National Institutes of Health

Does Drug Treatment Work?

Yes. People who get treatment and stick with it can stop using drugs. They can change their lives so they don't go back to taking drugs. But they have to try hard and for a long time.

A person can make mistakes, feel bad, and start using drugs again. This is called a relapse. If that happens, the person should get back into treatment as quickly as possible. Relapse happens to a lot of people recovering from drug addictions.

Stopping drug abuse is like trying to diet and lose weight. It's hard to learn to do things differently, like eat less, exercise more, and avoid some favorite foods. It's easy to slip up, eat too much, and gain back the weight. But then you have to try again.

It's the same with quitting drugs. People with addictions might get treatment, slip up, and then go back to treatment many times before it works. It's important to get treatment for as long as you need it.

"My life was built around getting cocaine and getting high."

Young woman sitting outside

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Click here to find a treatment center

Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) at any time to find drug treatment centers near you. Or look them up online in the SAMHSA treatment finder. (SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Government.)