Addiction is a brain disease that causes people to continue using harmful substances, such as drugs or alcohol, despite experiencing negative consequences. During addiction, people become so focused on their quest for their next high that it takes over their lives.
No one plans to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Many people believe they can control how much and when they use, but drugs and alcohol change the way the brain works. They usually start taking drugs and/or drinking just to feel good, but with continued use, they can get to the point where they need to use them to feel normal.
Addiction causes many individuals to continue using despite the trouble it causes for themselves and their friends and families. It can cause people to drop out of school, lose their jobs, and end relationships. When an addict realizes it’s time to stop using, he needs help to do so.
Addiction cannot simply be overcome by discontinuing the use of drugs or alcohol. It requires professional, evidence-based care. In the past, there weren’t many options available beyond the standard 28-day treatment program. For many of those addicted to toxic substances, this wasn’t enough.
Now, in addition to standard, short-term rehab, there are long-term programs available that provide ongoing support for months and sometimes years following treatment. This gives many individuals hope and a way to rid themselves of their addiction forever.
What Is Long-Term Rehab?
A long-term rehab program lasts anywhere from 120-180 days. Some last even longer.
They treat chronic drug or alcohol addiction by providing rigorous, structured treatment that helps addicts return to their former, sober lives.
A long-term program, such as ones you’ll find at the drug and alcohol treatment center in Colorado, usually starts with several days of closely-supervised detox. Patients’ withdrawal symptoms are monitored to keep them safe and as comfortable as possible.
Detox is followed by 3-4 months of intensive substance abuse counseling. Patients learn about their addiction, practice new relationship and coping skills, and participate in planning for their substance-free life outside of rehab.
While in rehab, likes the ones at Colorado detox centers, they make plans to return to school, work, and prior relationships under the care of a professional counselor.
Who Should Try Long-Term Rehab?
Long-term rehab is typically recommended for those who have relapsed after attending shorter, more standard, rehab programs. Those who have experienced relapses have specific needs that long-term rehab can address.
However, there isn’t a specific number of relapses required to seek long-term substance abuse care, nor do you need to be at a certain stage in your addiction. It depends on your specific situation as to whether or not long-term rehab is what you need, and it’s wise to seek professional advice when making your decision.
In addition to those who’ve experienced multiple relapses, long-term rehab tends to work well for people with severe addictions and individuals with a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and a mental health disorder. It also works well for adolescents who need substance abuse treatment.
Deciding on a Program
Substance abuse treatment facilities take varied treatment approaches.
There are programs tailored to specific groups of people. For example, some offer programs just for adolescents while others are customized to treat pregnant women.
While most facilities take a multi-faceted approach to treatment, it’s important to choose a program that is compatible with your personality. For example, if you’re talkative and outgoing, a program that emphasizes team-building and discussion activities may work well for you. If you’re more of an introvert, you may prefer a program that underscores the importance of one-on-one counseling.
Consider the location when choosing a facility. Some people prefer a facility that is close to friends and family for support. Others prefer to be farther away from the memories and influences of their addiction. There is no right or wrong location. There is only the one that works for you.
Treatment Is Necessary
Drug and alcohol addiction requires treatment just like any other health condition. No one would ever suggest asthmatics or diabetics go without long-term care, and people addicted to drugs and alcohol shouldn’t either.
Addiction is a condition that requires professional treatment. For those who are unsuccessful with shorter, more standard rehab programs, long-term rehab may be a good option. It allows people to remain under professional care and receive treatment for longer periods of time, which is beneficial to many seeking help with their addiction.