Current treatments are based around maintenance therapy with opioid agonists such as buprenorphine and methadone, or an opioid antagonist like naltrexone. Though the efficacy of some of these treatments can range from 60% to 90%, that success is defined as abstinence from the opiate of harm, but often includes continued dependence on a chemical substance. The removal of drug dependence alone has a lower likelihood of success in terms of long-run patient outcome than treatment models that target the underlying emotional and psychological conditions that generally accompany substance use disorder.
The cost of attending a drug treatment centre can vary from free to thousands of dollars a day and the success rate can be as low as 5%, with a high probability of repeat visits. Free clinics typically service the lower socioeconomic populations while those with means can attend more upscale facilities, sometimes costing as much as $60,000 for a 60-90 day stay. Success is also difficult to define as post-treatment tracking is often limited to a short timeframe and is encumbered by data privacy issues.
Abstinence based 12 step programs have served as the benchmark for recovery dating back to the early twentieth century. The effectiveness and success rate of 12 step programs is challenging to determine due to the insistence on anonymity, participation in a 12 twelve step program has been determined to increase the chances of successful recovery but the evidence is purely anecdotal as opposed to data driven.
That being said, the changing nature of addiction, the addition of powerful synthetic drugs, and cultural shifts have contributed to an addiction climate that requires additional mechanisms and avenues to increase the chance of long-term success for those seeking to recover their health and lives from the grasp of substance-related disorders.