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How Long Should I Be in Treatment?

Looking into treatment options can feel overwhelming. There are 30, 60, and 90-day options, inpatient and outpatient, and different approaches to substance abuse treatment. It can be difficult to determine which option will be most effective. Fortunately, research into the effectiveness of various treatment options and lengths can help give a few suggestions about what to look for.

Regardless of length of stay, treatment must follow a few guidelines in order to be effect. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems. It is also important that treatment be appropriate to the individual’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.” Therefore, treatment must be individualized to the client’s needs. No single treatment program is right for everyone. Addiction is a complex disease, and treatment must address the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of the individual’s drug or alcohol problem. The NIDA further explains, “Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patients. Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.”

Research into treatment effectiveness has shown that 90 days is an adequate amount of time for an individual to be in treatment. The NIDA explains, “The appropriate duration for an individual depends on the type and degree of the patient’s problems and needs. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.” However, short-term treatment can be effective with continued aftercare, such as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and involvement with a recovery program after treatment has ended.

Once a treatment length of stay has been determined, it is imperative that a client stay for the full duration. The NIDA explains, “Treatment dropout is one of the major problems encountered by treatment programs; therefore, motivational techniques that can keep patients engaged will also improve outcomes. By viewing addiction as a chronic disease and offering continuing care and monitoring, programs can succeed, but this will often require multiple episodes of treatment and readily readmitting patients that have relapsed.” By staying in treatment for the full duration, continuing to receive support through aftercare and/or outside recovery programs, an individual will be capable of maintaining a full and happy life free from addiction and alcoholism.

Addiction doesn’t have to control your life. Recovery is possible by making the decision to seek help now. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers highly effective gender-specific programs that offer individual and group therapy as well as a host of additional treatment modalities to help you develop all the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, from Detoxification to Intensive Outpatient and Alumni Support, please call today: (833) 242-6431