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Long-Term Rehab Centers

Long-Term Rehab Centers

Long-term rehab centers are designed to help those addicted to drugs or alcohol with the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of their substance abuse. To that end, these programs provide medicinal treatments and behavioral therapy so patients can tackle their sobriety in a holistic way. This guide provides details of how long-term drug rehab programs work, including the types of therapies available, the benefits of entering treatment on a long-term basis, and what patients can expect when their treatment is complete.

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Michael Castanon
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Long-term rehab centers are designed to help those addicted to drugs or alcohol with the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of their substance abuse. To that end, these programs provide medicinal treatments and behavioral therapy so patients can tackle their sobriety in a holistic way. This guide provides details of how long-term drug rehab programs work, including the types of therapies available, the benefits of entering treatment on a long-term basis, and what patients can expect when their treatment is complete.

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Fast Facts: Long-Term Inpatient Drug Rehab

Six in ten people who abuse drugs also struggle with a mental illness, so long-term rehab centers treat co-occurring disorders as they address the addiction. (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Research shows that patients who stay in rehab facilities for 90 days or more have a lower relapse rate than those who receive treatment for a shorter period of time. (Source: Archives of General Psychiatry)

The most common type of long-term rehabilitation model is the therapeutic community model, which is based on resocializing patients back into the community. These programs generally last between six and 12 months (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Adolescents who enter long-term treatment facilities are less likely to engage in binge drinking and drug use after they complete the program than those who stay in rehab for 21 days. (Source: Archives of General Psychiatry)

Patients who enter sober living facilities after completing long-term rehab are less likely to reuse drugs, get arrested, or suffer from psychiatric problems than those who completed shorter treatment programs. (Source: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs)

Long-term treatment facilities that adopt the therapeutic community model focus on the psychological and social issues that accompany addiction. In order to do this, professionals confront patients’ self-destructive beliefs and habits. (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse)

What Is Long-Term Drug Rehab?

Long-term rehab provides holistic treatment to patients so they can deal with the physical, psychological, and emotional issues that arise from abusing drugs or alcohol. After patients undergo the detoxification process that removes substances from their system, they participate in counseling to get to the root of their problems and develop the coping skills they’ll need when they return home. The following provides a look at how long-term rehab programs work.

The Benefits of Long-Term Treatment Centers

While any kind of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is better than no treatment at all, there are several benefits to entering a long-term rehab facility. The following are some of these benefits.

    • The long-term nature of the treatment allows patients to feel settled in the program. This sense of stability and safety can decrease the anxiety patients feel so they can embrace their treatment.
    • Long-term rehabs give patients time to deal with the psychological and emotional ramifications of their addiction, and adopt new habits and thought patterns. Since the first portion of rehab is focused on detox, the longer patients stay in a facility, the more time they have to get holistic treatment after the physical addiction has been addressed.
    • Patients in long-term facilities break the pattern of short-term sobriety followed by substance abuse, which helps them build their self-esteem.
    • Long-term facilities offer artistic activities, such as art and music, which help patients express themselves and understand that sobriety does not have to be boring.
    • Patients have more time to cope with cravings for drugs and alcohol when they are in a long-term rehab facility.

How Long-Term Residential Treatment Works

When patients check into long-term rehab facilities, the first step is to ensure that their body is free from the substances they have been abusing. This is done through detoxification, where patients are given medications designed to get the drugs out of their system and help them weather the effects of withdrawal—which can include a variety of symptoms such as nausea, depression, anxiety, seizures, hallucinations, fatigue, agitation, and diarrhea.

After the detox process is complete, patients in long-term rehab are required to participate in counseling. The following are examples of the different types of counseling that may be offered.

Individual therapy

In individual therapy, each patient is given counseling based on their specific needs. While working with a counselor, patients may learn how to handle withdrawal and cravings during the rehab process, deal with problems that test their sobriety, and improve relationships with family members and friends. If the rehab offers cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, patients get an in-depth look at why their behavior is destructive and learn how to adjust the harmful thoughts and beliefs that may contribute to their addiction. Also, counselors who use the CBT model teach patients how to adopt healthier beliefs and thoughts that are more conducive to maintaining sobriety.

