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How Long Should I Stay in Treatment?

How Long Should I Stay in Treatment?

Many people entering into treatment for addiction and alcoholism are unsure how long they should stay. Many treatment centers offer residential treatment programs that range from 30 to 90 days. Research has shown that longer stays in treatment are linked with a greater likelihood of remaining sober, however any length of treatment is a positive step forward. Achieving and maintaining sobriety is dependent upon several other factors, including the quality of treatment being received and the client’s own willingness and desire to engage in treatment services.

Every person entering into treatment has a unique set of challenges that may take varying lengths of time to address. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “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.” Higher quality and individualized care will be more effective for an individual than a longer stay in a treatment facility that does not address their unique challenges.

Being honest and open about the nature of one’s addiction is necessary. Clinicians can make suggestions and recommendations about how long they think a client should stay 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. Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug abuse can occur and should signal a need for treatment to be reinstated or adjusted. Because individuals often leave treatment prematurely, programs should include strategies to engage and keep patients in treatment.”

Leaving treatment too soon can dramatically decrease the likelihood of maintain sobriety. People often begin to feel better after having been sober a short time, and do not think they will benefit from staying in treatment for the full duration recommended. If an individual wants the best chance of maintaining sobriety, they should stay in treatment for the full duration and continue to receive care by entering an Intensive Outpatient Program and/or Sober Living, and staying engaged with others in the recovery community.

Treatment should be more than a program. When you joined Anchored Recovery, you join a community of individuals committed to sobriety. Our full continuum of care can help you seamlessly transition from detox through every phase of treatment you need to ensure lifelong sobriety. Call us today for information: 800.848.6168

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