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What Percentage of Addicts Stay Clean?

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What percentage of addicts stay clean?

Getting sober is the first step, but the real challenge is staying sober and this can be quite a challenge, especially if you do not have the right kind of help available. Staying clean in the long run requires discipline, fortitude, willpower, and a lot of external help from friends, family, and other support groups. This is precisely why completing the duration of the outpatient program is crucial, as well as seeking aftercare help.

You may have often wondered what happens when you come out of outpatient rehab and the answer isn’t as simple as the question. You may develop lifelong coping skills or you may risk falling back to old habits.

Your therapists and other healthcare professionals can help you in engaging with people who are in the same situation as you. Without proper care and help, you may find yourself surrounded by those same bad influences that pull right back into the vicious trap of drug and alcohol abuse.

What does it mean to relapse?

The term relapse refers to worsening of substance use during an improving addiction treatment phase. Patients can undergo physical relapse, emotional relapse, or mental relapse. Drug addicts who are struggling with severe levels of addiction are recommended inpatient care where they can stay at the addiction treatment center for a specific period of time, under the careful supervision of therapists, healthcare professionals, and other clinical staff.

Enrolling into an addiction treatment program helps maintain sobriety by working on your physical, emotional, as well as mental reliance on hard drug and alcohol abuse. Through intensive therapies, group counseling, exercise, nutrition, and even holistic care, healthcare experts work tirelessly to rebuild your confidence, willpower, and resilience so you can combat withdrawal symptoms that may ultimately lead to physical relapse if proper medical care is not provided.

Relapse is complex and it can significantly affect those who are recovering from alcoholism, hard drugs, etc. This can occur in the form of one-time slips or instances due to peer pressure or poor company, or it could be a full relapse by returning to old habits and using drugs for enjoyment or to cope with everyday problems. But, sometimes rehab is also part of the overall growth and healing process. In fact, many addicts re-enter rehab multiple times to combat risks of relapse and come out stronger than ever.

To avoid this, healthcare professionals always recommend outpatient rehab or intensive outpatient programs to keep in touch with professionals and continue the treatment in the long run to avoid any risks of relapse.

What are relapse prevention programs?

Relapse prevention programs help you in identifying high risk situations, companies, and other environments where you may find yourself struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally to fight against the urge to take drugs. Furthermore, this addiction treatment aims to help you respond to such situations in a healthy and resilient manner. Relapse can easily be triggered one or more of the following:

  1. Mental health concerns and increasing depression or anxiety.
  2. Stress and trauma
  3. Boredom and procrastination
  4. Peer pressure and poor company
  5. Attending festivals, gatherings, or parties with drug supplies
  6. Going to locations that may trigger drug use

If left untreated, relapse can be extremely dangerous and can even lead to fatal overdose as without treatment, time away from drugs may not necessarily build resistance to it.

This kind of treatment program not only helps to cure addiction and substance abuse disorders, but works as a strong relapse prevention plan to help you cope with triggers in your recovery journey. Through therapies, you will learn relaxation techniques, behavioral changes, ways to prevent stressful situations, etc., that can also reshape the way you think and perceive drugs.

What percentage of addicts stay clean after recovery?

The first few months or even the year is considered to be the hardest in terms of coping with withdrawal symptoms and adjusting to the new lifestyle. However, it gets easier along the way as you train your body to persist even in times when relapse occurs. The longer you stay in recovery, the less chance of physical and mental relapse and emotional relapse.

This is a critical time as some patients often decide to stop with their aftercare help programs such as group therapy or counseling treatment plan which can significantly increase the risk of relapse as sobriety requires maintenance for at least the first few years,

The National Institute of Drug Abuse states, “relapse rates for addiction resemble those of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.” They also claim that 40%-60% of drug addicts will experience relapse.

For this reason, it is extremely important to enroll in an aftercare treatment plan to help patients garner coping skills from addictions professionals and engage in support groups, or even try the partial hospitalization program if immediate, intensive outpatient care is required or if the risk of relapse is high.