Group therapy

In group therapy, patients get the opportunity to learn from each other and support each other through their rehab experience. These sessions, which are generally made up of six to eight patients, teach how to maintain relationships that are not centered around using drugs and alcohol, deal with life stressors without turning to substances, avoid relapses, and recognize substance abuse triggers.

Family therapy

Addiction can affect every member of a family, so it’s important for long-term rehab patients to understand how their behavior has impacted their loved ones. Family counseling allows patients and their family members to work through the issues they have that may create conflict in the home, learn healthy communication skills, and understand how codependence and enabling behaviors can affect the family.

Faith-based therapy

Patients who are religious may want to participate in counseling that is based on the tenets of their faith. Faith-based counseling allows them to get the treatment they need as they practice their religious beliefs.

Biofeedback

This type of therapy teaches patients how to calm down when they’re exposed to stressful stimuli. The process involves subjecting patients to flashing lights or pulsing sounds and then monitoring how their body responds to these stimuli in terms of heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, sweating, and muscle contractions. This information is then used to help patients understand how they can use relaxation techniques, like mindfulness meditation and progressive muscle relaxation, when they experience withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

Other Services Offered By Long-Term Rehab Centers
Service Explanation
Treatment of co-existing conditions Patients who suffer from medical or mental health problems receive treatment for these issues in addition to the addiction.
Specialized therapy Counselors may work with patients separately on a specific issue, such as anger management, dealing with grief, and coping with excessive stress.
Animal therapy Some treatment centers allow patients to spend time with cats, dogs, or horses as part of their treatment. This can help patients build confidence because they will take pride in taking care of an animal in an unselfish way.
Creative arts therapy Engaging in creative arts—such as painting, music, writing, and dance—can help patients express difficult feelings and process their thoughts.
Life skills classes Patients who take life skills classes learn how to live a lifestyle that doesn’t revolve around substance abuse. They may learn communication and relationship skills, as well as how to handle a regular schedule, maintain a hobby, and manage frustration and anger in a healthy way.
Financial counseling Since people who abuse drugs and alcohol may neglect their finances, patients who get financial counseling learn how to save money, prioritize expenses, create and maintain a budget, and invest money responsibly.
Employment skills classes Addiction makes it difficult to maintain a job, so some patients may need employment skills classes in order to successfully navigate the workplace. These classes may teach people how to communicate with colleagues, do well in job interviews, write resumes, and present themselves appropriately in the workplace.
Nutrition classes Part of living a sober life is ensuring that the body is well taken care of. Nutrition classes teach patients how to choose healthy food options and cook balanced meals.
Exercise programs Some long-term rehab facilities have gyms so patients can participate in physical activity as they get clean. In addition, there may be organized group activities like hiking, rock climbing, and yoga.

Types of Long-Term Rehab Centers

    • Inpatient.Inpatient programs require patients to stay at the rehab facility on a full-time basis throughout the course of their treatment. This is particularly helpful for those who have a high risk of relapse.
    • Intensive outpatient.Patients who have a low risk of relapse can participate in these programs, which require that they come to the facility on a daily basis to get treatment.
    • Partial hospitalization.These programs use a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient treatment.
    • Special group.Some long-term rehab programs cater to a specific group of people, such as female patients, members of the LGBT community, veterans, opioid abusers, and juveniles.

What Happens After Long-Term Rehab?

The treatment that patients receive in long-term rehab programs is just the beginning to living a clean and sober lifestyle. In order to maintain their sobriety, people should participate in a support group that helps them cope with daily challenges without turning to drugs or alcohol. In addition, people who are working on their sobriety after rehab may need to continue counseling to address their issues, as well as change their environment and find a new social group that does not rely on substances to have fun.

FAQs About Long-Term Treatment Centers

  • How long does long-term rehabilitation treatment last?

