Why 28 Day Drug Rehab Might Not Work


In recent discussions about drug rehabilitation, a controversial issue is whether 28-day drug rehabs work. While some argue that 28-day inpatient drug rehabs can help cure drug addiction, others contend that drug rehab patients need more time to overcome their addiction. Of course, some might object that each person’s drug addiction is unique, and each person requires a different level of support. Here at Gatehouse Treatment, we acknowledge that everyone’s condition needs special attention, but we still maintain that drug addicts with a substance abuse disorder should extend their recovery process beyond 28 days. According to scientific studies, people who undergo drug rehab treatment for a more extended period have had a better chance of achieving sobriety. Although some might object that drug rehab treatment should be longer than 28 days, we would reply 28-day drug rehab programs may be doing more damage than healing. In short, we believe that drug rehab patients need more than 28 days to recover from their addiction to transition into a healthy sober lifestyle.

What Is A 28 Day Rehab?

The inpatient 28-day rehab program is also known as the Minnesota model was created to help alcoholics get sober without having to be incarcerated, enrolled in a mental ward, or driven to become homeless. According to the Hazelden Foundation of Minnesota, “ the Minnesota Model also known as the abstinence model of addiction treatment was created in a state mental hospital in the 1950’s by two young men, one who was to become a psychologist, the other who was to become a psychiatrist, neither of whom has prior experience treating addicts or alcoholics.”

In essence, this program was designed to help alcoholics transition out of drug rehab into a life of dialogue. Once this program became institutionalized, the 28-day rehab abstinence model became the treatment model for opioids, amphetamines, methadone’s, and other drugs. In the process, insurance companies began to standardize 28-day rehabs as the maximum amount of time that they would cover an insured for their addiction. As a result, “competent drug rehabs” have been fighting insurance companies to help drug addicts and alcoholics to get the necessary treatment that they deserve.

Why 28 Day Drug Rehab Doesn’t Work

In spite of the earlier efforts of the 28-day rehab model created in 1950, drug and alcohol rehabs should start preparing to evolve beyond this method. According to Anne Fletcher, author of the book Inside Rehab states, “ that may be enough time for some people, but it isn’t the case for most people. It’s like any other chronic disorder, it waxes and wanes”. Generally, drug rehab doesn’t have a magic number. The length of drug rehab varies on a case by case basis. While it’s normal for people to want to get through drug rehab as quick as possible, research shows that more extended stays in rehab lead to lower relapse rates

Not to mention, the 28-day drug rehab model was created for alcoholics. Therefore drug addicts were not taken into consideration whenever this program was designed. To be more specific, the detrimental symptoms of opioids, methadone, and other drugs can be much more severe than alcohol. Which, may require more medical attention.

Adding to the argument about 28-day drug rehab, we would also like to point out that the founders of the Minnesota Model lacked the essential experience to diagnose drug addicts and alcoholics. Which means, the 28-day drug rehab is not the most conducive model for everyone.

28 Day Drug Rehab Alternatives

If you’re considering enrolling in 28-day drug rehab, you should consider enrolling in long-term residential treatment. Granted a 28-day rehab can help you understand the core foundations of recovery, we think that an extended 60 90-day program can help you recover from your addiction. While 28-day drug rehab programs are better than no treatment at all, these drug rehab programs do not give you the time you need to break your old habits. According to recent studies, to build a new habit, it takes a minimum of 21 days, and that’s just the beginning. We recommend an extended drug rehab program because it can help you break your old habits. 90-day drug rehab can also help you overcome any co-occurring addictions that you may have. In the same light, a 60-90 day drug rehab can help you reduce the chances of relapse. Each of these programs also gives you a chance to overcome any family problems that you have experienced in the past. We also recommend that drug rehab patients consider moving into a sober living community after treatment. In essence, this will help anyone with drug addiction, or alcohol addiction reduce the chances of relapse.

Contact GateHouse Treatment To Help You

If you or a loved one is unsure about the pro and cons of enrolling in 28-day drug rehab, contract Gatehouse Treatment today. We can help you find out everything you need to know about getting the drug and alcohol treatment that you or a loved one need. We can also help you find an intensive inpatient program to help you overcome your addiction. Believe it or not, we understand that everyone’s drug addiction is unique. Therefore, we believe that everyone deserves to find drug and alcohol rehab treatment that fit’s their needs. Get the help you need today. Contact us today at (855) 448-3588.

GateHouse Treatment Editorial Staff
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