Long Term Addiction Treatment – Is Longer Better?

photo of a street sign that says Road to Recovery - breakaway hired power - long term addiction treatment - is longer betterLong term addiction treatment can be anywhere from three months to two years. This type of treatment is most recommended for those with a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, especially those with frequent relapses back into addiction. Long term facilities use a variety of treatment approaches with a focus on getting sober and staying sober. This can include medication, individual therapy, group therapy, family involvement, and life skills training. Short-term treatment is typically just long enough for detoxification. Unfortunately, addiction is a complex disease that requires much more than simply “getting clean.” For lasting recovery, long term addiction treatment is essential.

The length of time for recovery depends primarily on the situation of the addict. It is not typically recommended as a first option for treatment of addiction. If a person’s drug or alcohol use has only just started, a shorter term solution may be enough to change the behavior of addiction before it takes control of the user. For those with a long history of substance abuse, studies show that the longer the treatment program, the better chance for longer sobriety. The chronic nature of addiction requires more than just a few days to stop using drugs or alcohol. Addiction affects the chemical responses in the brain. It can impact the brains ability to inhibit potentially harmful behavior. The longer the drug use the longer it could take to correct the brain function and learn a new way of living.

Long term addiction treatment facilities use several different approaches to truly help an addict learn how to live life in a different way. This often begins with a period of detoxification. Medication can be used during drug or alcohol detox to assist with withdrawal symptoms. After the body is clean of drugs and alcohol the real work can begin. Treatment and relapse prevention are crucial components to the recovery process. Individual, group, and family therapy are used to get at the root cause of addiction. It is also a method to identify triggers and responses that lead to drug use and develop more healthy ways to handle those triggers and respond without using. Long term addiction treatment allows for learning to live in sobriety. Staff at treatment centers often have personal experience with addiction and sobriety. Through their example and guidance, the addict can learn that life is possible in sobriety. The community environment allows for the support but also provides real-world examples of what the addict will face after treatment.

Statistically, people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction have low rates of seeking treatment. Whether the reason is due to finances, personal fears, or an unwillingness to stop using, there may only be one opportunity for treatment. With this in mind, it would make sense to seek treatment that provides the best chances of long term results. Long term addiction treatment provides complex solutions to a complex disease. Addiction treatment is about more than no longer using drugs or alcohol. It is about getting to the root cause of the disease and learning a new way of life. This takes time and, when it comes to addiction treatment, its worth putting in the time.