The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines long-term drug rehab as a residential treatment that provides care 24 hours a day. Generally, these are non-hospital settings with a planned length of stay for three to six months or longer. Much of the treatment within a long-term drug rehab program focuses on an individual's social and psychological deficit. The rehabilitation helps the drug-addicted individual develop personal accountability and responsibility while learning how to live productive and healthy lives. The treatment process is highly structured, and the activities are designed to help residents identify the destructive patterns in their lives.
The length of time needed in a long-term drug rehab program is different for each person. Typically, there are set lengths of time, but an addiction assessment would help an addict and family determine what length of time is required. Lengthier treatment is usually for an addict with an extensive history of addiction and chronic relapse. These programs may last six months or more, whereas the average is three months. Long-term drug rehab requires a commitment, and there are addicts who attend the program without intervention. However, family intervention is often done to convince drug users they need long-term treatment.
The Effectiveness of Long-Term Drug Rehab
According to a study done in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, which examined the effectiveness of long-term treatment with women—the study found high treatment success rates ranging from 68% to 71% among women who spent six months or more in treatment. Generally, the success rates were lower for women with shorter stays in treatment. Clients who took more than six months to complete their treatment were in the 76% to 78% range of success for abstinence six to twelve months after treatment. However, only 51% to 52% of clients who did not finish treatment remained abstinent from drugs or alcohol.
Typically, long-term residential treatment programs are for people who need intensive levels of addiction treatment. The high-intensity treatment is a good option for people experiencing chronic relapse, severe addiction, or other situations that can benefit from a longer duration of treatment. Most long-term drug rehab programs form a therapeutic community—the focus of the facility is on creating a safe and stable environment that supports sober living. Generally, these communities help a person heal from the social damage caused by addiction.
Patients of long-term drug rehab centers develop meaningful relationships with other sober people, and a therapeutic community provides accountability and support. The therapeutic benefit of long-term drug rehab is access to transformative therapies and a wide range of modalities of therapy and counseling. The sessions allow more time to develop sober living skills and recovery principles. It is also common to help the patient with employment training and transitional housing. Long-term treatment also helps patients manage cravings, which continue after a month or two of sobriety. Relapse prevention is also crucial, and long-term programs help develop relapse prevention skills a