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.

Benefits of Drug Testing in Treatment Facilities

  • Helps determine your initial treatment plan and its evolution.Testing at different intervals of the treatment process allows clinicians to tailor your recovery plan to your progress.
  • Allows you to revel in your abstinence success.Drug testing can serve as positive reinforcement for your achievements. Getting sober from drugs or alcohol isn’t easy.
  • Increases the likelihood of abstinenceThere are few ways to “cheat” a drug test, especially complex testing involving the hair follicles. If an individual knows that he or she is going to be tested, the likelihood of that person using will decrease.
  • Reestablishes the trust of family and friends.When a person uses drugs or alcohol, the lives of those around him or her are often affected dramatically. Relationships can break down as a result of lost trust. By drug testing individuals can show marked progress in abstinence and gain back the trust of those they love.
  • Increases the reliability and accuracy of a person’s own success report.Sometimes the biggest critic we have is our own self. Our brain can rationalize just about anything and make small victories seem grandiose or big slip-ups seem like nothing. Testing helps the individual and the treatment professional more accurately assess a person’s success.

The Benefits of Funding Treatment

Treatment saves government resources and taxpayer money, and it results in more effective recovery; therefore, there have been a number of methods established to provide public assistance for drug and alcohol addiction prevention, treatment, and rehab.

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. Overall, at the time of this research, there was an estimated $8.87 savings for every $1 invested in substance abuse treatment programs. This benefit continues to be apparent. It is also clear that the outcomes from providing treatment are better than outcomes of providing no treatment, minimal treatment, or self-rehabilitation. This is evidenced by multiple studies, including a meta-analysis in Drug and Alcohol Dependence that demonstrated significant reductions in crime rates and drug abuse where treatment was provided. This makes it very attractive for states and municipalities – and for the nation as a whole – to invest in drug and alcohol rehab 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