In addiction treatment, there are a number of different approaches to recovery. Depending on individual circumstances, some methods of recovery may be more effective than others. In many cases, those in need of treatment have endured months or years of addiction before committing to recovery. There may have also been unsuccessful attempts at achieving sobriety in the past. The truth is, recovery from addiction is no easy task, and the threat of relapse often looms even when a person has successfully maintained sobriety for months or years. In order to reduce the risk of relapse in the future, long-term treatment programs are recommended to help a person recover more fully and develop the skills to support sobriety moving forward.
Phases of Long-Term Treatment
Long-term treatment is generally comprised of multiple phases of recovery to resolve the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of addiction. While these phases may differ between rehab facilities, they generally follow a similar path to help those in recovery resolve underlying issues that enable continued abuse. The most common phases of long-term treatment include:
- Detox: For most, the journey in recovery starts with detox. Before entering treatment, a person must overcome the initial stages of withdrawal. In a medically supervised environment, clients are administered medications, support, and treatment to minimize the adverse effects of withdrawal. This helps a person rid themselves of the effects of all mind and mood-altering substances that can interfere with recovery. Detox ensures withdrawal is as safe and comfortable as possible so that the treatment phases can have a greater chance of success.
- Therapy and counseling: Treating addiction requires more than just abstaining from substance abuse. For many, there are underlying influences and factors that enable the development of addiction. Without properly addressing these factors in residential treatment, outpatient treatment center, or individual therapy a person is likely to experience relapse. Using counseling and therapy to explore individual experiences, family dynamics, and motivation, a person is able to explore what enables substance abuse in their lives. From there, they can develop coping mechanisms, life skills, and other tools to support sobriety. By addressing the underlying causes of addiction, a person is able to empower themselves to take control and minimize the risk of relapse in the future.
- Life skill development: Substances are often used as a means of escaping problems or coping with things that feel out of a person’s control. Addiction treatment helps clients develop life skills to support independence and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. This can improve a person’s confidence and help equip them with the tools to support themselves upon completion of treatment. Life skills may include learning how to budget, performing specific household chores, and practicing skills for interviewing, writing a resume, and other similar tasks. This ensures a person to able to care for themselves, create balance in their lives, and work towards greater opportunities in the future.
- Aftercare: Regardless of the amount of time spent in treatment, the transition back into normal life can be difficult. You will inevitably face stress, triggers, temptation, and other potential pitfalls. Without the safety net of a rehab facility, the difficulties life throws at us can make it easy to fall back into old habits. Aftercare services provide an additional layer of support following the completion of treatment. Just because treatment has been completed does not mean you cannot continue to engage with the community, go to therapy, or connect with support groups. Aftercare can help those adjusting to life after treatment and keep people connected to the vital resources that reduce the risk of relapse. They can be utilized at any time for as long as a person needs.
The Benefits of Long-Term Treatment
Studies show that those who stay in treatment longer tend to have better success rates. This is especially true for individuals who have a long history of substance abuse. Addiction can take months or years to fully develop and it does not go away overnight. Investing a great deal of time into a recovery program can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of relapse.
Many long-term programs have a minimum stay of 90 days, but some stays can last as long as a year. The length of stay is largely dependent on the individual. Long-term treatment is often a residential program that removes the influence of enabling peers and environments. When enrolled in a residential treatment program, their days revolve around recovery, providing them with intensive, structured care designed to address the behaviors and patterns that enabled the development of addiction.
Additionally, long-term programs bring together people who share similar experiences. In residential care, clients are surrounded by others who are facing the same challenges and working towards the same goals. This can greatly improve the recovery experience in numerous ways. It allows clients to connect with others who readily relate to their experiences and reduces feelings of isolation or loneliness. Seeing others who have successfully overcome challenges they currently face can be motivating in recovery. All of these factors combined lead to the development of a sober support network that improves the recovery experience. Having a sober support system can help you overcome challenges, build healthy relationships with peers that are not dependent on substances, and provide you with a community of supportive individuals who can assist you even as you transition back into the real world.
Recovery is a life-long journey. Although a 30-day program may seem like long enough, the truth is, those who are in recovery for a minimum of 90 days have better outcomes in treatment. Spending more time in treatment initially provides someone with the ability to focus on their own needs and not allow outside influences to deter their progress. While there is no guarantee that treatment will prevent relapse from occurring in the future, long-term treatment allows a person to spend more time focused on recovering from the effects of addiction and developing the skills to support their continued sobriety in the future.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 888.855.6877 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.