The Reality of Substance Abuse In the United States
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2017, an estimated 19.7 million Americans ages 12 and over struggled with a substance use disorder. Amongst these individuals, around 74% of these were also found to have a simultaneous alcohol use disorder.
In addition to this, around 8.5 million American adults were found to be suffering from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders. These dual diagnoses, unfortunately, can often feed off of one another. But how many people go to rehab?
From 1992 until now, over 932,000 people have died from drug overdoses. In 2020 alone, 91,799 drug overdose deaths were recorded within the United States.
In terms of money, drug abuse and addiction cost the country an estimated $740 billion every year in lost workplace productivity, medical care, and crime-related expenses.
With all of these numbers only rising in response to the COVID-19 epidemic and the ever-present mental health crisis, the need for effective and accessible addiction treatment networks throughout the nation has never been greater. Keep reading to find out about the path to treatment, current stats regarding rehab in the US, and how to find effective help now if you are struggling!
What are the Main Causes of Addiction?
There are several factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing habits of drug and alcohol abuse. Genetics, particularly in combination with one’s physical environment, make up around 40% to 60% of their risk for developing a substance addiction.
There are several environmental factors that can increase someone’s risk of addiction. These may include an unstable or abusive home life, exposure to drug activity or crime, peer and social influences, and a high-pressure work or academic setting.
Another one of the main causes of addiction is undiagnosed or untreated mental health symptoms. In many cases, people with co-occurring mental illnesses will use drugs or drink alcohol to help alleviate painful thoughts and feelings caused by their mental disorders.
Cycles of Addiction and Dual Diagnosis
This, unfortunately, can lead to a destructive cycle of drug abuse. This often ends up making their mental condition even worse, further enabling their substance addiction. Unfortunately, the nature of addiction means getting clean without professional help can be next to impossible.
This is why if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, you will need to seek out an addiction treatment or recovery program that can help you overcome these habits and achieve long-term sobriety.
How To Recognize a Substance Use Disorder
It can be hard to admit if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse. However, addiction can be a very dangerous and potentially life-threatening problem and may lead to other self-destructive habits over time.
Acknowledging that there is a problem is the first, and most critical step! From there you will gain a foundation for being able to overcome your substance abuse.
There are several signs that may indicate that someone is struggling with addiction, including:
- Taking an addictive substance in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than originally intended.
- Repeatedly being unsuccessful in attempts to cut down or stop substance use, even if there is a genuine desire to do so.
- Spending large amounts of time and money acquiring, using, or recovering from the effects of substance use.
- Experiencing strong cravings when not using an addictive substance.
- Repeatedly being unable to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities and roles due to substance use.
- Continuing to use an addictive substance despite this causes persistent problems with friends, family members, or other social relationships.
- Giving up previously enjoyable activities or relationships in order to continue using an addictive substance.
- Using an addictive substance even in situations that could be potentially hazardous to oneself or others, such as driving, operating heavy machinery, or otherwise.
- Continuing to use an addictive substance despite this worsening or causing other mental and physical health conditions.
- Needing to use an addictive substance in larger doses or more frequently in order to achieve the desired effect.
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when not using an addictive substance.
What is Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
If you are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, overcoming this disease on your own can be extremely difficult, and even feel impossible. This is why it is recommended to seek out professional addiction treatment programs that can help you become and stay sober.
When recovering through a drug rehab program, those who are addicted to one or multiple substances can receive regular support at these treatment centers while learning a number of essential recovery skills, including:
- Ways to recognize and avoid triggers that could cause them to relapse.
- How to cope with substance cravings that could lead to relapse.
- Healthier ways of dealing with stressful situations.
- Caring for oneself on a daily basis without the use of drugs.
- How to healthily and effectively interact with others, especially when social skills and relationships have been diminished by long-term substance abuse.
These treatment programs come in a variety of different types and approaches. The most important thing to remember is that not all people are the same; therefore, as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is no one-size-fits-all recovery approach.
Drug Addiction Recovery Statistics in the United States
In 2017, an estimated 20.7 million people at and above the age of 12 were found to be in need of addiction treatment services. Of these individuals, only around 4 million, or 19% of those people, actually received the help they needed.
It is important to note that, amongst these individuals, only around one million people actually felt that they needed professional care.
Within the United States, there are currently over 14,500 specialized substance abuse treatment facilities located throughout the nation. Many of these treatment centers offer a variety of care options and individualized treatment plans that help to increase rehab success rates.
Currently, relapse rates for substance use disorders are estimated to vary between 40% and 60%. This is primarily due to a lack of education on addiction and its causes, such as mental illness, minimizing treatment effectiveness and making it difficult to remain sober independently.
Fortunately, like many other chronic diseases, addiction is considered to be very treatable, with the possibility of a full and maintainable recovery. Currently, around 10% of American adults at or above the age of 18 are receiving treatment for an alcohol or drug abuse issue.
Understanding the Addiction Treatment Process
Drug and alcohol treatment can be far more extensive and intensive than many people may initially assume. This is because many substances can pose their own unique challenges and risks to recovery and treatment, particularly for those with more severe addictions.
With that being said, some of the most common substance abuse treatment options include medical detox programs, counseling services, behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment, and sober support groups.
What works for one person may not work for another, making measuring treatment effectiveness difficult. Researching rehab options, learning your strengths and weaknesses, and having a dedicated care team will all be important factors in your treatment process.
It may be helpful to seek professional treatment advice from your medical provider or an addiction specialist, such as the FAR recovery representatives when attempting to narrow down what options will work best for your personal needs.
