Do Long-Term Addiction Treatment Programs Work?

long term care sign

Developing an addiction leads to a complete transformation of one’s life and lifestyle. Affecting individuals from all over the demographic spectrum, addiction can emerge from many different situations and circumstances. In some cases, addicts were exposed to substance abuse and dependency in their childhoods, perhaps in the case of an alcoholic or addicted parents. Other times, addiction grows from recreational and experimental substance abuse due to curiosity. And there are also many individuals who become addicted after taking it upon themselves to increase the dosage of medications prescribed for legitimate conditions. However, alcohol and drug addiction results in a number of effects regardless of how it occurs.

When people think of an addict, they often think of the physical effects of addiction and the things that one can see, such as the deterioration of one’s health, loss of weight, decrease in hygiene, and so on. However, it could be said that some of the worst effects of alcohol and drug addiction are those that can’t be seen. This includes the loss of financial stability, damage, and destruction to one’s personal and professional relationships, countless missed opportunities and squandered potential, and perhaps even dangerous and/or criminal behavior. Moreover, many of the effects of chemical dependency become so ingrained into the addict’s daily life as to become normal, making many of these effects incredibly difficult to overcome. In fact, it often takes hitting rock bottom before an addict realizes just how much he or she has sacrificed for an addiction.

There are many individual treatments and therapies used to address the specific effects of addiction, which comprise the alcohol and drug addiction recovery programs that are available to afford addicts the means of overcoming chemical dependency. Many individuals who suffer from addiction prolong their substance abuse for several reasons, including a fear of withdrawal and the perceived high cost of addiction treatment. However, there’s also a misconception that addiction treatment is like any other task with a definitive beginning and a point of completion. The following will explain why addiction treatment is an ongoing, long-term journey and how longer-term programs are the most effective form of alcohol and addiction treatment.

Residential and Inpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

With there being several different programs available for recovery from addiction, it can be confusing distinguishing between them and determining which would offer optimal treatment for an addict. Addiction treatment programs tend to be divided into two categories: inpatient and outpatient. Moreover, there are multiple types of both inpatient and outpatient programs. Generally, forms of inpatient treatment are considered the most effective since they offer longer periods of treatment and more intensive recovery programs. Although inpatient programs are the quintessential long-term addiction treatment program as well as the most common, residential treatment programs can last several months up to a year or more while inpatient programs can last as little as a month.

For the duration of residential and inpatient treatments, individuals live on-site at the facility while receiving round-the-clock, individualized care and participating in a variety of daily treatments. Like any addiction treatment program, the core of residential and inpatient programs is counseling and psychotherapy, which provide an opportunity to identify harmful patterns of thought that lead to destructive, addictive behaviors so that healthier alternatives that fortify sobriety can be learned. In addition to individual counseling and psychotherapy, there is an emphasis on addiction education as well as group and family counseling, process groups, skills-building sessions, and even a variety of alternative and supplemental treatments meant to address more of the individual effects of alcohol and drug addiction.

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Long-Term Outpatient Treatments for Alcohol and Drug Addiction

In addition to the residential and inpatient programs, there are a number of outpatient treatment solutions that are long-term and offer individuals optimal recovery. For instance, many recovering addicts choose forms of outpatient care—partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment programs—as a means of aftercare upon completion of a residential or inpatient treatment. This scenario serves to prolong the duration of intensive treatment, which minimizes the chance of relapse since longer periods of treatment tend to yield higher rates of success in recovery. Alternately, there are long-term replacement therapies available for individuals who suffer from opiate or heroin addiction that use medications such as methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone) to treat addiction and withdrawal. And while individuals are encouraged to continue aftercare for a prolonged period after treatment, it’s also encouraged for recovering addicts to find twelve-step or other support groups in their communities to maintain long-term encouragement and support in recovery.

Why is Long-Term Treatment Beneficial to One’s Recovery?

Over the course of active addiction, individuals learn to live as an addict, which entails planning each day around seeking and consuming alcohol and/or drugs. As years go by in the state of active addiction, it becomes more and more difficult to return to a life of sobriety, which is why long-term residential and inpatient addiction treatments are the optimal treatment solution for those who suffer from severe or long-term addiction. In short, a harmful habit that has become a central part of one’s life will require long-term, intensive treatment in order to overcome such a habit. If an individual receives only short-term, temporary treatment, he or she is likely to still feel more comfortable continuing abusing substances; however, with prolonged time in recovery, he or she will have the time to re-acclimate to a healthy, sober lifestyle as treatment continues to reinforce abstinence and recovery. As such, long-term treatments—whether inpatient, outpatient or support groups—only serve to fortify one’s recovery and continue to decrease the chance of one’s relapsing back into alcohol or drug addiction.

Learn More About Long-Term Treatment Solutions Today

If you or someone you love suffers from alcohol or drug addiction and would like to discuss inpatient or outpatient treatments, call Recovery Hub 888-220-4352 today. Our experienced recovery specialists offer free consultations to help match those suffering from chemical dependency to the programs that best address their needs. Recovery is just a phone call away

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