Statistics of Drug and Alcohol Rehab - Treatment Solutions
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Statistics of Drug and Alcohol Rehab

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With so many treatment facilities to choose from, the decision for drug rehab may be confusing.  At a critical time in an addicts’ life, an overabundance of may not be the best thing.  It is a big enough step for an individual to admit they need treatment in the first place; it may not be the time to be searching for things like treatment methods, length of stays and success rates.  The problem is that there are many different types of rehab, and clear records of success rates and length of stays are often not kept, leaving addicts and family members unsure of what to expect.  However, the type of rehab you choose will determine the length of stay you can expect, as well as the success rates.

Outpatient Rehab
The least invasive and least time consuming type of treatment is outpatient rehab.  This treatment involves attending therapy and counseling for a few hours per week.  Because of the small amount of time an individual is required to devote to this type of rehab, this type of treatment is only for drug and alcohol users that are not completely addicted to a substance.  The time spent in this type of treatment can vary from weeks to months (median length of stay is reported to be 76 days), and it can be very successful for those in the early stages of substance abuse.

Day Treatment
Day treatment is a more intense type of rehab, where an individual spends all day, every day at the treatment facility.  The only difference between this and inpatient is that the patient is allowed to go home at night.  Because this allows the individual to possibly be exposed to the temptation of their substance, this type is not as successful as inpatient rehab.

Inpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab, particularly long-term inpatient rehab, has proven to be the most successful for those suffering with severe addiction.  The minimum stay for inpatient is usually 30 days, which usually consists of a detox period and intensive therapy.  Patients in this therapy may continue to stay past the 30 days, often for months, with the median length of stay for this treatment being 53 days.  This length of treatment will allow a patient to learn to change their behaviors and work to become a functioning member of society.

Statistical Reports
Every year, SAMHSA publishes data on the statistics of drug rehab programs from facilities that are licensed or certified by the state substance abuse agency.  According to the report for 2005, the number of patients that dropped out of all types of treatment without completing them was 24 %.  Another 24% of patients had their treatment terminated or failed to finish because of incarceration or other reasons.  In 2005, it is reported that 44% of patients completed treatment, although it is hard to say whether or not the treatment was successful in the long run.  It is common for addicts to revert back to their old lifestyle if their treatment was not effective.  Some states have begun mandating better recording practices by rehab facilities in order to more successfully treat substance abuse.


Carey, Benedict Drug Rehabilitation or Revolving Door? December 22, 2008
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Leah Miranda

This article was written by Leah Miranda

Leah joined American Addiction Centers in 2012 and currently holds the position of Events and Social Media Manager. After earning her Bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in teaching, she began her career in the higher education system. Her passion for connecting with people soon led her the field of marketing and social media where she is able to communicate with and inspire others daily. Connect with Leah on Google+


Hal TaylorJanuary 19, 2009 at 2:31 pmReply

Thank God for sites such as this one. if it wasn’t for them I would not have been able to get help for my son and his drug problem. Keep up the good work.

MoniqueFebruary 23, 2009 at 1:12 pmReply

Great blog post.
What are your thoughts on Inpatient and the outpatient therapy? Of course this includes AA or NA, CMA, or whatever acronym suffices.

JaredFebruary 25, 2009 at 8:04 amReply

Well I think that both have their time and place. Its tough to say which is more effective based on an apples to apples comparison because they are not the same. Depending on the needs of the individual an inpatient program may be more effective or they may be able to enjoy long term sobriety by becoming involved in their local 12 step groups. It really depends on the person, what recovery programs they have already tried, the intensity of their addiction and other issues which can impact the success of their recovery.

This is why it is important to have a wide variety of options available… Not everyone will need the same program and it is best to engineer a solutions based on an individuals specific situation.

MarkFebruary 26, 2009 at 7:23 amReply

Not true!!!!! It depends on whether they are a real alcoholic or addict! Or whether the treatment center that they’ve just left makes them believe they are. Trust me I know first hand. The 12 steps when done as it’s laid out on a daily basis, is the only proven program to RECOVER!

JaredFebruary 26, 2009 at 4:07 pmReply

Mark, yes the 12 steps are the most effective course of action available for permanent recovery. Let me clarify, I was saying that some individuals may need more intensive involvement (inpatient/residential) and some may be able to go directly to their local 12 step groups or use an outpatient facility and have success.

My statements are assuming that whatever method they choose, is teaching recovery through the 12 steps, and all methods require attending 12 step meetings and doing the steps as they are laid out.

LadnentYMay 4, 2009 at 8:22 amReply

now I’ll stay tuned..

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