Does Substance Abuse Treatment Work?
Yes, treatment does work! Research indicates that treatment results in positive behavior change for most people who get into and remain in treatment including a reduction in drug use, decrease in criminal activity, and improvement in occupational, social, and psychological functioning.
Research suggests that a client who completes treatment, either inpatient or outpatient, has a 50 % chance of staying clean and sober for the year following treatment. If the client completes treatment and attends Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous once a week for the next year, then she has a 70% chance of staying sober. If the client completes treatment, attends one AA/NA meeting and one outpatient session per week, she has a 90% chance of remaining sober for the next year. (Hoffman, 1994)
Due to the chronic nature of the disease, relapsing is common and does not prove treatment to be a failure but indicate that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted. Overall, good outcomes depend on the nature and extent of the person’s problems, the appropriateness and quality of the treatment program, and are contingent on adequate treatment length.
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