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Hope After Heroin: Does Drug Rehabilitation Work

A handsome young man prepares to begin a workout outdoors.
Rehab is the first step in the journey to a healthy, fulfilling new life.


Recovery is a journey. For some, the road is straight and they never look back. For others, there are detours and roadblocks, but they eventually end up in the right place. Others, sadly, are lost forever.

So let’s get this statistic out of the way, because it’s the one that everyone seems to quote: The percentage of people who will relapse after a period of recovery ranges from 50 percent to 90 percent.

That sounds scary, right.

But consider that statistic from a different perspective: Between 10 and 50 percent of people who quit drugs don’t ever relapse. They’re on the straight path. They make it the first time and never look back.

That leaves between 50 percent and 90 percent of people who face a more difficult recovery. Maybe that means they use once after rehab and then remain clean. Maybe it means they go to rehab two or three times and then stay clean. Truthfully, it could also mean that they never are able to manage their addiction. We just don’t know all the answers here.

Heroin Rehab Success Rate

What we do know about rehab is that longer programs are better. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment programs are more successful when they are 90 days or more.

That leaves time not only to get over physical dependence to heroin, but also to address any co-occurring conditions, like Depression or ADHD, that must be dealt with in order for treatment to be successful. It also leaves time to begin to build a new life.

Attending a 90-day rehab increases the odds that your loved one will not relapse after rehab, but it doesn’t guarantee it.

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse says: “Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug abuse can occur and should signal a need for treatment to be reinstated or adjusted.”

Recovery is a journey. Relapse should be seen as a pause, not an end. Heroin recovery statistics don’t tell the whole story—and they certainly don’t determine your son or daughter’s future.

Hope at The Raleigh House

At the Raleigh House, we believe in treating the whole person, not just the addiction. We also believe that recovery is not one-size-fit-all. Your loved one is unique and will require a treatment plan designed specifically for him or her. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.


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