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How Many Times in Rehab Before It Finally Sticks? The Surprising Truth

You may have tried rehab once or twice or joined the third time thinking, “This time, it will work.” But whatever you do, you have failed multiple times. And you just searched for drug recovery attempts to know if anyone else has been constantly failing in their attempts.

How many times in rehab before it works 1

Around 30-50% rehabilitations are successful. There’s no constant number for failing, but you will surely win!

Things Decide How Often Someone Needs Rehab

If you are an alcoholic or drug addict, you don’t need to go to rehab directly. Several factors affect the number of times someone needs to go to rehab. 

Here are some factors that determine if someone needs rehab:

How Bad the Addiction is

If you are having bad days with drug abuse, you undoubtedly think of rehab. But the worse your addiction is, the more likely you have to try more than once or twice to get treatment in rehab. The situation worsens because of your physical and emotional dependence on drugs. The alcoholic success rate in rehab varies from man to man.

Motivation to Change

When you are drinking or taking any drugs, you don’t need motivation. It happens kind of effortlessly. You take them out of your curiosity. And then it becomes an addiction. Now, when you want to quit, you will need motivation.

Not just because you are willing to quit but also because you need to do so. We’re not suggesting to watch some motivational videos online. This motivation should grow up inside yourself. Think about your family and friends and your future. You need to live sober and longer.

Availability of Enough Support

Support is something you will need throughout the sobriety journey. This can come from your family, friends, coworkers, nearest and dearest ones. You may be consulting a doctor, counselor, or therapist. Talk to them. They will guide you correctly. This will be a good support for your rehabilitation journey.

Types of Rehab Program

There are several types of rehab programs are available. Each one has its own pros and cons. These programs have multiple lengths, methods, approaches, and locations. For example, Inpatient rehab, Outpatient rehab, Residential rehab, Detox programs, Medical-assisted treatment (MAT), and more.

Search and know about these programs to understand which one you should get into. Neither must you consult with your doctor or mentor.

Personal Situation

Look at yourself: Are you confident enough to participate in alcohol recovery? Sometimes, it’s you who is not ready to take rehabilitation programs. An individual’s situations, like age, gender, race, culture, level of education, income, job status, marital status, or any kind of mental or physical illness can distract from rehabilitation. 

How to Make it More Likely That Rehab Will Work

Rehab needs patience. But when you are leaving drugs, you will become much more violent. There’s no specific answer to the question of how will your rehab succeed. But this doesn’t mean that rehab isn’t practical. The longer you recover, the more likely you are to succeed. Only 40-60% of people get success in rehab.

Some suggestions that will help you:

some suggestions that will make rehab work

Speak Up the Truth

You know, denial is the biggest foe when trying to be sober. You must accept that you are wrong, your addictions are harmful, and you must also get the treatments. You must be honest with your doctor, counselor, mentor, and the rehab staff. Telling them the truth about your feelings and conditions, they will take the proper steps and medications.

Be Ready to Work Hard

Working hard means working towards sobriety. Rehab isn’t a magic spell that will make you sober overnight. You need to participate and work for it. Mainly, you must change your behavior, diet, and routine. In this process, you will face many hurdles like fears, evil thoughts, bad dreams, etc.

Consult with your rehab team and follow what they suggest. Resolving substance abuse is the goal for you.

Don’t Rush

Recovery in rehab isn’t something you get overnight. It is not any quick process, nor straightforward. It takes time to heal yourself. You will fail and fall, but that’s not the end. You need to pull yourself up and try more and more. Overall, you must be patient with whatever rehab program you are in.

Follow Proper Recovery Plan

When you join rehab, they will design a recovery plan for you. You must follow this dedicated plan to recover for your own goodwill. Remember, it will be the start of your sobriety for the rest of your life. 

Common Problems While Getting Towards Sobriety

The drug is a problem on its own. And as you have got addicted to it, now it has become a bigger problem. When you get into rehab, you will face several issues. This can be stressful and disturbing for you.

You can meet many drug recovery attempts and can fail many times. Only about 10% of people get proper rehab facilities.

You will have to deal with these problems and scenarios in rehab commonly:


When you are in the early stages of recovery, cravings for drugs and alcohol can trigger heavily. This will develop stress. You will crave for drugs to overcome it. This will be a string to fight. Take necessary tips from your rehab team.


In regular life, everyone gets stressed. But when you are in rehab, your stress can be more severe because this will happen because of the cravings for drugs. This can change your mood and behavior and make you less capable of dealing with the problems.


You may have drunk and taken drugs to pass boredom. Many people like you think drugs can be the solution to their boredom. But that’s not correct. While you are at rehab, you will have more free time, and this craving for drugs will trigger you to pass the boring time. Consult with your expert team at rehab to overcome this boredom.

Social Pressure

Not all rehab programs need to be taken at rehab centers. For example, Outpatient rehab doesn’t require you to be inside the residence of the rehabilitation center. You will be under treatment, but you will get a chance to socialize and can be at gatherings, too.

