#RecoveryMonth: It is more than a percentage

The success of recovery goes beyond a number 

Some industries attempt to measure success. Some simply represent it through a percentage. “Our success rate is 75% for those who receive our treatment…  our treatment has been found to be 82% successful… our services have proven 90% effective.” When it comes to calculating statistics a numerical approach is appropriate. However when it comes to an individual’s recovery, we simply cannot compile it into a number. Recovery is greater than a percentage.

Addiction is a complex disease and the recovery process is not a straight and narrow path. It goes far beyond measuring outcomes, and making percentage pie-charts. While there is value in capturing efficacy of services provided, it is not so much the case when we are looking at an individual’s success in their recovery journey. Recovery is an experience not a numerical equation.

How is recovery defined, if not with numbers?

It is important to define what recovery is in order to understand the vast elements of it. Recovery is many things. It is about establishing a new direction for one’s life. It is about rediscovering healthy life patterns and routines. Recovery is also about defining boundaries, learning coping skills, and tapping into self-discovery. A more comprehensive definition of recovery defines recovery as a “complex and dynamic process encompassing all the positive benefits to physical, mental and social health that can happen when people with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, or their family members, get the help they need (NCADD).”

Recovery is about building healthy relationships, cutting ties to negative persons and thoughts, working through core issues, and learning new roads to navigate. It is about sustaining these newly found ways of life and healthy community.

All in all, recovery is a very simple word for a very complex process. It cannot simply be summarized by virtue of a percentage, but rather viewed as a journey

An individual shared a interview with SAMHSA, Frank, describes his view of success in recovery:

Success, for me, requires that I be clean and sober. Sobriety allows [me] to be present in reality…  Success depends on the relationships I have and the kindness and compassion I share with others… Success is larger than any one goal and, likewise, one failure… Everyone owns his or her definition of success, and we must allow others the space to decide for themselves”.


In summary, success in recovery cannot be measured by statistics alone..  Recovery is as unique as each person who makes the journey. It includes the ups and downs, challenges and triumphs, the good and not so good days. For all that it is, it should be celebrated as a courageous fight.

We are embarking on a new blog series ahead. This new series will highlight individuals’ testimonies regarding their recovery from addiction. We will take a listen to their struggles, triumphs, and walk through their recovery journey. We want to capture the depth to recovery and share with you just how beautiful the transformative process recovery can be. So join us over the next few months as we begin this new series of inspiration and hope. 

September is recovery month! If you would like to be part of our #thisismystory blog series, and share your own experience with recovery, please contact us! If you or someone you know is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, please call us at (540) 535-1111. There is hope, there is light.


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