prescription stimulants and tranquilizers.

Altogether in 2018, 1 in 5 Americans abused illicit drugs. Drug and alcohol abuse in the USA is a huge problem, which costs more than money. It costs the lives of our loved ones.

Then what is the success rate of rehab? The answer, as in most things in life, is “it depends”. We’ll go into why, and what to expect. There’re many different kinds of rehab, with different outcomes.

How success is measured also has a part to play.

Are you ready to get the answers you need? Read on!

What Rehab Means

When someone starts talking about “rehab” do you know what it means? Rehab is short for rehabilitation and has roots in habilitation. Habilitation means “to get fit, skillful, proper, or able”.

Essentially, rehabilitation means to get someone in the condition of being fit for a normal life again.

It’s hard to keep track of the various methods of caring for someone trying to get their lives clean and in order again. Four common methods are:

  • Detox
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient drug-free

In many cases, a 12 step program will be used, but there are increasingly more non 12 step recovery programs to choose from as well. Why not take a look?

Detox, of course, relies on medication and forced abstinence to wean someone off or mitigate withdrawal symptoms. This often takes about nine months.

Residential treatment is also a longer-term plan of about three months, which relies heavily on peer support. Outpatient drug-free is similar to residential treatment except in the patient’s home. It usually lasts about six months, and medication is not involved.

Inpatient treatment is similar to detox programs but is a month-long program involving medication and trained professional help. Usually, it is more involved and intensive than residential or outpatient drug-free programs.

What Success Means

Everyone measures success differently in business and in sports. The world of rehab is no different. Clinicians and government offices all have their definitions of success. It’s very important to know what it is that you are looking for from the start, as your measuring stick for success.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, these are the areas to measure success:

  • Reduced drug use
  • Improved health
  • Relationship improvements
  • Better legal status
  • Better mental health
  • Improved public safety
  • Improvements in employment
  • Improvements in education

Reduced drug use could mean complete abstinence, using less frequently, smaller doses, and longer periods between use. Along with reduced use comes improved health. Of course, it also means better relationships with those around you.

Better legal status implies less criminal activity and interaction with those with poor legal status. This will undoubtedly improve your mental outlook and satisfaction in life, and improve public safety in general.

Improvements in your relationships bring more employment and education opportunities. If you’re still in school or university, it means more days in class and increased grades. If you’re employed, it means fewer sick days and less skipping work or keeping employment altogether.

Of course, your own personal measurements might be different, but it’s reasonable to expect things will get better without using, or with less use of, substances.

Now You Know: What is the Success Rate of Rehab?

What is the success rate of rehab? It depends on the method of trying to get clean, and how you measure success. You or a loved one has a good chance of success, considering the odds against you.

Keep your determination strong and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The world is rooting for you.

No matter the standard of success that governments and institutions use in a clinical way, most of us measure success by a good, long, healthy life.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.