That means an estimated 23.5 million Americans have found sustained recovery from involvement with drugs and alcohol that they once considered problematic.
The survey of 2,526 adults, including 1,272 males and 1,254 females, was conducted in 2011. The researchers did not ask participants about details of their recovery, such as if they were a member of a mutual support group or if they had sought professional treatment services.
The survey asked one simply question: "Did you once have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but no longer do?" The answer was yes for 10% of all participants.
More Males Than Females in Recovery
Other findings gleaned from the survey include:
- 12% of males are in recovery, compared with 7% of females.
- More adults age 35 to 44 are in recovery, compared with other age groups.
- The Midwest has the highest prevalence of adults in recovery (14%) compared to the South with the lowest (7%).
- In the West 11% report being in recovery and 9% in the Northeast.
- There was no significant difference between adults who are parents and adults without children who say they are in recovery.
Government officials and treatment providers alike hailed the new estimates of so many people finding recovery to demonstrate that alcoholism and addiction is treatable and recovery is possible for many millions.
"This new learning provides a big reason - more than 23 million reasons - for all those who are struggling with their own, or a loved one's substance use disorder, to have hope and know that they are not alone," said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org in a news release. "These findings serve as a reminder that addiction is a treatable disease and recovery can be a reality. We are just scratching the surface here and more research is needed in this area."
News Source: The Parnership at Drugfree.org. "Survey: Ten Percent of American Adults Report Being in Recovery from Substance Abuse or Addiction." March 6, 2012