How Long Should an Alcoholic be in Rehab?

How Long Should an Alcoholic be in Rehab?

Does how long someone is in rehab really impact their level of sobriety afterward. Science says probably not. While it’s clear that 14-days in treatment won’t have much of an impact, what you need to establish isn’t a time frame on alcohol rehab treatment at all. Instead, the goal should be on establishing long-term sobriety after treatment.

One person may benefit substantially from a 30-day treatment program, while others may need 3, 6, or 9 months of ongoing hands-on work. For many, though, you can spend six months in treatment and days later find yourself back in a local bar. It’s imperative that you work with ongoing therapy and have a decisive plan for your treatment.

Does a Longer Stay Equal Longer Sobriety?

The length of a stay is a major concern for a few primary reasons, including how expensive it will be, the efficiency of the program if it’s effective, and how long you’ll be away from your normal life. A longer stay inherently gives you a better chance because you’ve built habits over a longer course of time.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has declared that anything less than 90 days simply isn’t effective. For drug treatment, the person should receive 12 months of ongoing management in addition to a minimum of 90-day treatment. What that means for alcoholics is that the longer they stay, the better chance you have for long-term success. When you evaluate the stats of the success rates with about 70% relapsing or abandoning treatment, it’s clear that you want the best odds possible.

The industry’s 30% success rate is partially reliant on people having ongoing access to the tools and support they need even after they complete a program.

What is Long-Term Rehabilitation Supposed to Look Like?

Inpatient long-term rehab may be more closely described as residential treatment. There you live in the facility long-term with constant or near-constant treatment. For most people, that’s not a reasonable option. Either because of financial issues or family challenges, people can’t just leave everything for three or more months at a time.

What is often long-term and manageable while still prioritizing your sobriety is out-patient treatment. An out-patient treatment has not only the support through group, individual, and family therapy options, but it also helps people acclimate to a sober life while under supervision.

Long-term out-patient treatment centers will frequently test and survey their patients to ensure that they’re remaining sober. There are rules in place, and there are resources available at all hours.

Will a 3-Month Alcohol Rehab Treatment Plan be Long Enough

It’s a big question, and ultimately, you decide the answer. If a three-month treatment can give you the skill necessary to face temptation, know when to get help and to avoid your drug of choice, then yes. However, a three-month plan is a starting point.

There is no program that can guarantee sobriety after any duration of time. Three months sometimes isn’t enough. In fact, with a 30% success rate, it should be pretty clear that three-month stays should probably be longer.

How Should the Family and Alcoholic Set Realistic Expectations for Sobriety

Sobriety is a lifelong path, just like self-development, or building emotional intelligence. You and your family may have easy days. Some people may forgive easier than others, and in some cases, you may be able to rebuild bridges. But, you shouldn’t expect all of these things to happen straight away.

What the family should expect is a lot of learning. Family information and education are critical, and in treatment, the patient learns to assess and communicate. However, when the family doesn’t change how they communicate, it can make ongoing recovery even more complex.

For the patient, you should expect the long-term treatment to be your jumping-off point. From the time that you leave the facility and for every day after you’ll need to stay sober.

Contact Rehab Carolinas to Discuss Your Alcohol Rehab Treatment Options

At Rehab Carolinas, our facility in Durham, NC, allows people within the community to get the help that they need for long-term sobriety. We work with alcoholics to explain that rehabilitation, recovery, and treatment all have different time lengths based on need and commitment.

With a consultation and meeting with our counselors, you can learn about how much time you should devote to full-time out-patient therapy and then what the plan should be following. Planning and participating are critical elements of continued sobriety, and it’s more important than being in rehab for longer. Contact Rehab Carolina for guidance.

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