The Road to Recovery

Most people go into drug treatment either because the court ordered them to do so, or because loved ones urged them to seek treatment. The good news is that, according to scientific studies, people who enter drug treatment programs in which they face “high pressure" to deal with their addiction can benefit from treatment, regardless of the reason they sought treatment in the first place.


Addiction treatment is like treating a broken bone. Like diabetes and even asthma, drug addiction typically is a chronic disorder. Some people can quit drug use abruptly on their own or they can quit after receiving treatment just one time at a rehabilitation facility. But most people who have become addicted to drugs need longer term treatment and, in many instances, repeated treatments—much like a person who has developed asthma needs to constantly monitor changes in medication and exercise.

The important point is that even when someone relapses, they should not give up hope. Rather they need to go back to treatment or modify their current treatment. In fact, setbacks are likely. Even people with diabetes may go off their diet or miss an insulin injection, and their symptoms will recur—that’s a cue to get back on track, not to view treatment as a failure.