    Long-term treatment lasts for 90 days to a year.

    What motivates patients to stay in treatment that long?

    There are several motivators for staying in long-term rehab. In some cases, the court system mandates patients to get long-term treatment or they are pressured by their employers. Other times, people feel motivated to stay in long-term rehab to improve their health, relationships, and career.

    Who should enter long-term treatment?

    While anyone with an addiction problem can benefit from long-term rehab, this method of treatment is especially helpful for people who have health problems that may interfere with detox, suffer from co-existing mental health disorders, have experienced chronic relapses in the past, and live in an environment that makes sobriety difficult.

    Is long-term rehab enough to cure addiction?

    No. After patients complete their treatment, they should participate in aftercare programs, such as twelve-step groups, in order to successfully maintain their sobriety.

    Do people relapse after participating in long-term addiction treatment?

    While long-term treatment can reduce the possibility of a relapse, sometimes it does happen.

Q&A with a Long-Term Rehab Expert

About Michael Castanon

Michael Castanon is the Founder and CEO of Luminance. He is dedicated to helping people who suffer from addiction and mental health disorders by creating a treatment center with a mission of transforming lives and continually pursuing better solutions.

Michael believes that a company filled with people that possess a strong passion and purpose can change the world for better. Luminance is a purpose first organization and this is reflected in all we do and is felt by all we touch.

He has been a successful executive and business leader for over 20 years. His primary passion is to help others elevate and grow.

  • Q. How long does long-term rehab last? Does the time differ depending on the substance patients are addicted to?

    Most inpatient rehab facilities offer different length programs to fit the individual needs of their patients. These programs range from 30 to 90 to a year long depending on the individual. Ninety-day rehab stays are the gold standard for recovery. While 30 days can go by quickly, 90-day programs allow the patient to settle in and explore their newfound sobriety. If patients are considering choosing a 30-day program over a 90-day stay, it is important to factor in how long they have been addicted and the severity of their addiction. For people who have struggled with their addiction for many years, a 30-day program might not be long enough.

    Preparation, motivation, and understanding take time, they are not instantaneous results gained from a few meetings and therapy sessions. A 90-day program will focus heavily on each of these, as well as give patients the time they need away from the temptations. The benefits of staying in a rehab longer are achieving a greater understanding of one’s own addiction and the outside pressures that can lead them back to it. The purpose of rehab is to set you on a hopefully irreversible path to recovery and sobriety. Recovery can take varying lengths of time for different people; there is no set time it takes in order for someone to recover.

    Q. What is involved in long-term addiction treatment?

    While no two recoveries will be exactly the same and great rehab facilities will tailor their treatment plans to each individual patient, there is a common treatment practice that many rehab centers follow.

    Detox

    Before the rehabilitation process can begin, the individual who is
    struggling with addiction needs to go through the detoxification process.The main goal of the detox process is to expedite the removal of toxins from the body. Through this process, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to acute. It is recommended to undergo detox at an inpatient treatment facility, as it will give patients immediate access to doctors and nurses who can provide medical attention and care 24 hours a day. Not only that, but it also presents a safe and controlled environment.

    Rehabilitation

    After a patient has undergone the detox process, it is then time for rehabilitation. During this period, there are numerous therapeutic options available. Common practices include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, individual counseling, and experiential therapy. A patient’s state of mind is one of the most important aspects of recovery. Through counseling and therapy, patients discover the triggers and underlying causes of their addiction. Understanding why they became an addict in the first place can help them prevent relapses in the future.

    Aftercare

    Recovery doesn’t stop once a patient leaves the treatment facility. Many rehabs will work with their patient to build a personalized holistic aftercare treatment plan to help them maintain and improve upon their skill set in order to facilitate a smoother recovery. Aftercare programs aim to avoid relapse altogether by reinforcing and adapting patients’ coping strategies to the unique challenges that each patient encounters in his or her daily life.

