addiction relapse rates

Looking out the window with the wind howling and it’s raining cats and dogs, there’s no doubt that life takes it toll on all that have the privilege to know life. Think about it: it’s this process of time that differs for every entity, but none the less delivers trials and tribulations all the same as we’re put to the test. The thing is that everybody and everything is tested in a different capacity. Mother Earth deals with the physical abuse human beings force onto her daily. Trees are weathered by the rain and the ozone is polluted by the chemicals but our planet still continues to find a way to keep spinning.

On this blue marble we live, we are all so unique but thrive in this life in similar manners.  

I’d go so far as to say that life isn’t really fair for anybody, although some do have advantages that others may not. Vice versa- some have major disadvantages others may never have to see in their light of day. Then some of us have addiction and alcoholism lobbed at us like a hand grenade and are told to “deal” with it by life on life’s terms. Fantastic!

Addiction is this beast of a disease that poisons all healthy and rational thinking as it focuses on killing the person inflicted. The alcoholic thinking that becomes so second nature becomes the poster child for relapse rates and funeral expenses as we push off the idea of sobriety for as long as we can. There’s definitely worse things out there, but until Godzilla is reawakened, this intimidating disease frightens me enough. With relapse rates ever increasing and the opiate epidemic growing- the statistics against us are not a figment of imagination at all.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cliches and statistics can be so obnoxious because of the time and place they get used usually. It just makes you want to roll your eyes just as far back as you possibly can in an almost exorcism like manner. However, these things exist because of their prevalence in the world.

Over the last decade, relapse rates have been feeding off the weak- taking the lives of addicts and alcoholics all over the world struggling to live above ground another day. We have this war against drugs and this opioid epidemic that are constantly getting larger as more and more people succumb to chemical dependency.

Illegal powders and tars flood the streets, liquor stores belong on every corner, and this is all the while that pharmaceutical companies are dishing out “safe” little pills to people that don’t even use or need them. The relapse rates are growing because the drug quantities and qualities are too.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really anybody specific that can be blamed directly for the rise in relapse rates and the increase of those that are set up for failure in their attempts at recovery. For many, getting clean is this messy process that may take several tries to finally get. Admitting is one thing, but accepting is a whole other ball game that will prevent relapse and thus lower relapse rates over time. The reality is that the statistics are against us and the relapse rates that do exist are real:

  • Heroin 90%
  • Cocaine 23.5%
  • Alcohol 90%
  • Marijuana 71%
  • Meth 88%    

These are statistics based off relapse within 1-4 year period. Yes, with addicts and alcoholics just a day or a little bit of time clean is a miracle in itself. On the other hand, if this sobriety and recovery thing is done correctly, that gift of sobriety is for life if we want it to be.

increasing statistic graph

This World is Yours

The relapse rates exist- yes, but the rates can, of course, be altered as progressive changes are made to prevent alcoholic thinking from taking our lives. Of course maintaining a program of some sort is always the recommended route for keeping sanity between your ears.

Some of us, of course, aren’t exactly turned on by the idea of Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous and what they have to provide, but the facts do remain: it works. Finding some program of anonymity and working the 12 steps are the guaranteed path to finding your way into a happy recovery. It may take time, but I guess it depends on how far one is willing to go to keep away from the misery that using brings us.  

Trying to not wind up as another statistic can be a tedious chore, but it is one that is absolutely worth it. The reality of the disease of addiction is that there will always be that estranged voice in the back of our heads pushing for us to put the bottle to our lips or the needle in our arm. The big difference is a matter of how strong we allow that bellow to be. We must keep in mind that that voice is not THE voice.

Fortunately, when we start working the 12 steps and keeping ourselves in check like such, we are helping diminish the misery that is addiction as we show the positive statistics. Yes yes, this is good and all, but that doesn’t mean we are cured and that is why relapse rates exist like they do. The risk of relapse is always around the corner because there isn’t any cure for addiction or alcoholism, but only methods of dealing. Deal with it before it deals with you.

Start Somewhere

The relapse rates are as high as they are because we stand by looking clueless as our castles burn and life crumbles into ruins. Be proactive and do something to stop that way of life from taking over! If you or a loved one are struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 877-978-3125 or visit  We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.