Substance Use

Is It Possible To Recover? Drug & Alcohol Recovery Statistics

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Understanding drug and alcohol recovery statistics provides valuable insights into the potential to overcome substance abuse challenges. Evidence-based treatments have shown positive outcomes, particularly when considering the severity of addiction, the presence of co-occurring disorders, and the individual’s engagement in the treatment process.

Tailoring treatment plans to address these unique factors enhances the chances of successful recovery. Additionally, prevention efforts and educational initiatives play a crucial role in reducing the prevalence of substance abuse and promoting early intervention, fostering a healthier and more resilient community.

Drug and alcohol recovery statistics offer hope by highlighting the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments and the potential for sustained recovery. These drug addiction treatment plans emphasize the importance of accessible, comprehensive, and ongoing support systems in fostering successful rehabilitation journeys.

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The Statistics On Alcohol Recovery

Drug abuse, alcohol addiction, and substance dependency can feel like a trap that’s impossible to escape. Drug and alcohol abuse is often a vicious cycle, with substance users feeling like they need to “get over” physical withdrawal symptoms or deal with deep-seated trauma, guilt, and other psychological issues. (1)

Many people suffering from substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder take some time to seek addiction treatment, and when they do, it doesn’t always work the first time. For many people who do achieve recovery, it remains an ongoing process. 

As stated by the NIH, “Like other chronic diseases such as heart disease or asthma, treatment for drug addiction usually isn’t a cure. But addiction can be managed successfully.” (2)

This means you need to find a way to manage your disease – or help your loved one manage their disease. To manage an addiction, you need to get to the root of the mental health issues that may have led you toward substance use or developed as a part of it. (3)

With several recovery programs to choose from, you may have tried one before – but just because a 12-step program didn’t work doesn’t mean you won’t be able to heal with counseling and proper support. Alcoholics Anonymous works for some people, but it’s based on spirituality and is a non-professional organization that doesn’t deal with mental health issues in many cases. (4)

Addiction and Drug Use in America

NIH research from 2020 states that alcohol-related deaths were up by 25% in 2019-20, and alcohol sales jumped by almost 3% during the pandemic. (5) Additionally, over 48,000 people in the US died of opioid overdoses in 2020 alone, according to this national survey. The growth of fentanyl as an addition to street drugs has made this worse. (6)

Clearly, alcohol addiction and drug use disorder are huge problems in the USA, and health care isn’t doing enough to help. But how, when, and why do Americans choose to recover?

Using drugs is normal to many, and addiction to prescription drugs is a huge issue for Americans, along with drug overdose and substance abuse.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration claims that around 75% of people over 25 who perceive themselves as having had an alcohol or drug problem now think of themselves as recovered. This drops to 63% in those under 25, but that’s not surprising. (7)

The drop may be because teens are using fewer drugs. The 2021 report saw the largest drop since the first Monitoring the Future survey in 1975. The pandemic may have had an effect, with teens socializing less and, therefore, having fewer chances to experiment with drugs and alcohol. (8)

Among older adults, however, alcohol is the most misused drug. In fact, between 2001 and 2013, there was a 107% increase in admissions to addiction treatment centers for those over 65. 

According to a 2018 NIH infographic on the comorbidity of substance misuse and mental health disorders, 37.9% of the 20.3 million Americans who suffer from substance use disorders or addiction also have mental health disorders. (9)

Addiction Recovery Rate Statistics

If you are deep within the throes of addiction or substance misuse, recovery can seem impossible. Yet, approximately 10% of Americans consider themselves in recovery from addiction or substance use disorder. (10)

Even better news, a 2018 CDC study claims that an amazing three out of four people who struggle with addiction eventually recover. 

As hard as recovery may seem, you should keep in mind that it is absolutely possible to recover with the right program when you are ready to do so. 

