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How Long Does Therapeutic Community Treatment Last?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the therapeutic community is the “best-known residential treatment model,” although many individuals do not actually realize what it entails or know how long treatment even lasts.

Treatment Lengths for the Therapeutic Community Model

“Planned lengths of stay [for therapeutic community patients last] between 6 and 12 months.” This is far longer than the general 90 days associated with most other addiction treatment programs. Nonetheless, it is important for patients to spend this much time in a therapeutic community program in order to recover fully from their addictions and receive the full benefits of the program itself.

Good outcomes are unconditionally based on treatment length, according to various studies on the subject, and patients who leave treatment early are often much more likely to relapse than those who finish the entire program before moving on to the next chapter of their recovery. In many cases, the general treatment length is much shorter, but patients in therapeutic communities will only gain from the program if they attend for this extended amount of time.

Why Does Therapeutic Community Treatment Last So Long?

Therapeutic Community Treatment

The comprehensive services offered at therapeutic community treatment centers can take quite some time to complete.

Certain rehab programs have extended treatment lengths that are necessary to a patient’s overall recovery, such as methadone maintenance, and the therapeutic community model require this length of treatment for several very specific reasons.

  • Therapeutic communities are very structured, ensuring patients wake up, attend therapy, go to classes, and go to bed at specific times every day. Just getting used to this type of schedule can take time.
  • It can also take time for the individuals to come to terms with the confrontational style of treatment at a therapeutic community and for them to begin to have the kind of breakthrough the treatment is meant to create.
  • “Many therapeutic communities offer comprehensive services, which can include employee training and other support services, onsite,” an option that can take extra time for patients to complete, in some cases, after general treatment has ended.
  • Individuals who require this type of treatment are often struggling with more than just drug addiction itself and usually have issues with communication and interacting with others. The program works to focus on these issues as well.
  • The examination of damaging beliefs and self-concepts is also an important part of the program, which can take individuals a very long time to come to grips with.
  • The doctors, nurses, counselors, and staff of the therapeutic community, as well as the other patients, are meant to become active participants in every individual’s recovery, which means everyone needs ample time to get to know each other and to participate in helping one another succeed.

Is a Therapeutic Community Right for Me?

The treatment itself is highly beneficial, but it takes time for it to work. Every individual who completes the therapeutic community program, though, is able to understand themselves in a new light and often develops much stronger interaction skills as well as coping mechanisms that do not involve substance abuse. If you would like to learn more about the program or find facilities in your area that utilize it, call 800-481-6320 today.

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