You must be thinking about whether your loved one needs a long-term or short-term rehab program. Long-term drug rehab typically involves at least 90 days in a residential treatment setting – at least. However, some rehab programs require or encourage a longer span of stay.
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Short-term rehab means any program that demands less than three months of treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the first short-term residential rehab program consisted of a 3-to-6-week inpatient treatment type. Patients then move into an outpatient therapy program. Typically, short-term rehab programs are followed by extended outpatient care because recovery takes time, and even several weeks of treatment is not enough for overcoming addiction. 
This brings us to the answer you might be asking now: Long-term rehab is advised for treating substance addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.”
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Benefits of Long Term Residential Treatment
The longer a person stays in treatment, the more benefits they are expected to experience. Of course, treatment needs differ by person. The minimum length of treatment will depend on the severity of a person’s addiction and any underlying conditions. Many times, substance addiction co-occurs with another mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety. Due to their complexity, co-occurring disorders commonly need personalized treatment and longer-term care.
Substance addiction is a chronic condition that is treatable with ongoing care and management – much like diabetes and other chronic illnesses. As much as we want to defeat addiction overnight, this is not realistic. Drug addiction takes time to heal.
When a person uses drugs regularly, over some time, chemical changes take place within the brain. Eventually, the brain becomes reliant on the drugs to run every day. The good news is that this is treatable—however, it takes time for the brain’s neuropathways to restore.
In addition to the physical healing and re-wiring process, those in recovery must spend time developing new life skills. Once they leave treatment, they will need to know how to fit self-sufficient. They will need to know how to cope with stress and emotions without the use of drugs. They will need to know how to hold a job, cultivate relationships, and stay responsible for their health. And when cravings hit, they must know how to manage and overcome them. This is NOT something that you can learn overnight.
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Long term Residential Treatment for Addiction
Unlike other diseases, there is no one counteractant or one prescription that will cure an individual of drug and alcohol addiction. This contributes enormously to the disappointments and hopelessness that the core individual and their collaterals experience during the recovery cycle. Thus, the longer a person is away from using a substance, the easier it becomes to avoid further temptation or negative thoughts.
The advantages of long-term drug treatment are many. First and foremost, long-term treatment affords an individual more time to heal physically and mentally. Secondarily, the long-term treatment empowers those in recovery to gradually face the realities and pressures of everyday life in a drug-free or alcohol-free environment.
Rejection, shame, pride, love, self-doubt, the series of emotions and experiences a human being encounters consistently, is astounding. Yet, it’s the same emotions and experiences contributing to drug and alcohol abuse in many cases.
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In a controlled environment like long-term drug rehab, the individual experiences slowly but surely recovery and refreshing skills learning, with a carefully built support network and system of accountability. They can lean on these supports until the supports are no longer vital. Long-term treatment allows these supports to be removed slowly, one at a time, until those in recovery are ready to stand freely.
Hope is always available in every breath you still have. However, recovery is only a few right decisions away.
If you or a loved one needs care and recovery and wants to learn more about a long-term residential treatment program to recovery, please call our Admissions Counselors here at We Level Up New Jersey.
We are ready to assist and answer any questions you may have.
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Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.
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 Treatment – National Institute on Drug Abuse