Addiction Recovery Statistics

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 10% of all adults in the U.S. have had a drug use disorder at some point in their lives. With addiction affecting many Americans, access to substance abuse treatment is imperative.

While some of the following statistics may seem grim, the good news is that many individuals struggling with substance use disorder have achieved sobriety through inpatient and outpatient treatment programs and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Addiction Recovery Rates

Thanks largely to the slow-changing stigma within society and many insurance companies now including addiction treatment in their policies, there has never been better access to addiction treatment for those in need. Unfortunately, many people still don’t take advantage of these resources.

In 2020, approximately 40 million people 12 and older needed treatment for a substance abuse disorder, yet only around 4 million people sought out and received treatment.

Sometimes, people couldn’t access treatment because they couldn’t afford it. However, the overwhelming majority of those who didn’t seek treatment chose not to because they felt they didn’t need professional intervention.

Success Rates of Treating Addiction

While there is no known cure for addiction, it is considered a highly treatable disease.

  • According to the Butler Center for Research at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, nearly 89% of all those completing alcohol treatment remain sober for the first month after rehab.
  • Between 85% and 95% of drug users that entered into a treatment program report still being sober nine months post-rehab
  • Rehab success rates for those who enter detox before treatment is 68%.
  • Florida has the highest success rate in drug rehab, with roughly 70% of all those entering treatment programs successfully completing them.

Potential Challenges to Recovery

While addiction can impact people from every gender, ethnicity, and walk of life, not everyone has the same access to treatment. Additionally, not everyone who struggles with addiction feels they need to or want to enter treatment.

Below are some facts and statistics as it pertains to potential challenges with recovery:

  • In 2020, only 7.5% of adults between 18 and 25 considered themselves suffering from addiction.
  • Of the roughly 32% of minorities suffering from addiction, less than 8% get the treatment they need.
  • Approximately 40% of people suffering from addiction do not seek treatment because they don’t want to stop using.
  • In 2013, around 300,000 people tried to access addiction treatment. Due to financial reasons, almost 40% could not get the treatment they needed.
  • Most treatment facilities (92%) are located in urban areas, making them harder to reach for those in more rural areas.

Key Factors That Can Support Recovery

Since addiction is a chronic disease with no known cure, there is no timetable for recovery. Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is a lifetime journey that involves daily work.

  • Nearly 75% of people who suffered from addiction are either in recovery or have completed treatment and are working on addiction aftercare.
  • In 2015, more people were in recovery than actively suffering from substance abuse (22.3 million to 20.8 million).
  • A 2016 United States Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health showed that treatment centers that utilize 12-step programs have a higher success rate than other approaches.
  • The more recovery meetings a person attends, regardless of the type of meeting, the better the chances that they will continue to remain sober.

What About Relapse?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the relapse rate for substance abuse ranges from 40-60%.

While that number might seem high, the relapse rate for addiction is similar to that of other chronic diseases with no known cure, such as asthma or hypertension.

It is important to remember that relapse doesn’t mean that you failed or your treatment wasn’t successful. Addiction is a lifelong disease, and tools such as addiction medicine (like methadone), behavioral therapy, and support groups provide crucial support even after the initial treatment program ends.

Find Addiction Treatment Near You

Addiction affects millions of Americans every day. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the good news is that addiction is treatable.

Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their online program locator to find addiction treatment options in your area.

What is the recovery rate for addiction?

Roughly 75% of all people that seek addiction treatment are successful.

What percentage of people are in addiction recovery?

In 2020, roughly 1.4% of those who suffered from a substance abuse problem sought treatment.

What percentage of people are likely to relapse?

The relapse rate for addiction ranges from 40-60%.

How many people abuse drugs every year?

In 2020, approximately 59 million people used and abused drugs.

Written by:

Content Manager

Jessica Miller is a USF graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has written professionally for over a decade, from HR scripts and employee training to business marketing and company branding. In addition to writing, Jessica spent time in the healthcare sector (HR) and as a high school teacher. She has personally experienced the pitfalls of addiction and is delighted to bring her knowledge and writing skills together to support our mission. Jessica lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband and two dogs.

12 references
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  7. Wu, L.-T., Woody, G. E., Yang, C., Pan, J.-J., & Blazer, D. G. (2011, November). Racial/ethnic variations in substance-related disorders among adolescents in the United States. Archives of general psychiatry. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3395319/

  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, May 4). Sex and gender differences in substance use. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/sex-gender-differences-in-substance-use

  9. Eddie, D., & Kelly, J. (2021, April 30). People recover from addiction. they also go on to do good things. STAT. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from https://www.statnews.com/2021/05/03/people-recover-from-addiction-they-also-go-on-to-do-good-things

  10. Peer-based recovery support. Recovery Research Institute. (2019, July 25). Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.recoveryanswers.org/resource/peer-based-recovery-support/

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  12. Alcohol and drug rehab success rates. Alcohol and Drug Rehab Success Rates | Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/about-us/why-choose/treatment-outcomes

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