Different Types of Support at Our Outpatient Treatment Facility

Outpatient addiction treatment is not the same for everyone. In fact, it consists of several different programs and therapies that patients can opt for depending on their needs and addiction levels. Similarly, once you are out of outpatient treatment, there are numerous forms of continuous support that you can access towards a long-lasting sobriety. Formats such as holistic assistance, going to Church, 12-step programs, etc., can really make a difference that lasts for a long time and eventually helps you recover from harmful substances and behaviors for good.

1. 12-Step Programs

These specialized addiction treatment services are available for those with general or substance-specific needs. These programs encourage individuals to admit wrongdoings, poor behavior, harming others, as well as broken relationships through family therapy so that through accountability, one can learn self-reflection and perform better in the future. In addition to social behaviors, this format of addiction treatment also includes recovery from hard drugs such as nicotine and cocaine.

2. Individual Therapy

Once you have successfully completed outpatient treatment, you can continue individual therapy at the treatment center to assist with alcohol treatment, substance abuse, mental health concerns, and behavioral issues. Therapy lays great focus on self-reflection and equipping patients with willpower, self-reflective qualities, and coping mechanisms in the long run. Outpatient rehab one-to-one therapy format also allows you to keep in touch with your primary therapist at all times even after your treatment is completed so that you can inform them of your progress or any shortcomings in your addiction treatment.

3. Support Groups

One of the most effective ways of maintaining your sobriety in the long term is through finding and joining support groups of some kind. These can be based on the 12-step model or are activity based groups that help with your motivation levels and allow you to maintain contact and good relationships with others who are suffering through similar struggles. One of the more popular support groups based on the 12-step model is the Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). Through proven therapies and methods, it helps individuals take control of their substance abuse and enables them to better their mental health by engaging with like-minded people. There are also LGBTQIA+ community groups, or specific ethnic groups for those looking for a specific circle of people.

Rebuilding Your Social Life

Addiction treatment can be tough, whether you are staying at an inpatient treatment center or seeking care through outpatient drug abuse treatment facility. Rehab doesn’t just help you through your withdrawal symptoms, but it also creates ease in achieving goals which may have otherwise seemed impossible. Rebuilding your social life from scratch can be challenging but with a healthy mindset and a sober lifestyle, you can take part in several alcohol-free and drug-free activities that can help you enjoy life whilst also staying sober and healthy.

Such activities can include game nights with new friends, enjoying a movie at the cinema, taking up instrument lessons, learning a skill such as gardening or speaking a new language, playing sports, learning dance, volunteering at societies and charity events, playing video games, etc.

You can also save a lot more money by not purchasing drugs or alcohol, and instead investing in other activities that do not pose a high risk situation where you may find yourself being dragged back into unhealthy habits.

Does relapsing mean that treatment programs are ineffective?

One of the biggest misconceptions about relapsing is that all the efforts put into your drug or alcohol addiction treatment were in vain or were ineffective. That is simply not true. For most, relapsing is a common part of the overall healing process and controlling it or gaining power over those urges is a positive step towards a productive life. The percentage of drug addicts who remain sober or who relapse do not have a bearing on the effectiveness of outpatient or inpatient rehab.

Relapse usually occurs when the patient believes they no longer need active care or intensive supervision to maintain their sobriety. Most individuals often find it unnecessary to continue support groups or meetings once they have cleared their relapse prevention program, but this is simply a recipe for disaster in most cases.

This ultimately has nothing to do with the treatment itself. It helps cure hypertension and equips patients with the right coping skills to deal with situations involving drugs and other harmful substances. However, many individuals find it difficult to maintain these skills without help in the long run in the shape of support groups, therapies, seminars, and other educational sessions, etc. Relapsing doesn’t mean that the treatment was unsuccessful, it simply means that it was abandoned.

After all, a relapse prevention plan and addiction recovery is a step-by-step process that requires time and a lot of emotional and mental investment. It is a long-term treatment that helps you keep yourself in full control if and when relapse occurs.



Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.