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.
While a person’s choice to try drugs or alcohol was initially a voluntary choice, their progression into full-fledged addiction goes beyond their personal decision. No drug abuser has ever thought to themselves that they would like to become an addict; it is a process that happens overtime often without the user’s awareness of what is happening to them.
As a drug or alcohol abuser continues to use their body becomes accustomed to having the substance present at all times. Their brain also begins to rely on the substance to feel “normal” and function properly. This progression is not something that the user has control over. They are often blind to the changes taking place in their body and mind; to the drug or alcohol user their continued drug use is a way to solve whatever problem in their life they are looking to escape from.
When they attempt to decrease the amount they use, or stop using all together they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some substances such as alcohol, heroin and other opioids cause the person to become physically addicted to the substance, thereby causing them physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. Their body calls out to them through the pain, letting them know that if they were just to take the drug or drink they would put an end to their physical suffering…for now at least. This cycle goes on and on, dragging the addicted person deeper into the downward spiral of addiction.
Drug rehab programs such as Narconon Fresh Start’s network of treatment centers are able to address not only the client’s physical addiction problem, but the underlying issues that drove the individual to abuse the substance in the first place. Through their entirely drug-free program, clients become students learning invaluable life lessons about communication, intrapersonal skills and stress management. Each client works at their own pace through the drug rehab program and is never rushed to complete any portion of treatment in a pre-specified period of time. This is because true recovery takes as long as it takes and cannot be rushed. While the majority of program participants complete the Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab program in an average of three months, those who need longer to progress through the program have the ability to do so.
I have spent the last 4 weeks at Narconon Fresh Start’s Lone Star Victory Ranch and it has brought to my attention that there is much more to life than living in a half-haze due to alcohol. My time here has also taught me that I am not the only person who was affected by the dreaded drug (alcohol). My family went through a very emotional time too, worrying about me (about my health and my mental wellbeing). The people who have helped me get myself together and become a normal functional person have all meant well for me and I will always be indebted to them. Thanks everybody here.
My first course was very helpful, realizing that drugs and alcohol held me back from doing what I wanted to do and being happy. I am very happy I got to do this!
The first course in our Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab program is designed to help the program participant address the very basic and fundamental problems of all people (especially addicted persons). Clients gain the ability to confront, control and communicate with people and the world around them through a series of strategic exercises. Learning these life skills and adopting them as part of one’s day to day life is essential for the recovering person to have positive future interactions with others and handle difficult situations in life when they arise.
I feel so successful because I’m nearing the end of my Narconon Fresh Start program at Sunshine Summit Lodge. I’m grateful that I came here and that I’ve learned so much while being here. Today I have a stronger belief in my ability to remain sober and make positive, healthy choices when I return home. My sobriety came with a lot of hard work and I deserve to be happy about how far I’ve come. Graduation is going to be the icing on the cake of completing treatment and getting my life back.