Many mislead addicts believe that if they work hard enough and are truly motivated they should be able to successfully finish drug abuse treatment in just a couple of weeks. For drug rehabilitation to be truly effective research has shown that 90 days in treatment is the minimum length needed to make a lasting recovery. In addition to remaining in drug rehab for an adequate amount of time, it is essential that the recovering individual take into consideration follow-up care and support. In a recent study, clients who were treated for at least a year or more were twice as likely to remain clean.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published their findings on drug treatment program lengths. In it they state that individuals who want to have the best chance at a successful recovery should enter a drug rehab program that is at least 90 days long. They also note that through their research a program’s length is one of the most important indicators of whether or not a drug rehab program will be able to help their client achieve a successful recovery.
In addition to the length of the program, the CDC indicates that there are a few other areas that should be reviewed before choosing a program:
- The drug rehab program should treat recovery as a long-term process that involves a variety of approaches.
- The drug and alcohol treatment center needs to take into account any physical or mental health issues that may be occurring in conjunction with the addiction.
- The drug rehab staff should tailor their drug treatment program to the individual client’s needs.
- Lastly, the program must reassess treatment procedures on a regular basis to ensure they are productive.
In the end, while stating that 90 days is the minimum for achieving sobriety, there are programs that run much longer (18 months plus) and are able to help their clients make the difficult changes necessary to remain clean and sober. Because addiction changes the way a person’s brain functions there are many recovering addicts who require long-term drug rehab programs to “retrain” their brains and truly handle their addiction issues. The process of recovery is typically long and takes a great deal of effort on the recovering person’s part. Remaining in treatment for an extended length of time not only helps the person get off the addictive substances they are dependent on, it helps them learn to embrace a drug-free lifestyle and practice living day to day life as a sober individual.