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28 Days: Is it Really Long Enough?

Drug rehab programs differ in many ways in terms of length of stay, treatment approach and level or intensity of treatment. While most all programs work to accomplish the same ends, “cookie-cutter” approaches to drug rehab can’t address the range of needs individuals bring to the treatment process.

The 28 day drug rehab model provides those in recovery with valuable tools for managing drug-using urges; however, this time frame is more so geared towards insurance company allowances rather than the actual needs of the individual.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more often than not, someone just entering the recovery process will need more than 28 days to overcome the physical and psychological aftereffects of addiction.

28 Day Rehab Program Objectives

28 Days

Many insurance companies will only cover up to 28 days in rehab, however this is often not long enough.

Upon entry into a 28 day rehab program, many people are still getting over the effects of detox withdrawal, which can make it difficult to engage in the treatment process. Under these conditions, treating residual withdrawal effects becomes the first order of business.

From there, residents attend rounds of treatment sessions, each of which covers different areas of addiction recovery, such as:

  • Learning how addictive drugs affect the body
  • Individual psychotherapy to address underlying emotional issues
  • Group therapy to work through interpersonal issues regarding addiction
  • Support group meetings

While 28 day rehab programs do employ a comprehensive treatment approach, treatment duration may not be long enough to provide people coming off chronic or long-term addictions with a solid foundation in the recovery process.

Call our helpline at 800-481-6320 to see if your insurance will help pay your rehab costs.

Factors to Consider

Addiction Severity

Chronic and long-term addiction problems cause extensive damage to the brain’s functional capacity and often leaves recovering addicts in a perpetual state of emotional withdrawal for months or even years into the recovery process. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, severe addiction problems require longer treatment stays, with treatment intensity decreasing the further along a person progresses in recovery.

Psychological Status

Over time, the effects of drug abuse cause imbalances throughout the brain’s chemical system. After a certain point, developing psychological problems, such as depression and/or anxiety disorders start to take root.

If you’re struggling with ongoing emotional turmoil on top of an addiction problem, a 28 day rehab program can’t provide the level and continuity of care needed to sustain continued abstinence from drug use.

Home Environment

It’s not uncommon for a person to complete a 28 day rehab program only to reenter a dysfunctional home environment. Returning to a home wrought with chaos and/or ongoing drug use places recovering addicts at high risk of relapse.

Addiction recovery entails developing the type of lifestyle that can support continued abstinence. Unless you’re returning to a stable household made up of supportive loved ones, ongoing treatment support in the form of a 60 day, 90 day or even outpatient rehab programs offers the best chance of a successful recovery.

How Long Should I Stay at Rehab?

Treatment Considerations

Overcoming addiction often takes longer than expected. More than anything, a person’s success in recovery hinges on receiving the type of care that best addresses his or her treatment needs.

Ultimately, the 28 day rehab treatment model offers a good starting point, but is seldom enough to provide a person with a solid footing in recovery.

If you or someone you know are considering drug rehab and need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.

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