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Can I recover from a substance abuse disorder without treatment?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
According to one study, 72% of Americans with substance use disorders eventually seek treatment for their problem (although they wait an average of 10 years to do so). For those who don't, the consequences might not be as dire as most of us would expect. Research shows that seeking treatment is not an essential part of recovery. For example, up to 30% of people with alcohol dependence learn to abstain or limit their drinking on their own, without a formal treatment program.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.