Medication-Assisted Treatment - Drug and Alcohol - Sobriety

How Successful Is Drug Rehab?

How Successful Is Drug Rehab?

Effective drug rehab programs must be individualized and tailored to fit a person's personal needs and goals for recovery.

Addiction often wreaks havoc on an individual as well as their family members and other loved ones. Individuals struggling with the consequences of their substance use may wonder if there is light at the end of the tunnel.

It is important to understand that, while addiction is chronic and complex, it is a treatable condition. Although success rates of treatment vary, it is essential to recognize what factors play a role in whether or not treatment will be effective for a given individual. 

Making those initial steps toward recovery will inevitably seem overwhelming. However, there is hope for everyone that struggles with substance use to achieve sobriety, no matter where they are on their recovery journey. 

What Is the Purpose of Drug Rehab?

The primary purpose of drug & alcohol addiction rehab is to help individuals achieve healthier, more productive lives, specifically by freeing themselves from the ties of addiction and substance use. Treatment facilities do this by using a variety of therapeutic interventions to help their clients identify and overcome the personal, mental, and emotional challenges that led them to use substances in the first place. 

Treatment often occurs in a variety of different settings and takes on many different forms. Treatment programs also vary in duration to reflect the severity of an individual's substance use issues. As drug addiction is a chronic and potentially relapsing disorder, short-term or one-time treatment is rarely effective enough to help a person achieve or maintain lifelong sobriety. 

The Effectiveness of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In 2014, nearly 28,000 people lost their lives from drug overdose. With nearly 2.5 million Americans suffering from opioid use disorder at any given time, it is essential to highlight medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as an effective solution for those struggling with opioid addiction. 

Many drug rehab centers offer cognitive and behavioral therapies in combination with medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is the use of medication to aid in the psychotherapy process. MAT is often used to treat substance use disorders (SUDs), help sustain recovery, and in many cases, prevent drug overdose. MAT has proven itself to be clinically effective in assisting with the safety of inpatient detox, as well as:

  • Improving patient survival

  • Increasing retention in drug treatment

  • Decreasing opiate use and opioid-related overdose deaths

  • Reducing illicit opiate use and other criminal activity for those with SUDs

  • Increasing individual's ability to gain and maintain employment

  • Improving birth outcomes for women that struggle with SUDs while pregnant

Does Relapse Mean Treatment Failed?

Due to the chronic nature of addiction, some people may relapse during or after drug treatment. Relapse is defined as returning to substance use after an attempt to stop. Despite treatment programs providing relapse prevention techniques to individuals, relapse is often a part of the recovery process.

Research shows that relapse rates for chronic substance use disorders are about 40 to 60%. 

In short, relapse does not mean that treatment has failed. Instead, relapse may be an indicator that the specific treatment program was not an ideal fit for the individual who relapsed or that their aftercare plan wasn't quite strong enough. Addiction treatment must aim at changing deeply rooted, habitual behaviors.

When an individual relapses, it is simply a cue that they need to go back to treatment, modify their treatment program, or receive treatment from a different drug rehab facility, not an indicator of failure. 

What Defines Effective Treatment?

When treating addictions to opioids, such as prescription pain relievers or drugs like heroin, MAT is identified as the most effective treatment route. Medications are also often used to help people detox from drugs, although detox is not sufficient alone to help a person recover. Detox must be followed by subsequent treatment. 

There is no one-sized-fits-all solution when it comes to effective treatment. For drug treatment to be as effective as possible, treatment must be individualized based on a client's personal needs, the severity of their addiction symptoms, and their long-term goals for treatment.

Treatment must also be tailored to each client's specific drug use patterns, co-occurring mental health conditions, and medical, mental, and social problems. 

Addiction can be managed and treated successfully. However, a person recovering is always considered to be in recovery rather than recovered. This is because the negative effects of substance use and addiction can surface years after a person has been sober or completed a treatment program, which means recovery is an ongoing process. 

Completing rehab is an incredible success, and it should be celebrated. However, completing a treatment program is only the beginning of an individual's treatment and recovery journey. Individuals must have access to resources to help them get involved in sober activities and connect with healthy, motivating support systems.

Addiction treatment is lifelong, meaning individuals in recovery should always be engaged in recovery activities in some way to help sustain their sobriety. 

The Edge Treatment Center Recognizes the Challenges of Recovery

Many people wonder about the effectiveness of drug treatment. While relapse is always a possibility, long-term recovery is possible. At The Edge Treatment Center, we work with our clients to create individualized treatment plans based on their personal needs and goals for treatment.

We understand that addiction never stops changing, so we are constantly adapting our programs to meet the new challenges that may surface along the way. To learn more about The Edge Treatment Center or our drug rehab programs, contact us today.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Drug and Alcohol


May 19, 2022