What Is the Success Rate of Alcohol Rehab?

Last Updated: Mar 16th 2022

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

What Is the Success Rate of Alcohol Rehab?

A person considering the benefit of entering alcohol addiction recovery wants to know the answer to one key question. What is the success rate of alcohol rehab? Is this going to work?

It’s a loaded question without a lot of data that can answer it. Is a person who completes alcohol rehab going to remain sober long-term? Does relapse occur? Every person’s experience with addiction rehabilitation is different. There’s no way to know what your experience will be until you take a step towards treatment. Yet, you may want to know what to expect.

Data Shows a Real Need

One thing is clear. Millions of people who need alcohol use disorder treatment don’t get it. In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 8.1 percent of people over the age of 12 in the U.S., which accounts for 21.7 million people, needed substance abuse that year. However, only 2.3 million people in this group who needed treatment actually got it. 

Are you one of the many that need treatment but did not receive it? The same survey found that most of the people in this group didn’t seek out treatment for one reason or another. 

How Successful Is It?

What is the success rate for alcohol rehab isn’t always clear. It may be important to look at how many people relapse after completing treatment from a different view.

For example, it’s estimated that between 40 and 60 percent of people who receive treatment end up relapsing. That number may seem high, but when you consider that alcohol addiction is a disease that does not have a cure, it is not that shocking. It falls in line with similar numbers of people who struggle with asthma recurrence, hypertension, and diabetes.

Does Relapse Mean You Failed?

It’s easy to look at alcohol rehab success rate data and find yourself wondering if it’s even worth it. Are you going to fail? 

Relapse is not a determinant of failure when it comes to alcohol addiction recovery. It’s better to look at it as a step in the process. Many people find themselves facing relapse, and when that happens, it means that:

  • You may need more treatment than you received
  • You may need to look deeper into the reasons why you are using
  • You didn’t have a mentor or support system in place to help you avoid the onset
  • You failed to work on the steps provided to you in treatment
  • Mental health disorders are holding you back

There are many reasons why relapse can happen. It doesn’t mean that treatment won’t work for you, but rather that you may need more care or a different type of care.

There’s No Simple Path Forward

Alcohol use disorder is complex, and as a result, it needs an individualized treatment plan to address it successfully. To do that, you’ll need to work with your therapist to better understand what is happening and why. Then, you’ll need to create a plan for avoiding the onset of relapse.

Sometimes, the level of treatment needed can play a role in outcomes.

  • Inpatient treatment is intense, but it may be essential for people who are likely to relapse at home due to a lack of support or too much access to alcohol. 
  • You may need to go through detox. This process helps to break the dependence that many people have on alcohol. Jumping into treatment without detox may put you at risk.
  • You may need medications to help you with controlling cravings and withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Continuing treatment after discharge is also important. This may help you see more success long term because you have support throughout the re-establishment of your life.
  • Some people need to continue to go to meetings and local support groups for years because it provides a level of stability and keeps you on track and moving forward.

Inpatient, detox, intensive outpatient treatment, and other forms of therapy are there to help you recover. Sometimes, you need different therapies to ensure your long-term recovery. Other times, you may need help with mental health disorders that may be fueling your addiction.

Focus on Getting the Help You Need

While it may be tempting to use alcohol rehab success rates to make your decision to get help, don’t, you are unique.

It’s time to work on overcoming your addiction. To do that, reach out to our admissions team today or give us a call (866) 971-5531 to learn more about the options in care available to you.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.

References:

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2716/ShortReport-2716.html

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/quick-statistics