You must avoid peer pressure to drink or take drugs at these places. They may judge you not to join them. But remember, you are on a mission toward long-term recovery.

Mental Health Problems

If you have any mental illness like PTSD or ADHD, you will find more hard times to overcome your situation. But that doesn’t turn off the hope. You are still on the journey towards sobriety. Consult with your doctors and make a wise decision while joining rehab.

How to Cope With Challenges in Recovery

You will face challenges while you are in recovery. But you need to remember that although these are nearly impossible to resolve completely, you can have proper support, be knowledgeable, and learn various ways to cope with these challenges that occur with substance use problems.

These are some of the things you can do to deal with these challenges:

Get Help From A Professional

You are already facing a complicated and long-term addiction problem and will need professional help. You can detox from drugs or liquor in a safe and sound setting, getting proper counseling and therapy. With these, you will be dealing with any underlying problems you face with addiction.

Multiple drug recovery attempts are not necessarily a bad thing. If you need, take as many sessions as you need.

Join A Support Group

Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can help you to get sober. They will make you feel like you are one of them, making you participate in their recovery activities. These groups will offer you support, advice, and encouragement, knowing and partnering with others like you.

Form Healthy Habits

Who doesn’t want a healthy lifestyle? Everyone does. At this stage of addiction, you will also want to adopt a healthy lifestyle. And this is the correct thing you will do in your life. Forming a healthy lifestyle will help you heavily to make you sober.

Develop New Interests and Skills

Think for a second. Rehab is your second chance to explore yourself. You will get to know yourself better, and never like before. In these recovery days, you can try new skills and grow interest in various things. It will make you happy and keep you busy distracting from addiction.

Build Good Connections

In rehab, you will find more and more supportive and positive people around you. Make them your friends. Build good connections with them. You never know who will help you in the following days. And pairing with these quite positive people, with whom you can share your progressive thoughts and goals, will make your days easier in rehab.

US Study of Recovering Adults Reveals Important Lessons

The paper “How Many Recovery Attempts Does It Take to Solve an Alcohol or Drug Problem? Estimates Successfully and Correlates From a National Study of Recovering U.S. Adults” by Kelly et al. (2019) looks at how many times people need to try to get better from an alcohol or drug issue before they are successful. 

The study followed more than 36,000 people for ten years using data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

This study found that, on average, people try to stick with rehab four times. But there are differences, obviously. Some tried once and succeeded, while others failed even at the 10th time.

They have found that most of the failed recovery attempts are made between ages 18-25 and male gender. They had more than one drug problem. That means multiple drug recovery attempts are everyday things.

Does Trying More Lead to More Stress?

Yes, while you are trying and constantly failing, trying again for proper rehab can be stressful. Although various people have different thoughts, they can have different views too. 

Laudet and White’s (2008) study of 354 people who had finished treatment for substance abuse found some interesting numbers. They found that going to rehab more than once can be painful for most people as the detox center experience isn’t suitable for everyone. An alcohol detox program can be challenging, and you may need more than one session.

What really matters is your mindset. If you try your best to get and stay sober, you will. But if relapse hits, you will need another course. Don’t feel shame for multiple drug recovery attempts.

People Also Asked

What percentage of alcoholics stay sober?

88.64% of people remain alcohol-free after rehab, according to Butler Center at Hazelden Betty Ford. However, this rate isn’t constant and can fluctuate. Rehab success rate depends on treatment quality, duration, and current conditions.

On average, how many times does an addict relapse?

The relapse range falls in 40-60% in rehab programs. Relapse doesn’t make the treatment fail. Instead, it’s a common thing that people’s addiction will relapse. Chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma can be the causes of relapse in people.

How many times can you go to rehab?

Going to rehab more than once is not uncommon. And there’s no limit on how often one can go to rehab. People can join recovery as often as needed and quit drugs. Relapse must happen; the more severe the addiction, the more intensive the treatment will be.

How long do people spend in rehab?

Ranging from 28-90 days or longer, people stay at rehab as per their needs. This duration depends on several factors, such as the type of treatment, condition, patient progress, insurance coverage, and financial hurdles. Patients’ personal preferences can be counted here. If you already have chronic diseases, you must spend more time than others.

What percentage of drug addicts stay clean after rehab?

40-60% of people stay clean after rehab, as per NIDA research. But the rest of the people can try another time to join rehab and be successful eventually. Staying clean at rehab depends on the type of treatment and follow-ups. However, one can stay sober if they have substantial goodwill.

If you need more than one rehab session, take it. There’s nothing wrong with taking multiple rehab sessions. The only thing that matters at the end is your wellness and happiness. If sobriety brings joy, embrace it and work hard to quit drugs. Even if it takes multiple attempts, you will succeed for sure. Know how much a rehab costs.

Tony McKenzie

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