One of the most common questions I get asked by patients at my treatment facility as well as by house members at Serenity Falls is what percent of people end up staying clean and/or end up staying sober off alcohol and drugs.
How many people end up clean after treatment?
As a data-driven person, I experienced years of frustration trying to find answers to this question. While in early recovery I was told a wide range of statistics most of which turned out to be complete Myth. The statistic that I've heard over and over again is that "1% of opiate addicts stay clean and 10% of Alcoholics stay sober." I want to start off by alleviating any anxiety from readers and state that this statistic is a complete myth, although that comes with a few caveats.
The first thing to understand is that research into recovery rates involves measuring how different treatments influence recovery rates. The caveat that I mentioned above is that without treatment the numbers are scary. According to one study, only 6.6% of opiate addicts will get clean without treatment. This isn't the end of the story, however. There are tools that we know can help people get and stay clean and sober. There are 3 medically validated keys to treatment which are inpatient treatment centers, AA/NA/Support Groups, Sober Livings, and MAT Therapy. Everyone knows someone or has heard of someone that has been to a treatment center at least once, and often times more than once. The reason for this is clear: study after study shows that inpatient treatment is extremely effective at helping people get sober. In one study 47% of participants ended up reaching 12 months of sobriety after a 28-day stay, in another study 63% of patients remained sober after a 3 month period. While 50% may not seem like a cure it's an almost 800% increase in recovery rates than without treatment. If this still doesn't seem good enough then let's look at the other factors we listed.
AA, NA, and other support groups are some of the biggest factors for recovery rates. In one study over 62% of individuals who went to meetings regularly stayed clean after 3 years. In this long-term study after 16 years, 58% were still sober! Next is Sober Livings. One study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that in structured Sober Living recovery rates went from 11% to 68% at 6 and 12 months! The reason for this is because in Sober Livings meeting attendance is required, peer bonding is inevitable, and access to community resources is on hand. This is why we opened Serenity Falls--to be part of the solution. The last factor is MAT therapy. MAT stands for Medication Assisted Treatment. This can include medications such as Suboxone, Campral, Naltrexone, Vivitrol, and many others. Unfortunately in many Sober Livings as well as in the recovery community some of these life-changing medications have an unfair negative bias. Looking at just Suboxone will show the power of this therapy.
Results are astounding
18% of people stayed abstinent after 4 weeks of extended Suboxone Treatment.
And 34% of people stayed abstinent after 8 weeks of extended Suboxone Treatment. These numbers don’t accurately show how dramatic this is.
In the studies measuring abstinence after 2 and 4 weeks of extended Suboxone, treatment abstinence was measured quickly, only 4 weeks after extended Suboxone was first administered. However, for the study that had patients on Suboxone for 8 weeks with a 34% success rate, the abstinence rate was delayed and measured after 6 months! This is the reason why we have built close relationships with partners in our community to bring these resources to our clients. When patients utilize treatment centers, group therapy, sober living, and MAT therapy their success rates skyrocket. Individually each of these can increase the success rate of people trying to get clean and sober, however, when all are applied it stands to reason that success is much more likely. At Serenity Falls we aim to work with treatment centers, utilize group meetings, and provide access to doctors who have experience with MAT therapy.
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