Drug and alcohol rehab statistics in Australia

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Alcohol addiction
The Hader Clinic
The Hader Clinic
May 29, 2023
minute read

Understanding the success rates of rehab

If you’re reading this, we hope we can assume you’re considering entering a rehab facility for help overcoming your drug or alcohol addiction. The first thing you need to know is that wanting help is just about the best predictor for successful rehabilitation.

We want to give you the most precise statistics on substance abuse treatment in Australia that we can. But there’s a caveat, and in the interest of full transparency, that’s where we want to begin: rehab success rates aren’t easy to define. That’s because recovery is a complicated process that varies drastically from person to person. We’ve drawn on several reputable Australian and international sources to help you understand what addiction treatment in Australia looks like. Let’s get into it.

Spoiler: the odds of overcoming your substance use disorder are on your side. Take the first step and enter our 14 or 28-Day Detox And Withdrawal program.

What is the success rate of rehab?

58% of individuals who complete drug or alcohol treatment achieve long-term recovery goals. These goals include full sobriety, but also include improved family and friend relationships, and contributing to society and their local communities. That data comes to us from the Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment in the United States, drawing on a worldwide data pool. 

According to the Australian Family Physician journal, success should not just be defined by lifelong sobriety. That is simply an impossible standard to meet for most addicts. Rather, successful rehabilitation is about building an addict’s sense of self and sense of community. Relapses happen, but they are a hurdle on your lifelong journey — not the end.

Australian alcohol abuse statistics

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare releases an annual report on alcohol, tobacco and other drug statistics. Their report gathers insights based on recorded ‘treatment episodes’, which they define as a treatment period (with a definitive start and end) between an addict and a treatment provider. Their statistics are invaluable:

  • Between 2021 and 2022, 42% of rehab treatment episodes focused on alcohol abuse.
  • The percentage of Australians drinking above the lifetime risk guidelines (4 standard drinks per day) has decreased over the last 20 years from 21% (2001) to 16.8% (2019).
  • Between 2020 and 2021, 3 in 5 drug-related hospitalisations were caused by alcohol intoxication.

1 in 6 Australians are at risk of alcoholism. If you’re worried that you or a loved one are developing into an alcoholic, then it’s time you consider rehab for alcoholics in Melbourne.

Australian drug abuse statistics

In Australia, the drugs that most commonly bring people to rehab are amphetamines, cannabis and heroin. Of those seeking amphetamine rehab, 79% did so for methamphetamine. In the past decade, treatment for amphetamine addiction has increased by over 200%, although the demand for heroin treatment is, fortunately, starting to decrease.

In 2020-21, approximately one-third of Australians seeking treatment for their primary addiction also had a secondary drug addiction. The top three most common secondary drugs were cannabis, nicotine and alcohol. 

If you or a loved one has developed a substance use disorder, The Hader Clinic offers drug addiction rehab for several drugs, including meth, heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs.

Statistics on relapse after rehab

The AIHW 2016-17 report suggests that approximately 65% of addicts complete their drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Of those, about 50% relapse. 

A study on alcohol relapse found that those who chose to tackle their alcoholism on their own rather than complete rehab were significantly less likely to meet a three-year sobriety goal. Those who did were more likely to relapse, as they did not have the ongoing outpatient treatment offered by established rehabilitation programs.

Studies suggest that the best way to prevent relapse is to enter residential rehabilitation for two to three months and follow that with ongoing outpatient rehabilitation. 

The Hader Clinic’s outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are designed to help recovering addicts reintegrate back into society.

Rehab vs jail statistics

The longer you sink into addiction, the higher your chances of getting into trouble with the law. Prison walls can’t keep out drugs, which means prison isn’t necessarily going to deliver the ‘cold turkey’ experience some hope it will.

Australian prisons do offer rehabilitation services for addiction and violence, but a lack of clear research makes it hard to provide specific statistics on their effectiveness in comparison to ‘outside’ rehabilitation. What we do know is that New South Wales has the highest rate of prison recidivism, with 44% of ex-convicts being reconvicted within two years. That rate is partly driven by under-resourced drug rehabilitation services. 

An article on offender rehabilitation in Australian prisons suggests that prison culture, which can promote antisocial and antiauthority beliefs, stunts the effectiveness of all types of rehabilitation. The University of Adelaide has found similar issues with the prison system’s ability to rehabilitate those in its care.

If you believe you’re at risk of addiction, you’re safer checking into a rehabilitation facility sooner rather than later, especially if your addiction puts you at risk of running into trouble with the law.

Improving your chances of beating drug and alcohol addiction

Community is everything. Whether you’re trying to improve your alcohol, heroin, marijuana or meth rehab success rates, fostering a supportive community is critical. 

According to studies in the United Kingdom, Scotland and America, actively participating in their community helped addicts improve their quality of life and avoid relapse. Attempting to lead active, fulfilling lives allowed them to reach their 1-year and 5-year sobriety goals.

Additional studies found that regular contact with family, friends and colleagues, and even volunteering in local community groups and charities, helped recovering addicts develop their sense of self and place.

What The Hader Clinic can offer you

At The Hader Clinic, we have created a supportive, community-based approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our holistic method improves your chances of long-term sobriety by giving you the physical, emotional, psychological and social support you need to take control of your life. 

We aim to:

  • Help you see the value in your own life
  • Prove to you that your sobriety is an attainable and worthwhile goal
  • Give you a safe space free from risk and suffering as you go through withdrawals
  • Provide medication-assisted treatment under the eye of qualified medical staff
  • Provide mental health services administration to combat the mental illness driving your addiction

You can use our outpatient rehab services to continue benefiting from the support you found in our residential facility. As long as you need us, we’ll be there.

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