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Addiction RecoveryAddiction is Treatable

Addiction Recovery



“Our recovery is based on sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other, that we may solve our common problem; more importantly, our continued sobriety depends upon helping others to recover from alcoholism.”

-Alcoholics Anonymous


The recovery information contained on these pages was excerpted from the National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month website developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Addiction is Treatable; Recovery is possible


Dependence on alcohol and/or drugs is a widespread health and social problem that, in some way, negatively affects as much as 69 percent of the country, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Millions of people suffer from substance use disorders every day, sometimes for years. A substance use disorder means that a person is dependent on or abuses alcohol and/or drugs, including prescription drugs. Specifically, in 2006, an estimated 22.6 million people aged 12 or older (9.2 percent of the population) had a substance use disorder in the past year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The facts show it is not uncommon and can affect people regardless of their age, race, gender, ethnicity, class, employment status, or community.


Substance use disorders are treatable diseases.


Up to 70 percent of patients in treatment for alcohol dependence are successful, cocaine treatment is successful for 60 percent, and opiate treatment is successful for up to 80 percent of those in treatment, reported the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University. People make substantial progress through treatment and recovery, and success can be compared with that of other chronic, relapsing conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension. Since substance use disorders can be a recurring, chronic disease, a person might experience more than one round of intense treatment before long-term recovery is possible. The survey found that receiving treatment can increase the probability of obtaining employment and increasing earnings. Additionally, reported job problems, including incomplete work, absenteeism, tardiness, work-related injuries, mistakes and disagreements with supervisors are cut by an average of 75 percent among employees who have received treatment for substance use disorders.


Talk About Recovery and Help Eliminate Stigma


Recovery is possible when a long-lasting commitment is made; however, the chance of relapse is always present. Just as someone who is being treated for asthma might struggle with staying healthy, relapse does not mean that treatment will never work or the person is not making an effort to succeed. Recovery from a substance use disorder can be a long-term process requiring multiple episodes of treatment, according to research through the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) makes it a priority to raise awareness about these issues and celebrate those who have entered a path of recovery, as well as their families.


What A Difference a Friend or Family Member Makes!


Families and friends can be instrumental in helping individuals pick up the pieces from addiction and put their lives back together through treatment and long-term recovery. Substance use disorders are family diseases, since the consequences of addiction and importance of long-term recovery affect all members of the family. Relapse is possible and it is important for families to understand that recovery from a substance use disorder can be a long-term process requiring multiple episodes of treatment. The treatment and recovery process can be healing for the entire family, and it is important to have individualized care addressing the specific needs of the family for a more successful treatment and long-term recovery. Family members can help motivate their loved ones to access treatment and celebrate their successes in long-term recovery. Treatment and recovery support programs can make a difference in engaging family members and utilizing a family’s strengths and resources to promote a lifestyle without alcohol and drugs. These programs also can help families recognize their own needs, provide healing for each other, and help prevent substance use disorders from moving from one generation to another.