If you are considering a drug rehab program for yourself or a loved one, you might ask the question, “How effective are drug rehab programs?” Due to the time and money involved in entering a drug rehab facility, knowing the facts before you commit to any program is wise. The goal of drug rehab programs is to return people to a productive, functioning member of a family, workplace, and community. Much research has been done on individuals who enter drug rehab programs over extended periods. Those who enter and remain in these programs stop using drugs, improve their social, occupational, and psychological functioning, and decrease their criminal activity. Each treatment outcome depends on the individual and the extent of the patient’s problems. The quality of the related services, the appropriateness of the treatment, and the relationship between the patient and his or her treatment providers also plays a part in success.
Addiction to drugs can be managed successfully. The relapse rate for drug addiction is similar to the success rates of other chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. The success rate and the relapse rate of drug addiction is surprisingly similar to those of chronic diseases, but is looked at as a failure when relapse occurs. When a chronic disease is present, successful treatment requires continued evaluation and modification. The same can be said for drug addiction. Unfortunately, many see any relapse in drug addiction as a complete failure. This is simply not true. When relapse occurs, the patient’s needs, symptoms, and modification of treatment should be evaluated. Lapses to drug abuse should not indicate failure, but rather they should signify that the treatment options need to be reinstated, altered, or adjusted.