Rehab: Statistics and Promises

When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction in the United States, the statistics are grim. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one in seven Americans age 12 or older (approximately 40 million people), have an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs – far more than those diagnosed with heart conditions, diabetes or cancer. CASA also reports that addiction and risky use of drugs and alcohol are responsible for more than 20 percent of all deaths in the United States every year.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is a multi-billion dollar business; yet only a small percentage of Americans receive treatment at inpatient rehab centers, in other parts of the world, numbers look even dimmer. For those who do, the outcome is anything but certain, as it’s nearly impossible to track success rates. Although many treatment providers promise that clients will conquer addiction and complete treatment successfully, high success rates often have much to do with the way results are counted and little with the actual effectiveness of treatment.

For example, many rehabs tabulate success rates based only on clients who complete treatment successfully, and the numbers of people who leave treatment early aren’t considered in the total. Similarly, the relapse rate after treatment is high, even for the best rehabs, but relapse rates are rarely tabulated, primarily because it’s nearly impossible to monitor who has relapsed after a month, a year, or a decade – especially when people are hesitant to admit that treatment has failed. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates a relapse rate of 40 to 60 percent, similar to the relapse rate for people who are treated for other chronic illnesses, including high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes. Although realistic, these are not the statistics most people hear about when they enter treatment. Results are not tied to the cost of treatment and the rate of success is no better for expensive rehabs that may use unreliable statistics to justify high prices and treatment that is mediocre, at best.

Most drug and alcohol rehabs rely heavily on the Twelve Steps as a primary treatment model, and there is convincing evidence that the model has helped many people. While these studies have been conducted in a credible and rigorous manner, statistics are not available, because even the term “recovery”, as important as it is, means different things to different people.
Addicts and their families often invest huge sums of money in treatments based on promises that are often unrealistic. Rehabs get the glory when treatment is successful, but the addict is to blame, either implicitly or explicitly, when treatment fails. The bottom line is that addiction is a complex problem and many people lose the battle. There are no guarantees, and there is no single treatment program that works for everybody – including Twelve Step programs. Addiction is currently not curable and any treatment center that claims otherwise should not be trusted. However, like other chronic diseases, addiction is treatable and can be managed in different, individual ways.

In contrast to rehabs that promise success with no stats to back up their claims, Paracelsus offers comprehensive treatment for addiction, eating disorders, emotional afflictions and mental illnesses. Our highly individualized, holistic approach is based on solid, empirical research. We address all major categories of the human experience and condition: Bio-chemical, physical, psychological, social, mental and spiritual in a finely tuned combination with dedication, passion and the latest knowledge.
The local health authorities regulate our program and our key specialists are a team of experienced and highly qualified doctors, nurses, counselors and therapists. We treat one client at a time, very privately. Our team works with clients 8 to 12 hours per day. The way we are set up allows for a bespoke, highly individualized approach, it is non judgmental, understanding, compassionate and professional. We include the family and significant others in the program and we offer comprehensive aftercare.

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