Long Term Drug Rehab VS Short Term Rehab: Which is Better?

long term drug rehab Long Term Drug Rehab VS Short Term Rehab: Which is Better? 1

When deciding what drug rehab to go to, the benefits of certain programs are weighed against each other. The decision is usually based on how long the drug rehab program is, whether it be a long-term addiction treatment program or a short-term rehab. There are benefits of both, although long-term rehab often provides a higher rate of sobriety after leaving rehab. The decision is ultimately based on what your needs are from substance abuse treatment.

What is Long-Term Drug Rehab?

Long-term drug rehab is substance abuse treatment that usually ranges in length from 90 days – 6 months of treatment. While this may seem like a long time to be in treatment, long-term drug rehab is often very beneficial for people who decide to take this route. Long-term drug rehab has many benefits that aren’t always available during a short-term rehab stay.

Benefits of Long-Term Drug Rehab

    • You get to focus on underlying issues – When entering a traditional 28-day rehab program, the first week is usually spent recouping from detox and getting accustomed to the routine of rehab. After adjusting there is about a week to start working on yourself before starting to develop an exit plan. Work on underlying issues can not be properly addressed in such a short period of time. In a 28-day addiction treatment program, there are maybe three individual sessions with a therapist, and only 30% of people get effective results after three sessions. That statistic doesn’t focus on those struggling with substance use disorders, which tend to need more therapy to get to underlying issues.
    • A longer time to focus on yourself – In long-term substance abuse treatment, you’re removed from a lot of the demands that cause drinking and drug use in the first place. Long-term drug rehab gives a chance for clients to focus on themselves and get a firmer grip on what their triggers are, and how to deal with them. Triggers may not deal directly with wanting to use or drink, but triggers can cause disruptions in emotions that lead to relapse.
    • A chance to break the habit – A common misconception is that it takes 21 days to break a habit. When in reality it takes around 66 days to break a habit. While it takes that long to break a habit, it takes just as long to form a new habit in the place of the old habit. In the vicious pattern of drug use, the habit of using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate is the habit that has to be broken. The habit of use and abuse has to be replaced with other habits such as going to meetings, participating in therapy, and employing healthy coping skills. In long-term addiction treatment, clients get the chance to break the habit and form new ones instead of temporarily pausing their drug or alcohol use.
    • Structured daily schedule– In active addiction and alcoholism, there was often no schedule to the lives of those using. The only schedule that was followed was the time frame of how long there could be between doses to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Entering long-term drug rehab helps to build a daily schedule that is beneficial as it doesn’t give those in early recovery ample idle time. A schedule also offers a rhythm to life that was missing for a long time in active addiction and alcoholism. It allows clients to learn balance and helps to set them up to continue carrying on a schedule in their lives after leaving long-term treatment.
    • Wide range of services– Many of those struggling with substance use disorders also struggle with mental health disorders that also have to be addressed. Even in an OP substance abuse treatment setting, mental health is still addressed, and medication compliance (if necessary) is still monitored. When in long-term treatment, there are still individual therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, and case management sessions available. All clinical approaches tie into the overall addiction treatment program, including increased time in the recovery community near the treatment center. Most of the groups and meetings are mandatory, but it becomes part of the routine that clients carry over into their life outside of treatment since they had longer to cement these new habits into their lives.

Cons of Long-Term Drug Rehab?

There aren’t many downfalls to attending long-term rehab. The only cons of attending long-term substance abuse treatment are costs, and it may conflict with work or home responsibilities. Insurance will typically cover a majority or all costs related to attending drug rehab.

The conflicts related to work and home responsibilities can often be handled with a 30  to 45-day inpatient or PHP program before transitioning to a lower level of care to avoid being away from home and work for such a long period. While in an IOP program, a job can be maintained with minimal interruptions from addiction treatment. Most IOP groups are at night after normal business hours to best accommodate a work schedule. If there is still more accountability needed while in an IOP program, some addiction treatment programs have affiliated sober living housing that offers more stability when reintegrating to life outside of an inpatient or PHP setting.

Everyone’s Needs Are Different

While there are outstanding benefits from long-term drug rehab, the decision is up to the person who is attending treatment. If you or a loved one have a long history of addiction or have been in and out of substance abuse treatment with continuous relapses, or used drugs intravenously, long-term rehab may be the answer. Attending a long-term substance abuse treatment gives the chance to break the cycle of treatment and relapse. Long-term addiction treatment often leads to long-term sobriety.

If you or a loved one believes that long-term addiction treatment will be beneficial, contact GateHouse today at 855-448-3588. You can heal, and we can help you achieve long-term sobriety.

GateHouse Treatment Editorial Staff
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