Drug and alcohol addiction is a complex and chronic condition affecting millions of people worldwide. As anyone battling with it knows, the process of overcoming addiction can be arduous and ugly, and many will go through countless demoralizing attempts to get well on their own before seeking professional treatment.
There is hope, however. Recent research has established that one of the most important factors in successful addiction treatment is the length of the stay in a rehab facility. In recent years, research has increasingly demonstrated that longer stays in drug and alcohol treatment can have a significant positive impact on recovery outcomes. Read on for more.
The Importance of Longer Treatment Stays
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Addiction affects the brain’s reward system, causing individuals to seek out drugs or alcohol even when they know it is harmful. That’s why, despite endless evidence of how destructive it is, most people just can’t seem to stop, even when they desperately want to. Because addiction is so difficult to overcome, most fare better when offered support, and a comprehensive and individualized approach to treatment.
There are several types of addiction treatment programs, ranging from outpatient programs to residential treatment centers. Outpatient programs allow individuals to continue living at home while attending therapy sessions and support groups, while residential treatment centers provide a more intensive level of care, with individuals living at the facility full-time. The length of stay in a residential treatment center can vary from a few weeks to several months or longer.
While some individuals may achieve lasting recovery in a shorter period of time, research increasingly shows that longer stays in drug and alcohol treatment can have a significant positive impact on recovery outcomes. One study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that individuals who stayed in treatment for more than 90 days had significantly higher rates of abstinence from drug or alcohol use compared to those who stayed for shorter periods of time.
Another study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that individuals who stayed in treatment for 90 days or longer had better outcomes in terms of drug and alcohol use, employment, and overall quality of life. The study authors suggest that longer treatment stays provide individuals with more time to address the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction, and to develop the skills and strategies necessary for lasting recovery.
Countless people’s experience has demonstrated that without being willing to go to any lengths to get well, the merry-go-round of addiction continues. Addressing the underlying issues is crucial for those looking for happy, contented recovery. That usually requires more than just a few weeks of “drying out” and rather a new radical approach to life and healing. Unsurprisingly, that takes time.
Benefits of Longer Treatment Stays
There are several benefits to longer stays in drug and alcohol treatment. One of the most significant is the increased likelihood of achieving lasting recovery. Longer treatment stays provide individuals with more time to address the root causes of their addiction, such as trauma, mental health issues, or relatitonal problems. This can help individuals develop the skills and strategies necessary to manage their addiction and face life successfully.
Longer stays in drug and alcohol treatment can also provide individuals with a supportive and structured environment that can be difficult to replicate outside of treatment. Residential treatment centers offer 24-hour support and supervision, as well as access to a range of therapies and support groups. This can help individuals develop a strong support network and a sense of community, which can be essential for maintaining recovery after leaving treatment.
Additionally, longer stays in drug and alcohol treatment can provide individuals with a break from the stresses and uncertainty of everyday life. When individuals return to their normal routines and responsibilities, without having really established new ways of coping, they often report feeling set up to fail. Longer stays in treatment can provide people with a sheltered environment in which to focus on their recovery and develop the relationships and community ties that will carry them through hard times.
Treatment in Scottsdale
Although often misunderstood, drug addiction, alcoholism, trauma, and mental illnesses are treatable. Scottsdale Providence Recovery Center is here to help and our team of seasoned clinicians has the experience and compassion to guide people on their journey to recovery. With a range of evidence-based modalities and cutting-edge therapies, we offer a well-rounded suite of care in a luxurious Scottsdale environment.
Our licensed therapists work with each client to treat the underlying causes that made life so difficult in the first place. Our individualized program allows the staff to meet people where they are and help them to achieve clearly defined treatment goals. When clients successfully complete our 45 to 60-day treatment program they will have developed a foundation for lifetime recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out. Our team of compassionate, experienced clinicians and behavioral health specialists is here to help.