    Q. How does the treatment offered in long-term rehabs differ from the treatment in short-term programs?

    Short-term treatment programs are usually 30 days long and most of the time will be taken up by the detox process. Depending on the patient and the addiction, detox can last up to and over two weeks. If a patient is only in a 30-day program, that means there are only two weeks left for post-withdrawal therapy. For most, this is not enough time to build the skills they need to successfully stay sober once they return home. Rehab isn’t just about getting through withdrawals, but about preparing patients for a lifetime of sobriety.

    Ninety-day programs, on the other hand, will enable patients to not only undergo the detox process, but also to tackle the underlying mental issues of their addiction. Overcoming an addiction is difficult and going home after rehab before patients are ready can end in relapse. The longer stays are perfect for setting patients on the right path and giving them the tools to succeed once they leave rehab.

    Q. What activities do patients in long-term treatment participate in?

    The goal of rehab is to overcome addiction and set patients up for success once they leave. Many treatment centers give patients time to relax and refresh, which helps them stay on track with their recovery. Focusing exclusively on recovery without taking the time to relax with activities can cause people to feel very overwhelmed. Activities can help patients recovering from addiction to discover pastimes that they enjoy.

    Depending on where the drug treatment center is, there will be different activities available. For instance, if the rehab is by the beach they may offer beach walks, kayaking, swimming, or snorkeling. Other centers offer sports including basketball and ping-pong to give patients an outlet for stress. Participating in sports can also help improve focus and coordination, which can help during the recovery process.

    Other treatment centers use animals to help patients relax and de-stress. Utilizing equine therapy during recovery is becoming very popular as this type of therapy gives recovering addicts a new focus.

    Additional activities that are common for patients to do include reading, puzzles, games, and yoga. Rediscovering old hobbies or even finding new ones can show the patient’s how to enjoy themselves without help from drugs or alcohol.

    Q. What can a patient’s family and friends do to support their loved ones in treatment?

    If someone you love has made the decision to get the help they need to overcome their addiction, it is important that family and friends take the proper steps to support that person in their journey. One way to support your loved one is to be encouraging. There will be times that they are going to have cravings and be tempted to pick up their addiction again. Instead of judging your loved one for having these feelings, encourage them to continue on their path towards sobriety. Let them know that they are strong and can push past those cravings.

    Make sure everyone in your family and friend group is on the same page, so that they are available to lend a hand during your loved one’s journey. There will be many times that your loved one may feel down and feel as though they can’t push on. Your job is to give them motivation and reassure them that they can get through it. Always assure them that you are there for them through the entire process. This can help increase their positive mindset and set them on the right path moving forward. Supporting a loved one through rehab and recovery is not always easy, but always remember that you may be the only motivation that person has to get clean.

  • Q. How long does long-term rehab last? Does the time differ depending on the substance patients are addicted to?

    Most inpatient rehab facilities offer different length programs to fit the individual needs of their patients. These programs range from 30 to 90 to a year long depending on the individual. Ninety-day rehab stays are the gold standard for recovery. While 30 days can go by quickly, 90-day programs allow the patient to settle in and explore their newfound sobriety. If patients are considering choosing a 30-day program over a 90-day[...]

    stay, it is important to factor in how long they have been addicted and the severity of their addiction. For people who have struggled with their addiction for many years, a 30-day program might not be long enough.

    Preparation, motivation, and understanding take time, they are not instantaneous results gained from a few meetings and therapy sessions. A 90-day program will focus heavily on each of these, as well as give patients the time they need away from the temptations. The benefits of staying in a rehab longer are achieving a greater understanding of one’s own addiction and the outside pressures that can lead them back to it. The purpose of rehab is to set you on a hopefully irreversible path to recovery and sobriety. Recovery can take varying lengths of time for different people; there is no set time it takes in order for someone to recover.

    Find More
    Q. What is involved in long-term addiction treatment?

    While no two recoveries will be exactly the same and great rehab facilities will tailor their treatment plans to each individual patient, there is a common treatment practice that many rehab centers follow.

