“The more you have a treatment that can help you become continuously abstinent, the better you do. You have to figure out how to be abstinent. You still have cravings. You still have friends offering you drugs. You still have to figure out ways not to use. The longer you are able to do that, the more you are developing skills to help you stay abstinent.”
~Lisa Onken, Head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Branch
There is a misconception out there that 30 days of drug or alcohol rehab is all it takes for a person to learn how to manage their addiction. Not only is this idea mistaken, it can also be dangerous to a person’s successful return to sobriety.
Short-Term Rehab Can Equal Short-Term Recovery
For most people, the 30-day standard of treatment as a means to complete recovery is unworkable. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, up to 60% of people in short-term rehab programs return to alcohol or drugs.
Why is this?
This is because as an addiction forms, the brain undergoes profound changes, both chemically and physically. Simply put, 30 days is simply not enough time for the brain to heal and return to normal.
For most people, the first week to two weeks of treatment don’t involve any type of recovery at all. Instead it is spent detoxifying – abstaining in order to give your body time to physically purge itself of the alcohol or drugs.
Detox has to happen before recovery can truly begin, because in order to be receptive to the message and lessons of recovery, the person first has to be free from the physical effects of the intoxicating substance.
A large part of the recovery process is behavioral modification – the newly-sober person has to learn how to change their way of doing things in order to support a sober lifestyle. 2 to 3 weeks of actual treatment is not enough time for most people to learn about their disease of addiction or to acquire new, healthier habits.
Experts agree that for treatment to be effective, it has to last a MINIMUM of 90 days. In fact, the length of treatment can be an excellent predictor of how successful a person’s recovery will be. An article in the Los Angeles Times reported that people who stay in treatment for less than 90 relapse at more than TWICE the rate of individuals who remain in treatment longer.
Unfortunately, only 30 days (or less) of residential rehab is covered by most insurance plans.
So what is a desperate substance abuser who wants to get better supposed to do? Call Lasting Recovery Outpatient alcohol and drug abuse rehab program in San Diego as an alternative to residential treatment.