16th November 2017

Addiction: 50% of addicts can recover without help

A study in the United States looked at addictions and how addicts manage to recover from it. It turned out that almost half of the respondents recovered from their addiction alone.

From alcohol, drugs or tobacco... addictions are numerous and recovering from it is often very difficult. Researchers at the Massachusetts Central Hospital Recovery Research Institute (MGH) conducted a study to understand how addicts manage to break out of addiction. Nearly half of the surveyed addicts managed to recover by themselves.

One out of two addicts recovers by himself

54% of those who reported resolving an addiction or alcohol problem did so through a self-help group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Anti-relapse treatments are also frequently used and 20% of them have used detoxification centers or community groups to recover. This represents only half of the addicts, the rest said to have managed alone.

Trying alone is not a bad solution

Getting out alone is an idea that lacks credibility in the public’s eyes.

John Kelly, director of the Recovery Research Institute, led this study. He explains, "Many clinicians and researchers, just like the general public, think that to solve a drug or alcohol problem, you have to go to a drug rehabilitation center, take a treatment or go to an association like Alcoholics Anonymous. Our research has shown that while many who are very addicted follow this path, many do not. This shows that we need to broaden our perspectives on this topic."

In the United States, about 80 million people face a problem of alcoholism or drug addiction. Of these, 22 million suffer from a complete alcohol or opioid addiction disorder.

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