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How Effective is Addiction Treatment and What Are the Relapse Rates?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the structure and function of the brain, and these changes can be long lasting and often lead to many harmful, self-destructive, behaviors.

The primary goals of treatment for a disease are to eliminate the symptoms, return the patient to an optimal quality of life, and reduce the chances of relapse through treatment and adherence to positive lifestyle changes.

Like many other chronic diseases, “relapse” is an integral part of the disease, and relapse rates for addiction are similar to those for diabetes and asthma.

NIDA reports that relapse rates for addiction and other diseases are as follows:

Type I Diabetes – 30% to 50%

Drug Addiction – 40% to 60%

Hypertension – 50% to 70%

Asthma – 50% to 70%

relapse rates NIDA

It’s difficult to find industry-wide relapse rates for addiction because many treatment centers don’t conduct studies, and when they do, the findings can vary because of methodologies used in the studies. Research regarding the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is also controversial and is subject to widely divergent interpretations.

While it is difficult to find any published studies conducted by other treatment facilities, we were able to find a Hazelden study that showed a one-year abstinence rate of 42.1%, which aligns with the numbers reported by NIDA.

Inspire Malibu Addiction Treatment Outcome Study

For the sake of our own efficacy, Inspire Malibu conducted an “Addiction Treatment Aftercare Outcome Study” and the results have been published in the Open Journal of Psychiatry.

The study investigated the efficacy and benefit of our addiction treatment program on patients who completed treatment and participated in aftercare follow-up.

Specifically we conducted an aftercare follow study to determine abstinence rates and identify predictors of treatment outcome.

In the course of this study we analyzed 3240 clinical data points (72 patients x 15 time points x 3 stringency models) in an attempt to assess the efficacy of our addiction treatment program. We selected former patients who consented to the study and contacted them on a weekly basis for one month, then monthly for the duration. After one year, we analyzed the data.

Our results demonstrated that patients undergoing the 30-day inpatient treatment program exhibited a 54.7% treatment success rate, while patients treated for more than 30 days experienced a success rate of 84.2%.

The study also identified that age and gender didn’t have an impact on results.

These results show relapse rates far better than the industry average cited by NIDA and we contribute the success of our program to the evidence-based treatment practices we utilize on a daily basis, including relapse prevention techniques that are used for aftercare maintenance. Based on data from other industry studies, this supports a claim of best in industry results compared to the others.

The New York Times reported on a Columbia University study in 2013 that noted, “the vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.” The report added, “Only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works.”

What Factors Contribute to Successful Addiction Treatment?

For optimal success, it’s important to view addiction recovery as an ongoing process that continues once a client leaves treatment. Those who adhere to an aftercare plan and follow recovery related activities and lifestyle changes are most likely to maintain abstinence for longer periods of time, if not indefinitely.

It’s been found that those who remain in treatment for longer periods of time experience higher success rates.

While our clients are in treatment, we develop a rapport that allows us to maintain an aftercare relationship where we document their progress and sobriety.

At Inspire Malibu, we offer aftercare follow-up as a courtesy to our clients once they leave treatment, combined with the most comprehensive treatment program in the country.

It’s estimated that only 10% of all treatment centers offer evidence-based programs. Of those, only a small percentage have medical doctors on staff. Evidence-based treatment has been a cornerstone of the Inspire Malibu model since being founded by Dr. Akikur Mohammad, a board-certified psychiatrist and addictionologist.

We offer a wide array of treatment modalities including, CBT, DBT, MET, TMS Therapy, and medication-assisted treatment, when necessary.

In addition, we offer detox and co-occurring disorder treatment to round out our comprehensive program.

Providing a complete collection of services contributes to the success of our program and the low relapse rates of our clients.

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