Studies Show 75% of Individuals With Addiction Recover


The lion’s share of those who seek to recover from addiction will succeed.


In a world of doom and gloom news, addiction from drugs and alcohol gets its share of bad press. The CDC reported more than 100,000 overdose deaths from April 2020 to April 2021. This is the single highest death toll recorded in a 12-month period. We also hear about the tsunami of increased alcohol sales, rise in addiction, and increase in isolation exacerbated anxiety and depression from the government’s most reputable sources.


The Good News – 75% Recover

But there is good news. A Recovery Research Institute study published last year found that 9.1% of American adults (approximately 22 million) live in recovery from a substance use disorder. And a separate study published by the CDC and the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 75% of those who experience addiction will recover.


Importantly, the Recovery Research Institute study is an overall estimate of US adults who have recovered from a significant alcohol or other drug problem. In other words, from all paths to recovery (assisted and unassisted), different levels of severity of symptoms, and diverse demographic and geographic backgrounds.



  • More than 1 in 10 adults in the United States report having a substance use problem.
  • Approximately 75% of adults who experience addiction eventually recover.
  • Mental health conditions are highly prevalent among adults reporting a substance use problem.
  • Individuals associate treatment with recovery.
  • Primary substance of use: 51% alcohol, 11% cannabis, 10% cocaine, 7% methamphetamine, 5% opioids
  • The impact and prevalence of fentanyl on outcomes is unknown at this time.



Research Recovery Institute – 1 in 10 Americans report having resolved a significant substance use problem

National Institute on Drug AbuseCan Addiction be Treated Successfully?

Sanford Behavioral HealthThe Effects of Alcohol on the Whole Body



What Do the Studies Tell Us?

For individuals & families looking for treatment and recovery

The studies show there are many people who have recovered from a substance use problem. Success and long-term recovery is possible. It also means that individuals with more severe substance use issues, multiple disorders, or opioids as a primary substance may increase their success outcomes with formal treatment using medical and other health care professionals.


One of the definitions of recovery is, “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.” In these times of high anxiety, it is good to see studies that report the lion’s share of those who seek to manage a substance use problem and take back a life stolen by addiction, will succeed.



Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit