How Long Does Therapeutic Community Treatment Last?
A therapeutic community (TC) is a type of treatment program that many residential rehab centers use to help recovering addicts learn better behaviors associated with drug use, socialization and combatting negative perceptions and attitudes held by those individuals. This type of treatment program can be confrontational and is usually very structured, but it is often extremely beneficial to those patients who attend it. But how long does TC treatment last?
Length of Treatment for TCs
In order to achieve the desired changes, one must stay in a therapeutic community for the suggested amount of time.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Therapeutic communities (TCs) are highly structured programs in which patients remain at a residence, typically for 6 to 12 months.” This is often referred to as a long-term treatment option, and there are usually no options to attend a TC without this long-term stay. While an individual attending this type of treatment may or may not have a say in the length of time they are expected to remain at the facility, the length of treatment is extremely important to the individual’s overall recovery.
Why is TC Treatment So Long?
There are several reasons why a person who needs to be in a TC program requires long-term care. For one, the program does not just combat the issues associated with the individual’s drug abuse but also with their perceptions and attitudes toward their substance use. These kinds of deeply rooted beliefs can take a long time to unearth let alone reverse, so the program itself must allow the caregivers ample time to do so.
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As stated by the NIDA, in a TC, “addiction is viewed in the context of an individual’s social and psychological deficits, and treatment focuses on developing personal accountability and responsibility as well as socially productive lives.” This is extremely important to those individuals who do not have a strong social ability and whose drug abuse has likely stemmed from this feeling of isolation. The caregivers at the facility must be able to create the kinds of important relationships that will help this individual, and this can take time, especially for those patients who struggle with socialization and intimacy. TCs use “the program’s entire community––including other residents, staff, and the social context––as active components of treatment.”
TC programs require patients to be available for a long period of time because these fundamental changes of behavior, attitudes, perceptions, and capacity for socialization cannot be achieved in a month or two. Patients also need time to be able to adjust to the structure of the program, which can sometimes be difficult initially. Without this time, the program will not be able to take the long-term effect it needs to on the individual’s mental and emotional state.
It is not always easy for patients to attend a TC program, and being away from loved ones during this time can be hard. But the benefits of the program for those who need them can be tremendous. If you have a friend or loved one who may benefit from a TC program, or you believe you may be a candidate for this treatment yourself, call 800-481-6320Who Answers?.
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