Twenty eight days. That is what it takes to rehabilitate someone who has struggled with severe mental illnesses lie depression or addiction for many years on end. Compared to endless months of numerous years spent altering their state of mind with harmful chemicals, twenty eight days seems like a relatively insignificant amount of time. Researchers have found that it can take up to two years for the brain to be fully in “remission” from addiction. It can take up to five years for full mental clarity and functioning to come back. Twenty eight days simply isn’t enough.
It wasn’t a good enough number for health insurance providers either. Rounding treatment up to 30 days was easier for filing, paperwork, and processing for both insurance companies and military outfits who need to rehabilitate their soldiers. How long treatment should last is only just beginning to get any scientific attention. Attention is due, because for millions of people, “rehab” just doesn’t work. Thirty days isn’t the miracle answer people are looking for. Though many do stay sober, learn a lot, and grow a considerable amount from the first day they walked in, it is rarely enough.
Success and Treatment Options
According to US News, a new study found that success of treatment, which is also largely undefined, for a year’s time was lower for people who only underwent standard 30-day treatment programs- about 55%. However, for people who stayed in long term treatment or transitioned through extended care programs, their success rate through a year was 84%.
The success of long term treatment shouldn’t be surprising. Often it is said that it takes 90 days to break a habit. Addiction and alcoholism are, among many other things, habits. The brain creates a habit out of every part of the addiction process from feelings to environments and then the substance itself.
Long term treatment isn’t possible for everyone due to insurance coverage, personal financial situations, and life responsibilities. Some people flat out don’t want to stay in treatment that long. Arguing for long term care is simple. A few more months, compared to sobriety and freedom for the rest of your life, is a small sacrifice worth making.