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Recovery from Addiction is the Norm, Not the Exception

A woman in a graduation cap smiling and looking out a window

Most people recover from substance use disorder, and 9% of Americans are in recovery today.

Many feel alone in their struggle with substance use disorder – but addiction, and recovery, is more common than you may think. Around 9% of adults in the U.S. have resolved a significant alcohol or substance use disorder problem in their lives, according to recent peer-reviewed research. That amounts to roughly 22.3 million Americans in recovery. 

Discussion around substance use disorder often focuses on the death toll but leaves out mention of the millions of people who go on to heal and even thrive after struggling with addiction. Three out of every four people who experience addiction will eventually recover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of those who succeed do so with external support in the form of treatment programs, medication-assisted treatment and continuing recovery support services. People with complicated substance use issues or co-occurring mental health concerns were especially likely to report seeking help in recovery.  

It is a harmful misconception that substance use disorder is a permanent condition, that treatment is hopeless or that chances for recovery are slim. Research suggests that many thrive in recovery, achieving new goals, connecting with family and friends and building economic stability.  

Wayside offers evidence-based treatment adapted to meet the unique needs of individual women and their families. The majority of our clients recover, and many achieve great things after treatment. Check out a few of their stories:  

“I graduated with the highest honors from St. Catherine’s with a B.A. in Social Work and now my job is to help other families experiencing homelessness secure housing and stabilize. Stability matters—now I am a licensed social worker and more importantly I am a sober mom with a healthy, happy kid.”

Read Laura’s story

“I am now 10 years sober. I graduated with an Associate’s degree in Addiction Counseling this past May and am working on my B.A. I work as a counselor in a treatment center and tell my patients that addiction is a battle we’ll be fighting the rest of our lives, so we need to be real in order to move on. Recovery and a life worth living is possible.”

Read Trisha’s story

“I am currently in my first semester at Century College for my Associates in Science for Chemical Dependency. I work part-time as a server, attend school full-time, and attend 4-5 meetings per week. I sponsor women and I have a sponsor. I work the steps and take suggestions. I have adopted a way of life that, 15 months ago, was completely foreign to me. I have custody of my son and we live together as a happy little family.”

Read Caitlin’s story