What is the Difference Between Short-Term & Long-Term Treatment?

long term treatment program

Addiction isn’t a disease that develops overnight. It can happen quickly, but it still takes a variable amount of time. The amount of time that it takes to develop an addiction depends on a variety of factors, which can include biological or genetic predisposition, whether there is a history of substance abuse in an individual’s family, environment, one’s social group, and development or behavior. As such, some individuals can be particularly susceptible to the development of addictions to alcohol or drugs while others aren’t. However, anyone can become an addict. The disease of addiction doesn’t discriminate, which means that individuals from anywhere on the demographic spectrum—regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political proclivities, demographic region, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and so on—can fall prey to alcoholism and drug addiction if they begin to abuse these dangerous substances.

Fortunately, recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is possible due to the variety of effective, evidence-based treatments and therapies that comprise the available addiction treatment programs. While recovery for addicts is possible, the recovery journey or process differs from each individual in much the same way as each individual’s development of addiction is unique. As such, the programming that is effective for one individual might be less effective for others. This is why it’s important for individuals to be aware of what different types of treatment are available and the characteristics and benefits of each type of treatment.

Many of those who are embarking on the journey of recovery are unsure of what treatments will best address their individual recovery needs. The following will help such individuals to distinguish some of the main differences between short-term treatment and long-term treatments, discussing examples of when each type of treatment would be most appropriate for someone suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Short-Term Treatment for Substance Abuse

girlin short term treatment program

When a person becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs, substance abuse becomes the central, driving force of his or her life. It’s common for individuals who are suffering from chemical dependency to avoid or outright reject the prospect of recovery due to things like fear of withdrawal or feeling like one’s addiction is too strong to be overcome. As such, short-term addiction treatment programs can be much less intimidating and more accessible to those who are intimidated by the recovery process. Short-term treatment programs are typically a minimum of one month long and can last as long as two to three months. These types of short-term programs often include the various forms of outpatient treatment such as intensive outpatient treatment, day treatment, and partial hospitalization treatment programs.

Additionally, these short-term treatment programs offer many of the most important and effective treatments for substance abuse, including individual counseling and psychotherapy, group therapy sessions, psychoeducation and addiction education, and skills-building sessions. Since individuals commute to outpatient treatment on a daily basis rather than residing within the treatment center for the duration of treatment, family therapy is a common component of these short-term outpatient programs as patients can bring loved ones with them on certain days rather than loved ones having to travel to attend a brief family therapy session at a distant residential treatment center. It’s important for individuals researching treatment programs to know that short-term treatment facilities tend to offer the same quality of treatments as are offered in long-term programs. Moreover, short-term treatments tend to be less costly and are more flexible, allowing patients to incorporate their recovery programming into their existing schedules rather than having to explain a prolonged absence.

Long-Term Forms of Treatment for Addiction

Oftentimes long-term treatment involves an individual enrolling in an inpatient or residential program, which are infrequently less than two to three months and can be as long as six months or more in extended-care programs. Long-term addiction treatment programs offers individual counseling and psychotherapy as well as the group sessions, family therapy, and skills-building sessions that short-term treatments offer, but long-term programs often include a variety of supplemental and complementary therapies with which individuals can personalize their recovery. For instance, long-term treatment centers often offer holistic treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy, outdoor therapy, and many others, allowing patients to individualize their programming with treatments that address some of the more specific effects that they have been experiencing due to their addictions.

Although long-term treatment tends to require that individuals live on-site at the facility for the duration of one’s program, this is considered to be the most effective form of treatment available. However, there are certain outpatient programs that can last for a year or longer, such a methadone maintenance programs. Moreover, long-term inpatient and residential programs tend to be some of the most costly forms of treatment, which is important since the cost of treatment is another common reason why addicts don’t seek rehabilitation programs. Fortunately, more and more alcohol and drug rehabs are accepting individuals’ health insurance plans for payment, which is making treatment for accessible to those in need.

Regain Your Health & Happiness with Recovery Hub

While some individuals might prefer short-term treatment, others might benefit more from long-term treatment. It’s important for someone who is exploring their treatment options to have sufficient information to choose to program that best addresses his or her needs. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, call Recovery Hub at 1-888-220-4352. With a free consultation and assessment, you can be on your way back to a life of happiness and health today.

One Response to “What is the Difference Between Short-Term & Long-Term Treatment?”

Leave a Reply