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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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Family Poll: Half of Addicts Seek Help

Survey Shows Most Who Go for Treatment Get Better
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 18, 2006 -- Only half of drug- or alcohol-addicted family members seek help -- but when they do, 82% get better, a survey of American families finds.

A recent Gallup poll, the USA Today/HBO Family Drug Addiction poll, interviewed 902 U.S. adults who said that a member of their immediate family is or was addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The major findings:

  • 51% said their addicted family member never sought treatment.
  • 41% said their addicted family member has "overcome" his or her addiction.
  • 65% said a family member admitted an addiction to them -- but two-thirds of the time, only after they confronted the addict.
  • Once a family member admits his or her addiction, that person is more likely to seek treatment than those who do not admit their addictions.
  • Three-fourths of addicts were alcoholics, while 30% were drug addicts. Some were addicted to both drugs and alcohol.
  • 23% of addicts who sought treatment went to a rehab center; 17% went to AA meetings, classes, or 12-step programs; 11% sought psychological counseling; and 8% went to hospital programs.
  • 82% said that their addicted family member got better after treatment -- including 38% who reported their family member made a "complete recovery."

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