Home Health The Importance of Length of Stay on Addiction Treatment Outcomes

The Importance of Length of Stay on Addiction Treatment Outcomes

by Nina Smith

Let’s first understand what effective addiction treatment is…When an individual finds themselves dependent on a specific substance, they can go for addiction treatment to once again become more productive, functional, and aware in their relationships, job, or community.

When you choose addiction recovery, you will be exposed to different settings, strategies, and rehab lengths. The three most popular rehab settings that most people go to include:

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation: Inpatient treatment program is a setting where addicts or patients live in a residential facility under the supervision of medical practitioners, therapists, and counsellors. They offer round-the-clock support to the patients using medical intervention and addiction counselling therapies to help them overcome their addiction.
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation: In outpatient treatment programs, patients receive professional therapeutic and medical support from therapists and counsellors without having to live at the facility 24/7. They meet the counsellors daily but in the context of their everyday lives.
  • Social Programs: Often used as a substitute for inpatient and outpatient rehab, social programs provide group therapies or consultations, such as the twelve-step program by Alcoholics Anonymous.

While neither every addiction is the same nor their treatment plan, they follow the same three steps for longer lengths of stay. If you are aware of addiction in any way, you must know that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Therefore, longer rehab treatment is essential. The three main stages of the longer treatment plan at UKAT and other rehab centres include detox, treatment and aftercare.

Addiction Detox

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Detox is usually the first step of any effective addiction treatment process. The purpose of performing detox on patients is to remove all the toxins from the body. However, the process can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction, and this is one of the biggest hurdles in more prolonged rehab treatment. In addition, the detox process is painful because most patients experience severe withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritation
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Vomiting

Self-detox can be dangerous. When you get rid of your addiction, ensure that you take medical help before doing that. Also, while detox gives a jumpstart to your addiction recovery, you need to stay longer at rehab to reap the actual benefits.

Addiction Treatment & Its Average Length

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Determining how long you will stay at the rehab doesn’t just stop at detox. Depending on the individual needs, the effective addiction treatment process is designed or provided to the patients. The general treatment includes a combination of different therapies, addiction counselling, and non-narcotic medication to help the patients organically. Social support groups are also formed to help individuals connect with people struggling with the same problems. While the inpatient rehab’s minimum duration is about 30 days, the outpatient program can last a few months. However, the length of stay in addiction treatment must exceed 90 days to see results. If clients opt for short-term treatment programs, they eventually have to return for longer rehab treatment.

Aftercare Program

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No matter how luxurious or committed a rehabilitation centre can be, it neither removes the biological cravings for alcohol and drugs nor the environmental factors that make the temptation harder. As a result, out of 100 addicts, 40-60% experience a relapse. Hence, the longer you stay in addiction rehab, the more prepared you become to fight it for life. Aftercare programs work precisely on that. It ensures that addicts don’t forget the strategies they learnt during the treatment process and stick to them till the end. The scope of an aftercare program also depends on the severity of addiction and an individual’s addiction recovery rate. While some only need aftercare for a year, others may need it for a lifetime.

Aftercare programs can be provided through social support groups or residential facilities where members pay rent and contribute to the community. In addition, someone who cannot attend the treatment centre can receive aftercare support through the internet and telephone-based systems.

Why Does Longer Length of Stay in Addiction Treatment Matter for Recovery?

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One of the most critical factors in the success of effective addiction treatment is the duration of stay. While no medical studies can determine how much time one needs to recover completely, longer lengths of stay definitely root for fewer relapse risks and living a free life. Because addiction is a life-long chronic disease, most people struggle with relapsing multiple times. Hence, short-term attempts at treatment don’t show positive outcomes. One study also shows that about 70% of women who went through rehab for a year remained sober even after six months of completion. On the other hand, those who attended rehab only for six months or less experienced relapse.

The three top most reasons why a longer length of rehab treatment is beneficial are as follows:

  • Extra Support: People with addiction need significant time to learn coping mechanisms and practice them. Longer stay at rehab facility ensures that.
  • Distance from Environmental Factors: Staying away from a drug-using community, stressful work environment, and psychological triggers for substance abuse can help people recover better.
  • Focus on Root Causes: Staying longer in the rehabilitation centre gives more time for the participants to identify the underlying causes and long-term effects of addiction. Understanding these root causes will help people in the long run.

Moving Forward…

Most individuals who go through effective addiction treatment also experience relapse. However, relapse should not be considered a personal or moral failure. Instead, if you experience relapse, it is standard in the addiction recovery process. Because addiction may run for a lifetime for some people, the struggles also last till then. Therefore, longer rehab treatment is often the best choice to achieve better outcomes for your addiction.

Also, addiction is not something that you can battle alone; you need a team of professionals who provide medical assistance and addiction counselling sessions and a social support network to fight your addiction problems. To know more about your length of stay in addiction treatment, do not hesitate to contact the rehab centres in the UK near you.