Beating an addiction is certainly not an easy thing to do. You have probably heard the saying “Time heals all wounds.” This is definitely true for many physical wounds and emotional heartbreaks. But what about those who are battling addiction to drugs or alcohol – Is the saying true for them as well? Quite simply, the answer is yes. As far as long term treatment goes, time measured in months and years goes a long way in changing how addicts think and behave. Statistics show that the longer the treatment program – particularly inpatient programs that are 30 days or more – the higher the success rate that the individual will beat their addiction for good.
Many people need more than a month for drug or alcohol rehabilitation. And many other people need more than outpatient therapy, biofeedback, or a one-day detox treatment. Addiction is just not that simple. There are many dimensions to effective long term treatment programs, and each one is catered to aspects of addiction. Beating addiction is not just about ceasing the drug use; it involves learning how to maintain a substance-free life and how to successfully become a fully functioning member of society. If that sounds complex, it is because treatment itself is complex.
Addiction is a disease, and most addicts are not able to stop using the substance of their choice cold turkey, once and for all. In order to achieve sustained abstinence, most people need long term treatment. Of course, the duration for each person depends on many factors, including the degree of their addiction, the number of prior attempts to beat their addition, and if they have any mental illnesses.
Rarely the First Option
A long term rehab program – specifically an inpatient program – is not always the first option for people who are addicted to substances. Long term programs are usually specifically catered to addicts who have not been successful with other methods. Perhaps they have attempted another type of treatment such as detox, or an outpatient or residential treatment program. If they have relapsed despite these treatments, they most likely feel hopeless and defeated. In reality, what many of these individuals need is a long term stay in a rehab facility. Not only does this give them the chance to live their life substance-free (and get used to it), it usually addresses the underlying issues behind their addiction. And getting to the heart or root of the disease is the most effective part of a multi-faceted long term treatment.
Usually, the minimum inpatient stay lasts 30 days, and sometimes people stay longer. The average stay for inpatient long term treatment is 53 days. This therapy involves a detox period, counseling sessions, and most likely medications to help fight addiction. If sobriety is not achieved at the end of treatment, an even longer term program is usually advised. And the longer an addict spends in this program, the better chance they have of remaining sober for good.
Long Term Treatment vs. Other Types of Treatment
The reality is that many addicts relapse from their treatment. In fact, 40 to 60% will relapse at least once, generally speaking. Compared to other forms of treatment, long term is the way to go. Outpatient treatments are the least invasive, and take the least amount of time (besides straight-up detoxing). Outpatient usually involves counseling sessions a few times per week, and may or may not include medications. While outpatient rehab can be a long term type of treatment, it may not be very successful for some because it is very minimal. As such, this type of treatment is recommended for people who are not completely addicted. 43% actually complete treatment, and 18% remain sober after five years.
Detox centers require you to stay for 5 to 7 days before entering a rehab treatment center. Detox usually involves medications to help with withdrawal symptoms. Using just detox alone, only 17% stay sober after a 5 year period. There are also day treatment centers where you stay all day, but you are allowed go home every night. Day treatment is not nearly as effective as other types of intense treatments. You are exposed to the temptation of whatever substance you are trying to stay away from.
Beat Substance Abuse for Good
Inpatient long term treatment is the best bet for addicts who want to beat their substance addiction for good. 73% of addicts complete treatment and 21% remain sober after five years. While no method of treatment is 100% successful all the time, completing long term treatment provides the best odds against relapse. And keep in mind that addicts usually have at least one relapse before they nip their substance abuse problem in the bud. Many will enter treatment programs over and over again before they reach sobriety. This is not to imply that relapses are necessary in order to benefit from long term treatment, as it can work like a charm for some the first time around. But as stated before, people who agree to long term treatment are rarely resorting to it as a first option.
Benefits of Long Term Treatment
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of long term treatment is the fact that patients learn to change their behavior. Long term treatment forces sobriety so that you learn how to live life sober. More than that, you learn how to enjoy life without using a substance to numb emotions or make you feel good. This is extremely important in achieving long term sobriety. Long term treatment literally forces you to learn to form relationships with others that do not involve drugs or alcohol. You become accustomed to living a sober life, one day at a time.
Another extraordinary benefit of long term treatment programs is the fact that patients find a sense of fellowship and community. Everyone works together to encourage each other in a controlled environment. They share the recovery process while learning how to be productive and social. They learn how to build support networks and become working, functioning members of society after treatment.
Long term treatment allows you to tap into your emotions and overcome the negative ones. This is where the real work begins. An addict needs to explore the cause of addiction to regain emotional health. As painful as this exploration might be, it is necessary to learn new coping strategies and understand your feelings. Only then will you be able to release feelings of guilt and accept your actions.
Long term treatment provides the best chance of a successful recovery that lasts. For those with severe addictions, it is not usually the first method of treatment, but its lengthy amount of time makes it a very viable solution for many people. For more information regarding Amethyst Recovery and our treatment of addicts and alcoholics, contact us today. We are always happy to answer any questions that you may have about our treatment programs. We will help you set an admission date and begin working toward a new, more fulfilled, and better life.