When you decide to seek treatment, there are various options available. When deciding what type of treatment is best, you may be asked various questions, including:
- What are you willing to put into treatment?
- What do you expect to gain from your stay?
- How do you see your life after you leave treatment?
One of the most important questions you may be asked is how long you intend to stay at the facility – you might even be asked if you’re considering long-term treatment. Taking a closer look at what long-term treatment entails can help you decide what care is the best for you and your needs.
What Is the Duration of Long-Term Treatment?
While people sometimes have responsibilities that prevent them from staying for a long period, it is recommended that your stay in rehab is longer than the typical 30 to 90-day stays with drug & alcohol addiction treatment programs. However, long-term treatment is the suggested route for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder and a mental health disorder.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “good [treatment] outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.” Treatment lasting less than 90 days is shown to be less effective, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.
Long-term treatment is typically six to 12 months, although some people choose to stay longer if it is felt that this is necessary. Long-term drug and alcohol treatment programs can offer residential options for people who need intensive care for their addiction-related problems.
Why Long-Term Treatment?
Cravings often continue far beyond the length of the short-term treatment (30 days). The often-cited issue with short-term treatment is that the program finishes just as cravings are reaching peak intensity. Spending more time in treatment means that cravings will have lessened. Long-term programs can help individuals develop strong relapse prevention skills.
Who Needs Long-Term Treatment?
A longer stay at a treatment facility is typically recommended for individuals who:
- Have been an intravenous drug user
- Have been using substances for a long time
- Have a co-occurring mental health disorder
- History of multiple relapses
The reason for this is simple. Those who may benefit the most from long-term residential treatment may have more complex issues that need more time to be worked through.
What to Expect From Long-Term Treatment
Most long-term treatment facilities begin with the detox process, which can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on which drugs have been used, how often, and in what amounts. After detox has been completed, individuals are ready to start residential treatment.
Long-term programs can offer individuals the ability to learn new skills, gain employment training, and a variety of other support programs that assist a person in integrating into life outside of treatment. Individuals will participate in one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and other skill-building classes.
What Are the Advantages of Long-Term Treatment?
People who attend treatment often create bonds with their peers. However, with long-term treatment, individuals are given the opportunity to strengthen those bonds over a longer period of time. This way, when integrating into the world outside of treatment, they have social skills to create an even stronger support system.
This camaraderie and commiseration can play an integral part in the healing process. Having bonds with others can help promote the development of healthy relationships, which can take a while to form. Many people report that the relationships they gained while in treatment were extremely valuable after treatment ended.
Long-term treatment also offers an environment that is far away from the distractions of the outside world. It can be challenging when individuals are trying to recover and are faced with the stresses of home and work and are struggling with cravings. When this happens, it can be tempting to use substances to cope with the emotions.
However, long-term treatment offers a safe environment where individuals can work through these feelings without having to return to substance use. In long-term treatment, individuals can learn what healthy living without drugs or alcohol looks like in an environment where they are not continually tested.
Long-Term Treatment Promotes a Healthy Future
Long-term treatment encourages people to make healthy changes and develop habits that will ensure their future life successes. Having several months to develop new habits in a structured environment will mean that these habits will likely stick once the individual leaves treatment. Having these daily habits can be an excellent resource for people who are newly sober and trying to adjust to living without drugs or alcohol.
Whether you have been using drugs or alcohol for a long time and feel like you need the extra time to adjust or have complex issues that might need time to resolve, long-term treatment may be a great option. Long-term treatment can provide an ideal environment for healing and teach you the skills needed to live a sober life.
Of course, it all begins with detox and DetoxNearMe.com can get you started on the path to recovery by providing you the best resources and access to care within your community. We not only work to find the most appropriate treatment centers near you that will provide qualified care but provide qualified care at an affordable cost as well. Our goal is to ensure that you feel comfortable and secure with your decision.
We will also help you find long-term or transitional living options after you have completed detox. To learn more, explore DetoxNearMe.com today.