What It Takes to Stay in Recovery

There are no fast fixes. Being in recovery requires a lifestyle change. Something that would not happen over a 30-day residential stay or a 90-day IOP.  The sobering statistics paint a grim picture; according to SAMSHA, “less than 11 percent of adults with a substance use disorder (SUD) receive addiction treatment each year, and only 25 percent receive services at any point in their lifetime” and “only 15 percent of clients complete an episode of addiction treatment after intake.” It seems pretty difficult to convince people dealing with addiction to seek treatment and just as hard to keep them in treatment, so what does it take?

The opiate epidemic has been on the news for quite some time now; highlighting the worse statistics that people in treatment has seen in years, to include how the US life span decreasing due to deaths from overdoses (Kochanek, et.al., 2017). You would think that with such headlines, that we may begin to see trends of people going and staying in treatment. But it is not the case.

It boils down to having family and friends to try and intervene in the process and convince the person dealing with addiction to seek treatment. It requires a therapist or program that could engage the client to stay in treatment. It requires the client and family to see that there are no easy fixes. Creating changes to alter one’s lifestyle requires commitment from the client and the family; as well as a program that is designed to help the individual create changes in his/her lifestyle.


Melinda G. Drake, LCSW (CA, NY, & HI), LISW CP & AP (SC)



Kochanek, K. D., Murphy,  S. L., Xu J., & Arias, E. (2017) Mortality in the United States, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf

SAMSHA (n.d.) Contemplating Client Engagement and Retention in Recovery Services. Retrieved from http://mha.ohio.gov/Portals/0/assets/Initiatives/AccesstoRecovery/Client-Engagement-TA-Package_FINAL508compliant.pdf

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