What Factors Into Treatment Completion for Substance Use Disorders?

There are many reasons why individuals decide to leave their treatment program. Perhaps you’re contemplating leaving your own, or maybe your loved one is thinking about leaving. No matter the situation, there are many factors that can go into a person’s decision to leave. What’s most unfortunate is leaving when a person truly needs help – if you’re considering leaving, it’s best to weight out your options and speak with someone from your treatment program to decipher what would be the best route for you to take.

A 2016 study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors sought to explore the effects of inpatient and outpatient treatment on completion by individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs). A total of 318,924 cases were analyzed by researchers, finding that residential treatment programs saw approximately 65% completion rate and 52% completion rate for outpatient treatment programs. A variety of factors influenced these completion rates, including:


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Drug of choice


The study’s findings suggested that for addictions involving opioids, residential treatment programs have been found to provide greater protection from environmental and social triggers that could lead a person to relapse. The factors listed above aren’t the only ones, however; a study conducted by researchers from Norway found several other factors that could lead to dropout:


  • Cognitive deficits – the study showed that individuals with lower cognitive functioning experienced higher dropout rates
  • Low treatment alliance – many individuals left their treatment program because they didn’t feel a good connection with their treatment center
  • Personality disorder – many personality disorders involve mood swings with different thinking and perspective capabilities, making it difficult for people with this type of disorder to achieve stability in treatment. This is ultimately why it’s important to be in a treatment center that provide inclusive, intensive care – people who will really listen to your concerns and guide you throughout the recovery process.
  • Younger age – although shown as a small risk factor, the study found that the younger in age a person was, the greater the likelihood they would experience impulsivity and risky behavior – making them more likely to drop out.


In some cases, dropping out of a particular treatment program is logical. But in many, it’s often due to misunderstandings. If you’ve been struggling with addiction, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about several types of programs and which one may be right for you. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.

Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).