Benefits of Long Term Drug Rehab


With over 23 million addicts over the age of twelve needing treatment for drug abuse, it has become crucial to examine the effectiveness of Long Term Drug Rehabprograms to determine which can address this overwhelming problem.

Overall, drug treatment programs need to be two-pronged, addressing both the physical and psychological dependency of an addict. Additionally, behavioral and social symptoms may need to be tackled before an addict can be truly “recovered” and have the tools to help sustain that recovery for the remainder of his or her life. While there is some debate about whether abstinence or moderation constitutes successful rehabilitation, in the case of illegal or other extremely destructive addictions, complete detoxification and sustained avoidance are required.

Since the middle of the 1970s, scientific research has shown that successful treatment involves changing behaviors to remove the addiction and avoid relapse. According the National Institute on Drug Abuse “Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment.” Based on decades of research and study, they have identified key elements to effective, long term drug abuse rehab.

Detoxification is only the first step. Some drugs can take months to fully leave the system, especially if the user has built up a level of physical tolerance that hides the addiction. Some individuals can appear to function normally even when supporting a hard core addiction to heroin, cocaine, or other strong drugs. Medical supervision can help minimize withdrawal from drugs through use of anti-addictive drugs or other treatments. Weekend programs won’t do it. Only a long term program will help a patient through the entire cycle of detoxification.

Furthermore, studies have shown that dextox by itself has little impact on long term drug addiction. Obviously, vigilance must be maintained to prevent drug use during treatment. Additionally, drug rehab programs need to treat all the needs of an addict, not just the drug abuse. Patients may have other medical or mental health problems that need treatment. Counseling and behavioral therapies have proven critical to effective rehabilitation. Most importantly, treatment needs to be customized to the patient and adaptable as their needs change. None of this can be successfully accomplished in short term programs.

The proven achievements of residential treatment programs are especially relevant to patients with long histories of drug abuse, those who have impaired social functioning, and those involved in criminal activities. Long term drug addiction rehabilitation usually starts with a six to twelve month stay at a special treatment facility. The goal is to remove the addict from their environment and fully prepare them to create and function in a drug-free atmosphere that will support their ongoing recovery.

Once the early stages of withdrawal have passed, patients begin a directed, long term treatment program that addresses psychological dependency and imparts behavioral and social skills that will help them function without the drug. This usually involves individual, family, and group counseling. There will also be occupational and behavioral therapies to teach life and social skills that may have been lost or never learned while under the influence of addiction. Some long term residential programs include community service, exercise, artistic, and wilderness activities as part of their overall treatment. A few even offer therapies involving horses, massage, or martial arts.

In special cases, criminal and or educational needs may need to be incorporated in a long term drug rehab plan. Court dates and other legal appearances may be required. Younger addicts may need to make arrangements to complete schooling while receiving treatment. Continuing vocational and even college education can be provided to older patients.

In the end, all the factors that contribute to the cycle of addiction must all be addressed for drug abuse rehab to actually stick. For that to happen, a long term drug treatment program is the most effective way to ensure successfully recovery.

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