Short-term / Long-term Rehab

Many questions arise when a family member needs to send a relative they care about to a drug addiction treatment center. One of these is what are the benefits of a long-term program as opposed to a short-term? Let’s define what short-term and long-term is.

Short-term Programs

Short-term programs will normally last 21 to 30 days. When a person has not been addicted for a long period of time and can somehow have some control of their addiction then a short-term program might be appropriate. In most cases, a short-term recovery program will not be enough. It will give the person a break but will rarely give them the wherewithal to stay off drugs once the program is done.

Long-term Addiction Program

The long term residential addiction program can range from a few months to a year or more for therapeutic communities*. Much of the time a long term rehab will have a structured program, some are based on the twelve-step model others are not.

‘’Research found that therapeutic communities and other types of residential programs are effective in reducing drug use, unemployment, and criminal behavior and that length of time spent in treatment is an important predictor of client outcomes from programs.’’                Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

The heavier the case the longer it usually takes for the person to get some control back in their life. Restoring one’s hope, self-respect, and life skill take a certain amount of time. And with time the addict will eventually address the underlying issues relating to their addiction.

*A therapeutic community or TC is an intensive long term treatment program developed for adults and adolescents with substance abuse issues. It was developed in 1958, when other therapies, like psychiatry and general medicine, were not able to treat substance abuse successfully. Creating the right conditions for people to change undesirable behaviors and learn new ways of doing things.

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