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The Choice for Long-Term Drug Recovery Options

What are the Benefits of Long-Term Drug Rehabs when it Comes to Recovery?

If you are discussing recovery options to deal with a dependency on drugs or alcohol, it may feel strange to set a specific time limit for yourself. After all, rehabilitation is not a race, it is just something that happens and may take a bit longer than expected. Even though a time limit may seem weird, it is happening at countless drug recovery centers throughout the nation.

You may suggest that limiting recovery is backwards – the most important factor in determining success is whether the patient can overcome his/her dependency to alcohol or drugs. This means that the program is ‘over’ when the patient feels confident in his or her own ability to do that, not when a certain number of days have been reached.

Why Did Short-Term Options become Popular?

When we talk about shorter, finite programs, many people are unaware that it was the insurance companies who initially implemented these limitations. Most people struggle to pay for recovery without insurance, so when insurance companies decided to limit the number of days they would pay for treatment (usually around 30 days) it certainly had an impact. Even though it might not give the professionals enough time to provide the treatment needed to end addiction permanently, the alternative option (not providing help at all because of an inability to pay without insurance) also seemed less than desirable.

Long-Term Drug Rehab

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Many people are frustrated when they hear that there is no guaranteed time in rehab that will work for everyone. However, recovery experts and research statistics do point out the fact that longer programs (meaning 90 days or more) are considerably more successful in helping a patient maintain long-term sobriety. There are a number of reasons why qualified experts believe this to be true:

  • A longer time in recovery equates to more time to understand and resolve underlying issues that are causing the addiction. When a patient arrives at a recovery program, they often have to undergo detoxification first. After detox is complete, they have to adjust to being in a full-time facility. After that adjustment period is complete, actual treatment can begin. Considering that these two initial periods may last upwards of two weeks, it means that the first part of the process is already spent just getting adjusted. Having only 14 or so days left is not likely to be enough time to provide lasting change.
  • Long-term inpatient treatment centers can break the cycle of dependence, it does that by providing a safe space to remain sober for extended periods. Without possible distractions, it means that the patient can focus on recovery, a step that is already difficult in its own right. The focus remains where it should be by eliminating outside interference and distractions.
  • The abuse of addiction to illicit substances is not a ‘new’ problem for most users. Few patients seek help after a few months, let alone a few weeks. Long-term drug rehabs focusses on identifying the destructive habit patterns that these patients follow and will help them identify and eliminate these patterns. This goes beyond sobering the patient up; it means understanding the issues internally and learning to find ways to deal with them without having a possible relapse.
  • The famous drug PSA’s were not lying, the abuse of drugs or alcohol takes a tremendous physical toll on the body. These longer rehab options provide an extended period of physical rest and care. Oftentimes, the patients begin to notice they are sleeping and eating better than before. They may even experience a general sense of physical wellbeing. Both the physical and emotional health begins to improve over time. Having improved physical and emotional health will reduce the overall need to use illicit substances again in the future.

Provide Time to Heal

Addiction is not something that a person can easily overcome. Many of the patients who enroll in long-term programs have tried countless other programs before. However, for whatever reason, they have not gotten the results they were after. This is precisely why many of these patients feel comfortable in the longer programs; it helps them adjust their way of thinking and lets them adjust their time estimate. Most patients begin to understand that they cannot measure the recovery period in days, they have to start thinking in months.

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Perhaps the best thing about a longer program is the fact that a user in recovery can begin to adjust to enforced sobriety. Even though this seems straightforward, a life free of intoxication and filled with honest relationships is new for many of these patients. A sober lifestyle is something they have probably not experienced in ages. When they leave the facility, it is important they do not experience culture shock.

The person has to learn a new way to fit back into society. Even though this may seem drastic to some, remember that for many long-term users, the only thing they know is drugs or alcohol – their life revolved around this addiction. They need to adjust every facet of his or her daily life and learn applicable new skill sets. Underlying problems need to be considered, because there should never be the need to lean on alcohol or drugs as a crutch. After hearing all the necessary changes that must be made, you may begin to understand that this is not something that can happen overnight. This may require months of therapy participation. Time and effort will be needed to help people avoid problems in the future.

Making the Correct Choice

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As previously mentioned, few people consider long-term inpatient rehab as their first choice. They may have tried many other therapeutic environments before. It is common for people to seek a shortcut, to obtain what they want with minimal effort. However, in order to achieve enduring change, an extended period of sobriety is required.

It is important to recognize that happiness is not something that comes from a drug, that it is something they can be achieved on your own. It demonstrates a commitment for a better life. The results are overwhelmingly in favor of long term programs offering lasting success when we compare them to the much shorter alternatives.

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