Is Drug Addiction Treatment Effective?

The goal of getting drug addiction treatment is to stop abusing drugs and to return to productive functioning in the workplace, community and family. Drug treatment is proven to be effective if the patient stays in the program over an extended period of time. Patients have reported stopping drug usage, decreasing criminal activity and improving lifestyles. However, individual outcomes and results will vary depending on the nature of the patient’s problems and the quality of the treatments offered. Although, drug treatment is an effective method to stop drug abuse, relapses happen 40% to 60% of the time. A relapse does not indicate failure, a relapse signifies that the treatment needs to be adjusted or an alternate treatment needs to be used.

The factors that help patients stay in treatment is based on multiple factors such as motivation to stop drug abuse, degree of support from family and friends and pressure from drug court systems, child protection services and employers. Another factor that helps patient stay in treatment is the quality of the treatment program. Patients may need intensive treatments if problems such as medical or mental problems occur.

The Benefits of Funding Treatment

Providing public assistance for drug and alcohol addition prevention and treatment has been effective in many states. For example, New York State pays for drug treatment for those convicted of minor drug offenses as an alternative to prison, which has saved the state as much as $38 million, and expanding that program has been projected to potentially save the state as much as $270 million per year. There has been an estimated $8.87 savings for every $1 invested in substance abuse treatment programs.

Source: NIDA. (2012, December 1). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved from on 2017, May 31

Source: American Addition Centers: Public Assistance Options for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers. Retrieved from, May 31