    Detox

    Before the rehabilitation process can begin, the individual who is
    struggling [...]

    with addiction needs to go through the detoxification process.The main goal of the detox process is to expedite the removal of toxins from the body. Through this process, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to acute. It is recommended to undergo detox at an inpatient treatment facility, as it will give patients immediate access to doctors and nurses who can provide medical attention and care 24 hours a day. Not only that, but it also presents a safe and controlled environment.

    Rehabilitation

    After a patient has undergone the detox process, it is then time for rehabilitation. During this period, there are numerous therapeutic options available. Common practices include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, individual counseling, and experiential therapy. A patient’s state of mind is one of the most important aspects of recovery. Through counseling and therapy, patients discover the triggers and underlying causes of their addiction. Understanding why they became an addict in the first place can help them prevent relapses in the future.

    Aftercare

    Recovery doesn’t stop once a patient leaves the treatment facility. Many rehabs will work with their patient to build a personalized holistic aftercare treatment plan to help them maintain and improve upon their skill set in order to facilitate a smoother recovery. Aftercare programs aim to avoid relapse altogether by reinforcing and adapting patients’ coping strategies to the unique challenges that each patient encounters in his or her daily life.

    Find More
    Q. How does the treatment offered in long-term rehabs differ from the treatment in short-term programs?

    Short-term treatment programs are usually 30 days long and most of the time will be taken up by the detox process. Depending on the patient and the addiction, detox can last up to and over two weeks. If a patient is only in a 30-day program, that means there are only two weeks left for post-withdrawal therapy. For most, this is not enough time to build the skills they need to successfully stay sober once they return home. Rehab [...]

    isn’t just about getting through withdrawals, but about preparing patients for a lifetime of sobriety.

    Ninety-day programs, on the other hand, will enable patients to not only undergo the detox process, but also to tackle the underlying mental issues of their addiction. Overcoming an addiction is difficult and going home after rehab before patients are ready can end in relapse. The longer stays are perfect for setting patients on the right path and giving them the tools to succeed once they leave rehab.

    Find More
    Q. What activities do patients in long-term treatment participate in?

    The goal of rehab is to overcome addiction and set patients up for success once they leave. Many treatment centers give patients time to relax and refresh, which helps them [...]

    stay on track with their recovery. Focusing exclusively on recovery without taking the time to relax with activities can cause people to feel very overwhelmed. Activities can help patients recovering from addiction to discover pastimes that they enjoy.

    Depending on where the drug treatment center is, there will be different activities available. For instance, if the rehab is by the beach they may offer beach walks, kayaking, swimming, or snorkeling. Other centers offer sports including basketball and ping-pong to give patients an outlet for stress. Participating in sports can also help improve focus and coordination, which can help during the recovery process.

    Other treatment centers use animals to help patients relax and de-stress. Utilizing equine therapy during recovery is becoming very popular as this type of therapy gives recovering addicts a new focus.

    Additional activities that are common for patients to do include reading, puzzles, games, and yoga. Rediscovering old hobbies or even finding new ones can show the patient’s how to enjoy themselves without help from drugs or alcohol.

    Find More
    Q. What can a patient’s family and friends do to support their loved ones in treatment?

    If someone you love has made the decision to get the help they need to overcome their addiction, it is important that family and friends take the proper steps to support that person in their journey. One way to support your [...]

    loved one is to be encouraging. There will be times that they are going to have cravings and be tempted to pick up their addiction again. Instead of judging your loved one for having these feelings, encourage them to continue on their path towards sobriety. Let them know that they are strong and can push past those cravings.

    Make sure everyone in your family and friend group is on the same page, so that they are available to lend a hand during your loved one’s journey. There will be many times that your loved one may feel down and feel as though they can’t push on. Your job is to give them motivation and reassure them that they can get through it. Always assure them that you are there for them through the entire process. This can help increase their positive mindset and set them on the right path moving forward. Supporting a loved one through rehab and recovery is not always easy, but always remember that you may be the only motivation that person has to get clean.

    Find More