According to the recent landmark U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, “Well-supported scientific evidence shows that substance use disorders can be effectively treated, with recurrence rates no higher than those for other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. With comprehensive continuing care, recovery is now an achievable outcome.”
Specifically, rates for substance use disorders range from 40-60%, for diabetes 20-50%, for hypertension 50-70 percent%, and asthma 50-70%.
Society has maintained a persistent persona of “a hopeless addict” – someone who never holds a job, is unreliable, cannot manage their finances or maintain a relationship, and is in and out of jail and prison. It is time to update that image. Studies show that recovery from alcohol and substance misuse leads to great improvements in many aspects of life, such as: