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Should I Attend a Long-term or Short-term Rehab Program?

Choosing an addiction treatment program can be a difficult process, especially when there are so many different types of centers and programs available. Because time spent in treatment is usually very important to most recovering addicts, you may be wondering if you should attend a long-term or short-term rehab program. It is important to assess your needs and to see how a certain length of time can meet them.

General Program Lengths and Rehab Types

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Treatment approaches and individual programs continue to evolve and diversify, and many programs today do not fit neatly into traditional drug addiction treatment classifications.” However, there are some general rules of thumb that most usually abide by.

  • Treatment must last at least 90 days for maximum effectiveness, and programs that last longer are usually even more effective.
  • Residential and outpatient programs both have short- and long-term versions of treatment, so you will not need to sacrifice one type of care for the other.
  • Most start with detoxification or stabilization and then move on to addiction treatment in the form of therapy, medication, and other methods.
  • Treatment plans can be adjusted to the individual patient’s needs and how these may change throughout recovery.

    Long-term or Short-term Rehab

    Go over your situation and drug use history to decide how long you should attend rehab.

If the treatment length you choose winds up being less beneficial to you than previously predicted, you can always discuss a change in your program with your doctor.

Short-Term or Long-Term: Which Should I Choose?

Every individual is different, and “no single treatment is right for everyone” (NIDA). But you can begin to look at your own situation and your needs and decide which rehab option is best for you. For example, if you are:

  • A long-time drug abuser
  • A polydrug abuser
  • Someone who struggles with change
  • Someone who’s attempted rehab many times in the past
  • Dealing with a comorbid mental or physical disorder

you may need treatment that lasts longer and provides you with the time you need to truly recover. It is most important, though, to consider what would be best for you and to work toward finding a program that provides what you need. If you have more questions about rehab or the difference between long- and short-term programs, call 800-481-6320 today.

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