Medical Detox Programs
For people with more severe addictions, their treatment process will generally start with a medical detox treatment program. When receiving detox treatment, you will be gradually weaned off of an abused substance while under constant medical care and supervision.
This can help manage and even prevent uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, as well as reduce your risk of relapse. You may also receive medication-assisted treatment while recovering at a medical detox facility.
Once the detox process has been completed, it is usually recommended that you receive ongoing care through other drug rehab programs, such as inpatient and outpatient treatment centers.
Inpatient treatment/residential rehab is a type of addiction treatment program that will require you to live at your specific treatment center throughout the duration of your recovery process. This will allow you to receive the most structured and intensive care possible.
These centers offer 24-hour care to those in need of constant supervision by a medical team in a safe and distraction-free recovery environment. These facilities are often made to be comfortable, providing beds, meals, and anything else you may need while being treated.
When receiving inpatient/residential care, you will have access to a variety of substance abuse and mental health services, as well as various holistic recovery options. People who need residential care usually have more severe addictions or co-occurring disorders.
Of course, while inpatient and residential options may improve recovery outcomes, they will also charge a higher rehab cost. If you are seeking more affordable and flexible addiction treatment programs, outpatient services may best suit these needs.
Outpatient treatment programs, while a less-intensive form of addiction treatment, offer more flexible and affordable care. Unlike inpatient rehab, you will not be required to live at your specific rehab center when receiving outpatient treatment.
Rather, you will likely attend sober support group sessions and addiction recovery meetings, such as through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
These are usually held several times a week at an outpatient facility and can provide access to addiction education and recovery resources. Many drug rehab programs offer transport to such meetings, whether 12-step based or alternatives such as SMART Recovery.
This level of care may also include various holistic and therapeutic treatment methods, which can be provided during the day or night, usually at scheduled times, once to a few times a week. While you may come and go from your treatment center as you please, attending your mandatory appointments will be necessary.
Outpatient care may also include your participation in a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program. These may more closely resemble clinical-based inpatient care, but with the same flexibility as an outpatient approach.
Certain addiction medicines can be used to help treat or prevent withdrawal symptoms, as well as curb substance cravings. This may also include medications that are designed to help treat mental illnesses. This practice is known as medication management, or medication-assisted treatment.
While some people may view this practice as swapping one addiction for another, this is not the case. Rather, the medications used in the treatment are given in safe doses and heavily monitored so as not to cause addictive habits (NIDA).
Behavioral Therapies for Alcohol and Drug Addiction
If you are struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, dual-diagnosis treatment options may be your best option for better recovery outcomes. These treatment centers will likely offer a number of mental health and addiction treatment services, including:
- Behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy sessions
- Sober support groups
By treating both your habits of substance abuse, as well as any underlying issues that may be causing or contributing to them, this level of support can be your best chance at achieving life-long recovery.
Dual diagnosis treatment can help you understand the reasons why you started using drugs in the first place, while simultaneously also teaching you better coping mechanisms and life skills for the future.
Though medications can be invaluable in treating addiction, the implementation of these therapies is the most effective option, as they help you to better understand your addiction and overall well-being, and, most importantly, how you can better handle your own needs moving forward.
In some cases, certain rehab centers may implement certain medical devices to help treat addiction. One example is the Neuro-Stim System Bridge; once used to treat chronic pain, this device is now used to help treat opioid addiction. (US Food and Drug Administration).
Aftercare Planning and Relapse Prevention
One of the most important aspects of drug and alcohol rehab is aftercare. Most rehab facilities will take steps to ensure that you are able to transition safely from their program into some sort of aftercare rehabilitation service. This may include:
- Relapse prevention planing
- 12-step recovery groups
- Sober living homes
- Halfway houses
- Individualized therapy
FAQs on How Many People Go to Rehab?
How Do I Know Which Rehab Program Is Right for Me?
As you have seen by now, there are many types of addiction treatment and rehab programs that you can seek out when recovering from substance abuse. Of course, this can make it hard to determine which of these options is right for you.
When determining what level of care will be most appropriate in addressing your recovery needs, it can be helpful to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I suffering from a severe addiction or other issues that would require me to receive 24-hour care?
- Is there a way I can seek treatment and still work, go to school, take care of my family, etc.? Would it be safe for me to do so?
- Which treatment options are best for me?
- How long do I want to be in treatment?
- What will I need from my drug rehab facility in order to feel safe and comfortable there?
Once you answer these questions, you should have a better idea of which type of program will best suit you. Speaking with your healthcare provider or an addiction specialist can help you narrow down these options and more easily find a rehab center that is right for you.
What is the Rehab Success Rate?
Though measured differently by facilities and government studies, rehab success rates are generally considered to be 40-60%, depending on region and substance of choice. While this may seem low, an alternative perspective has emerged recently.
In a recent study by Dr. David Eddie and others, it was found that 75% of people with addiction do find lasting recovery and go onto lives apart from reliance on drugs and/or alcohol.
Find the Right Rehab for Your Needs Now
If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse, the compassionate team of representatives at Find Addiction Rehabs is here to help. We will take the first step on your path to recovery with you, and help you find addiction treatment options that work for you.
You can call our hotline 7 days a week 24 hours a day to receive recovery support, tools, and resources, anytime you need them.
Your call is confidential and there is no obligation involved, so give yourself the chance you need at sobriety and reach out to our recovery team, now!
Charles F. has been an active part of the Florida recovery community for over 5 years. He began as a behavioral health technician at an addiction treatment facility in Ocala, Florida and has since begun training as a Licensed Addiction and Chemical Dependency counselor in Boca Raton. Charles’ passion involves the promotion of recovery and helping spread the hope of recovery to as many readers as possible!