Will Addiction Treatment Work?

Take Our “Probability of Success” Quiz

Over the years, having treated hundreds of clients who are suffering from addiction, I have developed five criteria for rating the chances of someone recovering from their addiction.

The Five Most Important Variables That Determine Possibilities of Successful Treatment

Take our short, interactive quiz to learn about the five variables, and find out what the Probability of Success will be for addiction treatment.

Answer each question on the scale from 1 to 5.

Welcome to your The Probability Of Success Quiz

The first and most important variable is the level of desperation the person has. The more upset someone is about the destruction that has and will be caused by the addiction, the higher the chances that the individual will be able to recover. If someone says to me, after I have asked them why they are coming to me, that they are in the office because their husband, wife, or parent wanted them to come, then already I know that the chances for recovery are limited.

1. Rate the level of desperation. The more desperate the greater the chances that the addicted person will do what it takes to change. 1 is not at all desperate, 5 is extremely desperate.
The second variable is the length of time that they have been addicted. The longer they have been have been involved in addictive behavior the more embedded the habit.

2. Rate the length of time of the addiction. The point here is the sooner the addiction is dealt with the greater the chances of recovery. 1 is a very long time, such as more than 10 years. 5 is a very short time, such as less than a month.
The third variable is the intensity of the addiction. The greater the intensity of the addiction, the harder it is to deal with the problem. If someone is deeply involved in the addiction, it’s not only the physical issues of the addiction, it’s also the lifestyle that goes with that addiction. Oftentimes people don’t know what to do with their time and their life when they stop engaging in the behavior.

3. Rate the intensity of the addiction.
Being aware of this variable, both the addicted person and their emotional support system should look for early warning signs to prevent the addiction from being full blown. 1 is extremely intense, 5 is not very intense.
The forth variable in determining one's ability to get past their addiction is work history.* The more someone has a pattern of consistent employment the better are their chances of recovery. If someone has a managed to develop their work life it means they have the ability to do what it takes to accomplish a goal. Also not having a regular source of income becomes an additional stress that will contribute to their inclination to engage in the addictive behavior.

*One never completely “gets over” or “kicks” an addiction. Being “clean” is a day to day, moment to moment decision.

4. Rate work history. A good work history is an important variable to be sensitive to. As soon as someone has severe work problems, getting past addiction becomes ten times harder. 1 is an extremely poor work history, with many problems. 5 is a very good work history, with not many work problems at all.
The fifth variable is having a strong support system. A strong support system is an important variable in being able to recover from addiction. The pressures that originally drove the addicted person to use their addiction to escape oftentimes reappear in their life. When those times come it is extremely helpful to have people to turn to; people who can provide both emotional support and reminders of the consequences of making the bad choice of getting enmeshed with their addiction.

5. Rate the strength of a support system.
This is very important. Having just one person there who does not enable but is both caring, and limiting, can make all the difference in the world. 1 is a very poor support system. 5 is an excellent support system.

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