Once again, according to the NIH, people resist entering treatment for a wide variety of reasons, including:

  • 52.2% believe they cannot afford it
  • 23.8% simply don’t know where to turn
  • 23.0% believe they can deal with their issues themselves
  • 13.6% are afraid there will be consequences, such as being committed 
  • 12.4% are afraid of the judgment of neighbors
  • 11.1% don’t believe that treatment will help
  • 10.6% believe they don’t have time
  • 10.1% are afraid that having been in treatment negatively could affect their future prospects

Key Factors That Can Support Recovery

When going through effective treatment or specialized alcohol treatment, the success rate will increase if the following are in place.

  1. Tailored Program Selection: Finding a treatment program that caters to individual needs is paramount. Customizing the approach to address specific challenges enhances the effectiveness of the recovery process. This could include adding behavioral health or cognitive behavioral therapy to the mix.
  2. Building a Supportive Network: It is crucial to create a support system with understanding individuals, including family, friends, and loved ones. Open communication fosters a reliable network that assists setbacks or relapses while remaining attuned to evolving needs throughout recovery
  3. Honesty in Relationships: Being honest with family, friends, and loved ones establishes trust and strengthens relationships. Transparent communication is essential for garnering understanding and support throughout the recovery journey.
  4. Advanced Support Networks: SAMHSA advocates for advanced support networks that may include professionals or peers. (11) These networks play a vital role in encouraging continued abstinence or controlled substance use, especially during outpatient stages of treatment and beyond.
  5. Integration into Treatment Programs: Assistance in building and maintaining these support networks should be an integral part of a comprehensive treatment program. This ensures individuals receive guidance and support in forming connections that enhance their overall recovery experience.

By addressing these key factors, individuals in recovery can create a robust foundation that not only supports their immediate needs but also contributes to sustained progress on their journey to well-being.

What About Drug & Alcohol Relapse Rates?

As someone in recovery or as a person supporting someone in recovery from alcohol or substance addiction, it’s important to remember that relapse is part of recovery. 

Relapse rates are not insignificant. While up to three-quarters of people with addiction issues recover, very few do so without any slips or relapses. 

Most people attempting to recover from addiction through substance abuse treatment take an average of five and a median of two serious attempts at recovery before they consider themselves recovered.

People with comorbidities, including mental health issues, are more likely to relapse. Black Americans and other minorities are also likely to relapse more times before they recover.

Even within these societal groups, many people do manage to get better and maintain a state of recovery, limiting cravings. Help-seeking, hope, and motivation all affect how likely a person is to succeed in recovery.

If you are trying to recover at the moment and are finding it tough, remember that relapse is a normal part of recovery over the long term. If you slip and have a drink or use drugs, it isn’t the end of your recovery – you simply need to reset, refocus, and continue on the positive road you are already on.

This means seeking aftercare once you have undergone detox and addressing underlying mental health conditions.

After Rehab, What Does Recovery Look Like?

After completing a rehabilitation program or drug rehab, the journey of recovery continues, and what it looks like can vary from person to person. Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process; instead, it’s a lifelong commitment to maintaining a sober and healthy lifestyle.

For some, recovery may involve ongoing therapy and support groups to address the underlying causes of addiction, learn coping strategies, and ensure any mental illness is taken care of.

Others may focus on rebuilding their relationships, finding stable employment, or pursuing educational goals. Maintaining physical health through exercise and a balanced diet is also important, as substance abuse can take a toll on the body.

Developing a strong support system of friends and family who understand and encourage the recovery process is often key to long-term success. Ultimately, recovery means rediscovering a fulfilling and purposeful life free from the constraints of addiction with help from outpatient treatments, treatment facilities, and healthcare providers.

Get Addiction Help Now: It’s Time to Recover

You can get better. This is proven by the number of Americans who recover from alcohol addiction and drug misuse every year. It may not be simple or easy, but it is possible.

You need to find the right treatment options for you – and there are options, no matter your present situation, including family therapy, support groups, and inpatient programs when you need them.

Zinnia Health can help you through the process. We offer all levels of care, from early intervention to full medical intervention and inpatient services. Whatever you need to get better, we can help. Get in touch with our recovery team at (855) 430-9439 to take the first step toward your new life.


Call us
Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
Why call us? Why call us