Statistically, yes, but it doesn’t have to be. Although it does take most people multiple attempts at treatment to find a state of long term recovery, it doesn’t mean it has to, nor is it the case for everyone. To say that it is supposed to be one way or another isn’t fair to people who have their own individual needs, and creates a system of judgment in a field that already has plenty of it.
It may take one person a dozen treatment episodes before they reach their recovery goals. It may take another person just a single attempt. At the same time, there are other people who recover without any specialized treatment at all. We all have our own paths to recovery, and none of them make any other invalid.
What can I do to increase my chances for long term recovery?
The very first thing to do is to decide that you really want it. Find out what your motivations are for treatment and decide if that is stronger than your desire to misuse substances. If so, and you’re committed, then the next thing would be to find a treatment modality that really makes sense to you and falls in line with your values so that you have more confidence that it will work when you apply it.
We dare say that these two things are likely the biggest factors in successful outcomes, regardless of all the other research out there. Deciding that you want to recover and believing in the course of action you pursue to help you get there. All else are helpful tools and particulars to fill in the gaps and address the specific steps in your journey, but you have already shown up with the destination in mind and know what direction to head in.
Oftentimes the problem is that people are not motivated to get better yet, and are going to treatment for some other reasons, such as legal troubles, family troubles, or other outside motivations. That’s not to say that people attending treatment for some other reason won’t recovery, because they can, too, but the chances are greater if you’re there because you’re ready to make a permanent change.