An individual who has lived with drug addiction or drug abuse problems for an extended period of time will require intense treatment in order to turn their life around. There is no magic switch that can be flipped to suddenly be cured of addiction and live a healthy, fulfilling life. Long-term drug rehab programs help those individuals who have particularly deep-seated abuse problems to achieve the recovery they’re after.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it’s essential that addicts remain in treatment for a sufficient period of time. In fact, addicts most benefit from at least three months in treatment. In addition, maintaining sobriety over the long term is a continuous journey that the addict must work at every day. The journey gets easier over time but requires a concerted effort on the part of the addict.
What Happens During Long-Term Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
Although the length of a long-term drug addiction or alcoholism treatment program is much longer than that of a regular care plan, the elements of the program are actually quite similar. Most programs include stages of detox, counseling and aftercare as a means of addressing both the physical and psychological components of addiction.
Detox helps the individual cleanse their system of the harmful toxins found in drugs and alcohol. Detoxification can be a difficult process, as the individual may experience a series of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Detox may need to be repeated over the course of a long-term program, as many of the individuals who take part in this intense type of program likely have a long history of relapse as a result of withdrawal symptoms. If an individual leaves treatment and relapses, the detox process must be undergone again.
After detox, counseling gets to the core causes that led to addiction. With counseling help, the addict can develop better ways to deal with “triggers” in life that that lead to this unwanted behavior. These programs may last a year or longer and this length of stay has a number of benefits in terms of counseling and therapy. For one thing, therapists can take a more deliberate approach to treatment – earning the individual’s trust before asking them to reveal personal information about their addiction. Long-term care also gives the individual more time to master the lessons taught during counseling, meaning they will be more comfortable coping with their sobriety in the months and years following rehab. When people participate in short-term therapy programs and are quickly thrown back into their prior life, instances of relapse are high. Long-term care mitigates this risk by fully immersing the addict in the recovery process.
Aftercare helps the individuals prepare for the challenges they are likely to face after treatment is complete. This is especially important in long-term rehab, as the individual has likely been away (in the case of residential treatment) for a long period of time and may have difficult adjusting. The different types of aftercare include 12-step groups, follow-up therapy at the treatment center or with an individual counselor, focus on sober activities, and living in a sober living facility.
The Keys to Long-Term Drug Addiction Recovery
Sadly, there are many men and women who fail in their first (or even multiple) attempts to achieve long-term sobriety. They may begin treatment with the best of intentions, only to be derailed by a number of factors that occur in the course of their daily lives. And although everyone who is able to make their sobriety last is different, there are a number of characteristics and actions that almost all of them share. The following is a list of these keys to long-term recovery.
- A comprehensive treatment program. Individuals living with addiction or serious substance abuse problems are rarely able to quit on their own. Instead, it takes professional help. This often comes in the form of a drug or alcohol rehab center where addicts can learn the life lessons needed to maintain sobriety.
- A solid support network. Whether it comes from family, friends or other recovering addicts met during rehab, the individuals who enjoy the most success with their ongoing sobriety are those who have a strong network of support following treatment.
- Good physical health. There’s a reason why rehab centers offer exercise and nutritional counseling programs. It’s because those individuals who are in good shape, exercising and eating right are much more inclined to stay the course and maintain their sobriety in the long term.
- Strong relationships. Individuals who are married or have a close-knit family unit tend to stay sober longer. These are families that can get through the tough times caused by addiction, and heal broken relationships with family counseling and improved communication.
If Long-Term Addiction Recovery Fails
Unfortunately, not everyone who completes a drug or alcohol rehab program maintains sobriety. Those individuals who fall back into old patterns after an extensive drug rehab program may feel despondent but the most important thing is to stay positive and consider re-entering treatment as soon as possible. It is important to note, that many people explore different treatment styles before finding the one that best meets their needs. Turn to the same loved ones and medical professionals who lent a hand the first time for continued support.
If you need help locating a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program that can help you achieve long-term sobriety, contact us today. We can help you find the right program to meet your needs. Call now.