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Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Program Lengths

Choosing to end an addiction is the first step down a lifelong road of recovery. Once the choice is made, the next step is entry into a treatment facility. After your arrival, you’ll need to choose from several treatment program lengths. There is no perfect length for treatment that assures effective recovery, Research shows however, that the longer your period of treatment, the greater your chances of success.

Minimum Rehab Duration For Alcoholics And Drug Addicts

addiction-treatment-shutter200136830-emtThe majority of drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs that show high rates of success require at least 90 days of residential or outpatient treatment. This period is just long enough to go through detoxification and receive enough counseling to begin to learn the coping skills needed to avoid drug and alcohol abuse. While 90 days is the accepted minimum among treatment programs, some specific addictions can require substantially longer participation periods to achieve the same results. The length of time spent in treatment is ultimately determined by the patient’s needs.

Longer treatment programs require constant motivation throughout the program period to keep an addict enrolled. In order to give you the best chances of a relapse-free recovery, you must remain with the program until treatment ends, regardless of the length of time necessary. Motivational needs are taken into consideration when the treatment facility designs a treatment program custom made for each individual patient.

During the initial assessment phase of treatment, careful study is made of the needs of the patient, and the patient’s personal motivational support structure available. This support often comes from the loved ones of the addict, concerned family and friends who have a personal interest in the continued sobriety of the patient. Motivation can come from other sources as well, including pressure brought to bear by an employer that insists on clean and sober employees, or a legal system demanding participation in a treatment program as part of a judgment. To keep the addict from leaving the program, the facility uses whatever motivational support is available to affect positively the choice to remain.

Another method of getting a patient to remain within a treatment program is to have the patient’s help in forming the treatment program in which they’re participating. This provides a sense of ownership over the program, increasing the desire to succeed at something the patient has helped to create. In addition, it helps to heighten an addict’s understanding of the program and all of its various stages. By removing any program-related confusion, the treatment facility helps to make the program itself a safe haven for the addict. This makes the facility a place that the addict will want to remain in, doing the work necessary to navigate successfully through the treatment procedure.

Shorter Rehabilitation Program Options

Intensive and Behavioral Modification Treatment Models in Addictions

When people first enter addictions treatment, they may need a substantial amount of support as well as assistance with learning new methods of coping with situations that influence their substance abuse. Intensive and behavioral modification treatment models provide this help and support.

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Though 90 days is the generally accepted minimum length in a treatment program for addiction, there are shorter programs available that offer some hope to addicts for whom time is an issue. If the addict is interested in little more than detox and stabilization, programs of five to seven days are available to at least get the drugs from an addict’s system. Thirty day programs also exist that compress the 90 day treatments through intense therapy sessions intended to teach the same coping skills in a shorter treatment period. While there is some lasting success with shorter programs, that success often depends on the addict receiving extensive aftercare for the addiction.

Aftercare often involves long-term medication that addresses the physical effects of addiction, as well as outpatient therapy on both an individual and group basis. For the addict, this aftercare can last years, with the length again being dependent on the individual needs of the patient. Support groups are also a large part of most aftercare programs. Time spent among other addicts going through recovery tends to help the patient stick with the newfound skills, and continue in a drug-free life.

The length of time spent in treatment is only slightly less important than getting into a program in the first place.