Alcoholism is a progressive disease that gradually takes over a person’s life and has devastating impacts on those that love them the most. In order to effectively break the vicious cycle of addiction, those who are struggling with alcoholism need the professional help and guidance that is offered by an intensive alcohol rehab program.
In your search to find the treatment options that best fit your needs or the needs of a loved one, you have many things to consider. While factors such as therapy options, insurance, experienced staff, and location are all important, looking a long-term addiction treatment is something that can be overlooked by many people.
When you are looking at treatment options to address your alcohol dependence and addiction issues, it probably seems a little strange to think about putting a time limit on treatment. We know that recovery is a lifelong process, and those who enter alcohol rehab should be able to choose a treatment program that will give them all the time they need to give them the best chance at lifelong sobriety, such as a Christian alcohol rehab or outpatient alcohol rehab program. While many inpatient alcohol treatment facilities offer alcohol treatment programs that last for 30 days, pursuing long-term alcohol treatment has been proven to be more beneficial in helping those to struggle with alcoholism find lasting and meaningful recovery. If you are unfamiliar with long-term alcohol rehab, it is important to become familiar with what they are and how they can help those who seek recovery from substance abuse.
Long-term alcohol treatment programs require clients to undergo treatment programming in a safe, secure, and closely supervised setting for 90 days or longer. These programs offer those who struggle with alcohol abuse a wide variety of treatment options and will give them ample time to address the underlying issues that lie at the root of their disease. In comparison to the most traditional 28 to 30-day programs, long-term alcohol rehab places emphasis on thorough medical detoxification to ensure clients enter the intensive portion of drug treatment in a substance-free and stable state.
Along with a more comprehensive medical detox and evaluation process, long-term alcohol treatment features more intensive forms of individual and group therapy, life, and coping skills training, as well as comprehensive aftercare programming and support. If a client’s alcohol issues are too complex and severe for a long-term alcohol treatment program, or if they have social and psychological issues that cannot be addressed in this treatment setting, they can undergo treatment at therapeutic communities where they can receive treatment and support in a drug-free residential setting for even longer periods of time.
For many who have chronic alcoholism and need a long-term alcohol treatment program, the length of time they have to spend away from family and others who support is a formidable obstacle. While the extended time away from their home environment is lengthy, long-term alcohol rehab will provide those in the grips of alcohol addiction numerous benefits that will allow them to achieve long-term recovery. These benefits are the following:
Time spent in a long-term alcohol treatment program will give clients more time to address and resolve the underlying issues that are causing their alcoholism. When clients arrive at a traditional 30-day program, they often have to undergo detoxification first. After detox is complete, they have to adjust to the structure of being in residential treatment. Considering that detox and the acclimation to intensive drug treatment can last upwards of two weeks, it means that the first part of the process is already spent just getting adjusted. In a 30-day program, having only 14 or so days left is not likely to be enough time for alcoholics to fully address their issues.
Long-term inpatient treatment centers that feature programs of 90 days or longer give the client a much better chance of breaking the cycle of dependence, it does that by providing a safe space to remain sober for extended periods. With extended time away from the distractions and temptations of the outside world, it means that the patient can focus on recovery.
Alcohol abuse takes a tremendous physical toll on the body. Longer-term rehab options provide an extended period of physical rest and care. Longer times in an alcohol rehab program allows patients to begin sleeping and eating better and they feel an overall sense of physical well-being. In addition to the marked improvement of a client’s physical health, long-term alcohol rehab also allows their emotional and spiritual health to improve. Having improved overall health will reduce the need to use alcohol in the future.
Alcohol addiction is not a ‘new’ problem that has suddenly surfaced. For many alcoholics, the problems they encounter and the consequences they face were gradual in their development and may have taken many years. Long-term alcohol rehab programs focus on identifying and addressing the destructive habit patterns that clients follow and will help them identify and eliminate these patterns. This goes beyond merely getting the patient sober; it means understanding the deeper internal issues and learning to find healthy and proactive ways to deal with them without having a possible relapse down the road.
Long-term treatment for alcohol use disorders typically involves a continuum of care that starts with more intensive treatment that scales down based on your individual needs. The more you progress, the more your treatment plan with lower in intensity. Depending on your needs, you may start with medically monitored detoxification and move all the way to aftercare programs that are focused on relapse prevention.
Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual’s personal history and needs. When you enter a treatment program, you will go through the intake phase where you sit down, typically with your primary therapist, and talk about everything from your family history to your experience with alcohol use. The questions will become personal, but the purpose is to help create a treatment plan that is the most effective for you. According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, an effective treatment plan will involve you, the client, in the treatment planning process. NIDA says, “Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success…”
During intake, your medical needs will also be assessed and you may be placed into a level of care that involves medical care or monitoring. Treatment typically follows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where immediate physical needs like safety and security are met first. Then deeper needs can be addressed.
The levels of care are designed to meet you where you are in relation to alcohol use as well as physical and emotional needs. A person in withdrawal isn’t going to do well if they dive straight into intensive cognitive therapy. And a person with limited physical needs doesn’t need to waste time in an intensely medically focused level of care. The following are the five basic levels of care. Keep in mind that many levels also have subset levels as well:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs. (January 30, 2019) from https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/atod
NIDA. (2019, January 17). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Retrieved from from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
NCBI. Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders.Chapter 5—Therapeutic Communities. (n.d.) from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64342/
NIDA. (2018, January 17). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition
American Society of Addiction Medicine. ASAM Continuum.What are the ASAM Levels of Care?. (May 13, 2015) from https://www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/