Long Term Rehab
Origins of the 30 Day Treatment Period
Traditionally, treatment for addiction has been limited to twenty-eight to thirty days of inpatient treatment. However, this number was driven by insurance companies coverage limits, not outcome studies.
There is a huge body of medical research that indicates a strong correlation between length of treatment and higher long-term success rates (ie length of continuous sobriety). For an example of a recent study, you can look at the Open Journal of Psychiatry’s outcome study from March 2017, which states:
“The only significant factor in treatment success was the length of treatment. After one year, the treatment success rate was about 55 percent for those who underwent a standard 30-day treatment program. But the success rate was about 84 percent for those in treatment programs that lasted more than 30 days.”
Treatment programs have evolved to provide a longer continuum of care to ensure the individual has the highest chance at success.
The Timeline of Recovery from Addiction
When a woman who is mentally and physically addicted to a drug enters treatment, it can take several days (or longer) of detoxification for her to achieve mental and emotional stabilization. During this detox period, it is not yet appropriate for her to participate in therapeutic processes like counseling sessions.
Once the recovering woman “comes out of the fog” of detox, it is time for her to become immersed in the residential treatment program at a treatment center and participate in such activities as:
- Receiving group and individual therapy
- Working with medical and psychiatric professionals
- Participating in recovery support groups.
There should also be close monitoring and regular drug and alcohol screening during the first 30-60 days of sobriety.
Addiction is Complex and Involves Underlying Issues
Getting sober is very important, but addiction is often deeply rooted in the individual’s thinking and behavior. Addressing the issues that contributed to the drug or alcohol abuse is a must for the woman to truly thrive in recovery.
However, it isn’t as simple as deciding to change the behaviors and mentality on the spot. The woman may have moments of frustration at the self-examination that is required, or be overwhelmed at the prospect of holding herself accountable for her actions and behaviors as she moves forward “one day at a time” in recovery. This is why extending her participation in a supportive treatment environment is so important.
Co-Occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnoses)
If there are co-occurring disorders such as bi-polar disorder, trauma, depression, or anxiety, the treatment needs of the woman become more complex. Adjustments to the treatment regimen should be made to integrate education, counseling, and (if appropriate), medication so that these mood or behavioral disorders don’t overwhelm the woman in early sobriety and trigger a relapse.
Lengthening Treatment for Better Outcomes
In years past, treatment providers noticed that people were often returning to treatment multiple times, because in the traditional 28 day period the individual was unable to fully address the causes that were contributing to the addiction.
Due to this issue, providers created a transitional aftercare protocol designed to provide continued clinical support for the recovering individual but allowing them to “step down” in the level of monitoring and support found in the traditional 30-day inpatient programs. Often the person will reside in a sober living house with other recovering individuals (and a treatment center staff manager) and continue to receive treatment from the same facility that offers the more acute 28 or 30-day inpatient program.
What’s great about the transitional aftercare model is that it provides clinical support for several months after the initial 30-day program. The benefits are obvious. In this setting the individual will be able to continue to learn how to live life sober and face “real life” day-to-day situations while still residing in a sober, structured, therapeutic environment. Furthermore, the person in an individual aftercare program will still be receiving quality one-on-one and group therapy that allows them to deal with the issues that may have influenced their drug use. Also, these programs by nature are transitional, and soften the shock of suddenly leaving a 30-day program and returning home where there is minimal support and understanding of the addiction (and is the setting where the addiction had most recently flourished).
The person who completes a 30-day treatment program and simply returns home is “thrown back into the world” newly clean and sober, and may succumb to the stresses of coping with life without their drug of choice. Longer term extended care programs allow the individual to gradually “step back into” real life situations and challenges with the support of a clinical team (and a recovery network) that will help them learn and utilize the tools they need to navigate life in recovery.
Addiction Program for Women
Our inspiring and uplifting program for women in Prescott Arizona specializes in bridging the gap between closely monitored 30-day residential treatment programs and a full re-integration into society. Our clinicians are dedicated to supporting newly recovered women so they can thrive in recovery and find fulfillment and self esteem by compiling sober time and participating in uplifting activities. Contact us at (800) 651-7254 if you would like to learn more about our treatment program.