Finding Effective Treatment When < 1% of Rehabs Track Their Success Rates

Finding Effective Treatment When < 1% of Rehabs Track Their Success Rates

Joanna Conti
Originally Posted:


Despite its crucial healthcare role, addiction treatment still operates with a bit of a Wild, Wild West mentality.  Whatever methods worked to help the rehab founder become sober tend to become the treatment philosophy his or her treatment center follows.

The lived experience of many rehab providers actually benefits patients in many ways.  Over the last six years, I’ve met thousands of incredibly caring owners, managers and clinicians who are deeply and passionately committed to helping patients at their centers recover. 

And based on our discussions, I suspect almost every one of these individuals truly believes that the treatment they provide is well above average in effectiveness.  But, of course, this is impossible.

Vista Research Group has now tried to contact more than 4,000 patients who left treatment from a highly-regarded addiction treatment center 12 months earlier and found that rehab success rates vary tremendously:

Chart, diagram

Description automatically generated

Fortunately, Conquer Addiction allows families searching for addiction treatment to identify the rehabs which can prove that their treatment is highly effective.  You can search by state or region of the country, by type of treatment, and even by insurance company totally anonymously and for free.

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

When you do a search, you will see a list of the centers meeting your needs with those with the best independently-validated success rates on top.  Should you want to learn more about a particular rehab, you can study their actual research results, learn about their special programs, and contact the center directly on their Conquer Addiction page.

Unfortunately, since fewer than 1% of all rehabs are hiring independent research companies to accurately track their outcomes, it’s possible that your Conquer Addiction search won’t identify any centers that meet your needs. 

The sad truth is that even though research has shown that a modest investment in outcomes research leads to 20% more patients being in recovery 6 months post-treatment the following year, most rehabs aren’t going to bother with research until prospective patients and their families start demanding it.

If you find yourself having to consider such a rehab, please take a minute and ask them a pointed question:

“If you’re as effective as you claim to be, why don’t
you have independently-validated success rate data?”

Once admissions teams realize that not having outcomes research is costing them sales, they’ll push their management to make the necessary investment.  While this might not help your son or daughter today,  it will help them improve their treatment over time and allow next year’s families to make better-informed treatment decisions.


Get emailed the latest research-based information about recovering from addiction every Tuesday

Yes! Send Me Recovery Insights

We value your privacy and will never share your information with anyone!