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What are Short-Term Drug Rehab Programs?

Characteristics of 30 Day Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Addiction across the nation is increasing, the only thing we need to do is look at the most recent official statistics and you will notice that now, perhaps more than ever, many people need help overcoming a dependency. Fortunately, there are many effective drug rehab programs around the country that will help prospective patients overcome their issues with dependence. When a user looks at attending a drug rehabilitation facility in order to take steps towards a sober life, one of the most important aspects they have to decide upon is how long they are going be at that particular drug rehab option. You may find yourself wondering whether 30 days is enough time for a patient to overcome his or her substance abuse or addiction issues.

The truth is that research has shown that long-term programs are much more effective in this area. There are many possible reasons for that, one of them being that dependence is not a singular issue, but rather a complex combination of different concerns. These may include deeply ingrained habits, limited coping, or underlying psychological issues. During a longer program, patients would have a chance to understand and thoroughly address these issues and learn why they may have played a pivotal role in the development of their dependence. Short-term drug treatment can last 30 days or 4 weeks and it means that the patient spends continuous drug treatment in an inpatient or residential facility.

The Pros and Cons of Short-Term Treatment

As with all forms of treatment discussed on our website, there are advantages and disadvantages to all of them. Before you can make an informed decision, you must understand what you are deciding between and what you have to keep in mind:


  • It is less expensive – Because you are spending significantly less time enrolled at a treatment facility, it is logical to assume that you end up spending less money. Many of the longer programs can cost patients several thousands of dollars, while short-term tends to be a more affordable method of recovery.
  • It is less time consuming – It’s a short-term program, so it takes less time to complete. Please keep in mind we are not suggesting that the treatment received is the same or that patients should want to complete things as quickly as possible, we are merely pointing out the facts.
  • It is less disruptive to your life – A shorter time spent in drug rehabilitation means that you have to spend significantly less time away from your personal life, your possible job, family, friends and more. Some patients are single parents who may find others to take care of their children temporarily, but cannot possibly leave for three months at a time. For them this is simply the only alternative available.


  • Less time for recovery – Some patients may spend upwards of two entire weeks on the withdrawal stage of recovery. During the withdrawal stage, they may experience physical discomfort, feel weary, grumpy, short-tempered, in short: they are not in the best possible mood. It may be next to impossible for them to focus. Long-term change is not possible if the patient is unable to focus. If withdrawal really does take that long, it means that half of the treatment time is spent on just recovering from past use. For many patients struggling with long-term dependence, this is the equivalent to hitting a brushfire with a squirt gun in an attempt to put out the blaze.
  • Frustration afterwards – Oftentimes a short-term rehab does not guarantee a life without relapse. It may become financially draining and emotionally demoralizing for the patient to keep heading back to the same type of rehab. Interestingly enough, this can become far more disruptive, time consuming and expensive than attending a long-term rehab program.
  • The statistics do not lie – Even though it is true that every patient is different, the chances of maintaining long-term recovery in a short program are simply not as good as with the longer programs. Because the patient knows that this is only going to be a temporary obligation, some patients find that they are not fully committed. They may find themselves counting down the days until they can go home again instead of remaining focused on the actual therapy.

Thinking about the Length of Time

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Because a short-term drug rehab program generally only lasts a maximum of 30 days, those patients who have suffered from long-term dependence may not be able to get all the benefits they need in such a brief time. This would leave the patient susceptible to relapse. This means that before the patient enrolls, they have to establish that this is the right type of recovery program for them, that it represents the correct level of treatment.

For example, long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol can take its toll on a person, both mentally and physically. The user’s body begins to want more and more of the same substance. If the person does not comply, they suffer psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, such as with benzodiazepines or alcohol, withdrawal may be fatal if not done correctly. In those particular situations, it may not be reasonable to expect the patient to recover from that in 30 days or less. The patient needs to take a good look at his or her own situation and be willing to admit when longer programs are necessary.

How to Make Rehab Work

If you were going to opt for short-term rehab, it would be in your best interest to follow that up with a potential intensive outpatient treatment. This means that treatment does not simply end after 30 days, but proceeds in a way that might be more manageable for you. Even though long-term residential rehab is not ideal for everyone because of the time and finances sacrificed, it is in general the best possible option. If you want to know more about what choices you have, the programs available near you, or perhaps you just want to talk to someone who can offer you a new perspective, call New Beginnings right now and get the answers you are looking for.

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