If you are considering going into a residential treatment center for help, you are likely to be concerned about the length of your stay there.
Most people who seek help for their substance abuse problem want to know how long they are required to stay within the facility.
It is normal to want to know how long the treatment is going to keep you away from your loved ones or your job or both.
The short answer to this question is that most residential treatment programs require one to spend at least 30 or 45 days of treatment.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the length of treatment is a very crucial factor of your recovery and longer inpatient alcohol treatment programs post higher success rates compared to treatment programs with shorter periods.
This is because when you spend more time in treatment you get to reinforce your abstinence and make use of your coping skills, thus avoiding relapse. Usually, the reality is that most clients will require 90 days of residential treatment plus after care. This is what we offer at The Recovery Way.
On an individual basis, there are certain factors that might be considered when determining how long one needs residential treatment.
These include, in no particular order:
1. The Severity of the Addiction
There are some people who are only slightly addicted to a substance and feel the need to kick the addiction before it sets in fully. There are also those who are so deep in their addiction that it has completely taken over their lives. It is easy to see that with the latter, a lengthier period of treatment is required if one is to achieve any success.
2. The Substance(s) Abused
At The Recovery Way, we handle clients who are addicted to different substances including alcohol, prescription drugs, hard drugs and so on. Depending on what the client is addicted to, we will recommend an appropriate length of treatment. It is important to note that certain drugs require longer detox periods and this has to be factored in the length of treatment.
3. Your therapist’s assessment
Your therapist will play a crucial role in determining how long you stay at the residential treatment center. This is because your therapist has assessed you and is able to tell what level of addiction you are at. As such, they can offer suggestions as to what would be an appropriate length of treatment.
Most successful residential treatment programs are those that last 90 days.
There are several reasons why 90 day programs work best when dealing with substance abuse treatment.
1. First, 90 days is long enough to get used to the idea of living a new life as a sober individual.
Research has shown that while it takes a few days to break a habit, one needs several weeks to get comfortable with that new lifestyle (of living without the habit). In the case of substance abuse, you need those 90 days to get all the coping skills and professional help you need to fully embrace the sober lifestyle.
2. 90 day programs are also successful in that they allow enough time to develop new lifestyle habits.
During the 90 day program, recovering clients will be introduced to new activities which will be part and parcel of their new lives as drug-free individuals. These activities include exercising, taking up hobbies such as crafts, and even embracing healthy eating habits. The period you spend in a program should be long enough to allow proper instruction on the different new activities you take up.
3. During the final weeks of a 90 day program, you are under less supervision and are allowed to prepare yourself for re-entry into society.
During this time frame, you get to experience what living in your old society as a new person might be like.
Any problems that might arise are dealt with before you finally make that all important re-entry.
The bottom line is that 90 day programs allow more time to practice what it means being a sober individual.
By the time you leave the residential treatment, you have more assurance that you can cope compared to someone who spends a shorter time in treatment.
In fact NIDA recognizes 90 days as the gold standard of residential treatment.
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