Long Term Rehab

If one is trying to handle their addiction by using a rehabilitation center, it is vital that he stay in the rehab center for the appropriate period of time. There is no one time that is correct for everybody. The appropriate duration of the stay depends on the addict’s problems and needs. While research indicates that most patients do best at about 3 months of treatment, some need more time. Unfortunately, people often leave treatment programs prematurely.  Addicts often require prolonged treatment in order to achieve long-term sobriety.[1] Long-term rehab treatment typically refers to programs that last over 30 days. Some programs have 60 to 90 days; while others can be as long as a year.[2] Following that definition, it is still possible for one to undergo long term rehab and not benefit from the extra time. In this article, we will look how a proper long term rehab works and its benefits.

Living a Sober Life Again

For some heavy users who have been addicted to substances for years, the detoxification of the body alone can take a week or more. After that, the addict goes through months of therapy and education in order to understand that a life without substance abuse is possible. One of the main problems with short-term rehab is the lack of help with life after substance abuse. Short-term rehab often focuses on the detoxification of the body alone, not the way the addict is going to live afterwards. By simply detoxifying the body and throwing the addict back into the real world with temptations, an addict is most likely going to relapse. With an addict going through long-term rehab, he can learn once again what it is like to live a sober life. He can experience again the pleasures and joy that he had before he was an addict. By learning to appreciate the real and emotionally honest relationships that can exist, an addict’s need for emotional support through substance abuse is lessened.[3]

Long Term Rehab & Therapy

A long-term rehabilitation program typically also includes therapy. Apart from the therapy meetings and group sessions that are also common in short-term rehab centers, the whole community operates as a therapeutic center. Under the therapeutic model of treatment, the whole community participates in the treatment and recovery process (in addition to the actual addiction professionals). The residents live, work and share experiences together. They learn recovery and sobriety in a structured community. While long-term rehab centers often provide more freedoms to its addicts (e.g. visits to the public), the program is very organized. For example, often the addicts are required to work as a form of therapy. This participation in the community helps the residents learn discipline and to work with and under others. These are basic life skills that help the recovered addict do better in returning home.

Greatest Benefit of Long Term Treatment

While all the above points are important benefits for long-term treatment, the primary benefit of long-term drug rehab is simply its extended duration. Severe addictions are not easily handled in a short period of time. With the extended period of time, an addict becomes accustomed to sobriety and enjoys a life free of substance abuse. The time combined with the life skills learned in the community environment, make a wonderful environment for achieving sobriety.[4]

The long term rehab philosophy is that, “A complete socialization of the addict is the only way to enable real and lasting change, and as such all areas of life need to be reexamined, and new skill sets in every facet of daily life need to be relearned.”4 This is not likely to happen in a matter of 30 days. While long-term rehab may not be for everybody, statistically, a long-term rehab is the most likely therapeutic program to help an addict achieve life-long sobriety.



[1] Nih.gov: Principles of Drug Addiction: A Researcher’s Guide http://1.usa.gov/18ZIhOq

[2] Drug-rehab.org: Finding Drug Rehab – Your Options http://bit.ly/18sdzZH

[3] Choosehelp.com: Long Term Drug & Alcohol Rehab http://bit.ly/bwyY6e

[4] Choosehelp.com: Long Term Drug & Alcohol Rehab http://bit.ly/bwyY6e