Treatment for substance abuse isn’t a decision anyone takes lightly. And despite all of the many different questions people have about treatment, one question is almost always on everyone’s minds: “Will it work?” It’s important to understand that no one single treatment method works for everyone. There’s no magic bullet; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. In many ways, treatment should be as unique as the individual going through it. “Treatment Success Rate” is a huge priority for centers like A Better Today (ABT)—especially since the term has everything to do with the positive impacts that treatment can have on a patient’s behavior and life results. While measuring success in treatment sounds simple, it’s actually not that cut-and-dry. Just as addiction itself is hugely complex, so too is treatment. ABT, for one, subscribes to the disease model of addiction, acknowledging that while addiction begins as a genetic predisposition, it’s very often made worse by decisions and environments. “Successful treatment” isn’t about measuring the amount of “clean time” someone has—it’s about being able to get to the root causes of someone’s addiction.
Drug and alcohol abuse have far-reaching and, oftentimes, devastating effects on someone’s life. Treatment centers like ABT take the time to address nearly all the aspects of life that substance abuse has otherwise compromised. “Time” is the key word, too, when it comes to treatment. It takes several months to learn the techniques and tools that help support a sober life, not to mention sober decision making. It takes years to turn these into habits. Since everyone learns differently, that’s what makes “successful treatment” so difficult to measure. Many people are also quick to equate the word “relapse” with “failure” when it comes to treatment. ABT understands that relapses are expected, if not entirely predictable parts of the long-term recovery process. Any period of sobriety where someone devotes themselves to learning recovery tools—even if there’s a relapse—should be seen as a success. With treatment, people should focus more on the big picture instead of the immediate future.
It’s almost impossible to fathom successful recovery without treatment, even though countless people try it only to fail over and over. For starters, treatment centers like ABT offer a safe, medically supervised environment for withdrawal and detoxification. Their primary aim is to make recovery as painless and comfortable as possible. More than anything, though, ABT works with its clients to practice new life skills, ways of thinking, and new coping behaviors—all in the hopes of forming healthy and positive new habits. ABT offers a wide range of treatment methods, including everything from individualized treatment to family therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in addition to several other approaches. Still, recovery begins and ends with the client. Again, not everyone’s situation is the same, with the extent and nature of problems varying wildly from person to person. No treatment center can guarantee that its clients will always find long-lasting recovery—the best a center can do is guarantee that the clients who take treatment seriously will come away with new skills, knowledge, and tools to live a successful life.
While treatment success rates are inherently murky, A Better Today’s Research and Development Department set about to analyze the outcomes of its clients. According to their site, ABT sought to determine its success rate against “published peer-reviewed medical studies,” not the rates of other treatment centers. In 2015, ABT’s R&D Department gathered and analyzed the post-treatment outcomes for its 2014 clients and “compared them against an oft-cited and highly esteemed medical study analyzing treatment efficacy and outcomes in opiate addicts.” The result? Based upon a sample of nearly 130 ABT clients, those who stayed for 30-day treatment were 52% more likely to be abstinent from drugs and alcohol. For those ABT clients who were in treatment for 60 days—a time frame where strategies, tools and techniques had started to become second nature to its clients—they were 138% more likely to be drug and alcohol free. Ninety days after treatment, ABT clients were 129% more likely to abstinent, too. After six months of treatment, ABT’s R&D Department found that its clients were twice as likely to be entirely drug and alcohol free than others. On top of their research deep dive, ABT remains in contact with its former clients. A full year after completing treatment, clients are asked one question: “On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no improvement whatsoever and 10 being drastic improvement, how has your overall life-satisfaction changed since initiating treatment with ABT?” The answer? 8.9 out of 10.
A Better Today is unique in how transparent it is with not only its treatment success rates, but with what goes into its patients’ success. Between state-of-the-art withdrawal and treatment programs, innovative motivational strategies, highly customized plans, flexible lengths of stay and first-rate aftercare plans, among many other services, ABT offers clients everything they need to succeed after they reach the real world. And while determining a “success rate” in treatment may sometimes be difficult, it’s certainly not difficult to see what sets A Better Today apart from other treatment centers. Its level of care and commitment demonstrates that a “success rate” means something much more than a percentage. Above all, ABT clients aren’t numbers or statistics—they’re people who have been given the tools to make bright, promising lives for themselves.