When you decide to find help for alcohol addiction, you will face several options. You may choose to enter an inpatient drug or alcohol rehab that provides entire-day assistance so that you do not have to go home or return to your previous life when you are still vulnerable. Or, you could opt for assistance from an outpatient facility. Whatever option you choose, you may want to choose assistance that lasts for long periods. Long-term assistance may work better than short-term services.
Although there is plenty of information on the type of facilities available, the services they offer, and where you can find them, it does not make the information less confusing.
There are several types of rehab treatments. Some are long-term programs that may last for up to twelve months, some are short-term programs that last for thirty days or fewer. There is also outpatient treatment, a type of treatment that allows people to come and go as they wish while they visit rehab facilities and return home. Outpatient care is usually only recommended for people with stellar social support. The support may help them progress through programs with less assistance from experts.
Individualized drug counseling goes beyond regular detox (the detoxification process that removes alcohol and drugs from people’s bodies). The counseling addresses other factors, such as the ability of people to find and keep jobs, their social skills, and other tools they may need to return to society seamlessly. Some of treatment options are short-term and are recommended more for people unlikely to relapse quickly.
What makes long-term rehab a better choice when compared to short-term options? Well, the length of time you spend in short-term rehabs may not be enough to help you properly orient back into the world, especially if your alcohol or drug dependence is quite severe.
Speaking of short-term rehab programs, what about the popular 21-day rehab program known as the substance abuse residential rehabilitation treatment program (SARRTP)? After twenty-one days of inpatient treatment, individuals leave rehab centers and undergo partial-day rehab to help them keep things moving in the right direction. Although the program is intensive and works for some, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it may be less effective for those who are severely affected by addiction. It may work well for those battling a lower level of dependence and therefore may experience less severe withdrawal symptoms.
Long-term rehab is a better option for people who are battling long-term addiction because people with that condition have a higher chance of withdrawal and relapse. They not only may benefit from the intensive care they receive in 90-day drug rehab programs, but they reduce their chances of relapsing.
Short-Term Rehab and Relapses
According to a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), people attending short-term rehabs are more likely to drop out and eventually relapse. Only 54 percent of people participating in outpatient programs complete their programs, compared to 89 percent of those in inpatient facilities.
Even intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), which may be quite effective for detox, may have less control over people who are seeking help. People in IOPs spend shorter amounts of time in facilities. This may leave them more time to spend in the same environments that may have led to their addiction.
IOPs may be better for people who have lower risks of relapsing and may need less hand-holding to assist them. Many people with long-term drug or alcohol problems need management and someone to ensure that they are doing the right thing at the right time. They are also more likely to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. They are thus less likely candidates for IOPs and may fare better with longer stays in inpatient rehab centers.
Not everyone is qualified for an IOP. The criteria for acceptance in these centers is quite demanding, as people must prove that they could handle themselves. To be admitted to these partial hospitalization programs, people must demonstrate that they
- Are stable.
- May be trusted to manage their medication and other aspects of their care without less supervision.
- Have tried to seek other lower forms of treatment, but the treatments have not worked.
- Are less likely to relapse.
Such strict criteria make these facilities inaccessible for many people.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends that someone seeking professional help for addiction attend a rehab center for at least ninety days. Several short-term but intensive programs do not meet this condition as many of them are only thirty days long.
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How Outpatient Facilities Work
Naturally, treatment programs focus on the person dealing with addiction. If you attend an inpatient facility, you do not go home until the recovery process is finished. This may last thirty, sixty, ninety days or longer. Rehab centers customize detox programs to suit particular clients based on their specific issues.
Centers activate detox programs and assist you through the processes. The length of the processes depends on the severity of your addiction and other factors, but the facilities will give you all the time you need with detox and other aspects of treatment.
During this time, you mingle with other residents and regain things you may have lost during the time that you were addicted. Rather than treat addiction as a phase, with abstinence being the primary goal, long-term facilities use treatment as a whole process to overhaul your life. You learn how to re-enter life not only as a sober person but also as a productive member of society.
Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies conducted a follow-up study of heavy drinkers to determine whether they stayed on course after undergoing treatment or relapsed. It found that those who remained in treatment for at least six months had better chances at securing and keeping jobs and reported fewer lawbreaking incidences.
Why Long-Term Rehabs Are Recommended
For people who are battling long-term alcohol abuse, there are several reasons they may want to consider long-term stays at rehab facilities. Multiple organizations give their recommendations based on their experiences and observations:
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) notes that people who stay in rehab centers longer are more likely to complete their treatment compared to those who stay for shorter periods.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that rehab programs that last less than the recommended ninety days have lower chances of producing desired and long-term positive effects. Longer stays produce better results, especially for people who do not receive constant supervision during treatment and may be more likely to relapse.
- Programs such as U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners Program typically last between six and twelve months. People in jail often receive support if they stay in rehab a certain amount of time. This ensures that treatment funds are utilized correctly and that people are likely to execute their treatment successfully.
- Opioid drugs have become a menace. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) recommends rehab stays of at least thirty days to remove opioids from the users’ systems. After inpatient programs, people often participate in outpatient programs that monitor their progress before they are reoriented back into society.
These institutions address this issue to provide proper knowledge of how addiction works. They are in favor of long-term residential programs. They have seen firsthand the effects of both types of programs.
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The Cost of Long-Term Rehab
A person may think that spending close to half a year in rehab costs lots of money. It may, but it may not. If you are enrolled in a program affiliated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may access rehab help for very little or no money. The ACA often does not cap the amount you may spend on inpatient care or disqualify you from assistance if you have a recurrent drug or alcohol addiction. As a result, you may be able to enroll in rehab for lengthier stays that may yield results.
You may also verify your insurance to see what benefits it provides. There are many good reasons to stay in rehab for longer if the cost is covered and you have a good chance to recover what you lost to addiction. Interacting with other residents at rehab facilities may teach you valuable lessons and give you skills that enable you to live productively when you leave rehab.
Help Is Within Reach
If you are an addict who may have sought assistance that did not work well thanks to a short stint at a rehab facility, you have the chance to change things by seeking help in a facility for the recommended length of time. By seeking insurance payment help and other assistance, you may have access to a 90-day rehab program. So, seek help and start a new journey that focuses on more than just your sobriety.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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