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Aftercare: Why is it Necessary?

People interested in attending drug & alcohol treatment centers are often concerned about the length of their stay. Unfortunately, treatment length varies depending on multiple circumstances making it difficult to determine an average length, but typically, individuals stay in treatment for 30-90 days. Brief treatment involving detox, therapy, and supportive care may be effective for some people, but treating substance use disorders is a complex process that could last years. While getting through rehab as quickly as possible may seem desirable, research shows that longer stays in rehab lead to lower relapse rates. Success is not guaranteed, but some treatment is always better than none. Unfortunately, however, most people with a substance use disorder do not get help. According to the SAMSHA National Survey on Drug Use and Health:

21.7 million people aged 12 or older needed addiction treatment in 2015, yet just 2.3 million went to rehab.

Short-Term & Long-Term Stay in Rehabilitation

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation stays can be broken into two categories: short-term and long-term. The average stay in short-term rehab is about 28 to 30 days. However, long-term rehab averages around 90 days, though longer stays aren’t uncommon in severe cases. Both treatment options include one to two weeks of detoxification followed by an assessment of the personal issues that contribute to your addiction, such as psychological trauma, chemical imbalances, and an overabundance of addiction triggers.

The Advantages of Long-Term Treatment Process

It is said that programs of at least 90 days are the most effective; short-term rehab still has a place in addiction recovery. For example, a 30-day stay is a great way for a person to take a step back and get a good look at their life. Often, these stays are enough to stun someone into committing to recovery.

Why Longer Rehabilitation Preferred?

Despite the advantages of short-term rehab, long-term treatment is often necessary in severe cases. Often, it is the last option for people who have struggled with short-term treatment or multiple relapses. Other benefits of long-term rehabilitation include:

  • Extra time to relearn vital “life skills” you may have neglected
  • 24-hour health care options
  • Detoxification doesn’t completely dominate the treatment
  • It helps give the brain time to recover and heal
  • Provides more time for discussing psychological concerns
  • Rebuilds relationships with estranged family and friends
  • Includes nutritional assistance for rebuilding a healthy diet

The Importance of Aftercare in Recovery

The true test of your recovery begins when you graduate from your program and leave the rehab facility. Saying no to drugs and alcohol is easier when you’re in a place geared toward teaching people to do so. However, continuing to say no after returning to your everyday environment is an entirely new challenge. This is why aftercare is such an important part of recovery treatment programs. Instead of completely leaving the supportive environment of treatment, it provides a step down from higher levels of care. Aftercare effectively transitions you from a more intensive program into your daily life. According to NIH:

Remaining in treatment for an adequate period is critical.  The appropriate duration depends on the type and degree of the patient’s problems and needs. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least three months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use significantly. The best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple treatment episodes. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug abuse can occur and should signal a need for treatment to be reinstated or adjusted. Because individuals often leave treatment prematurely, programs should include strategies to engage and keep patients in treatment.

Start Your Journey in Recovery Today

Evoke Wellness Massachusetts provides men, women, and families with comprehensive, integrated care to set a solid and lasting foundation for lifelong recovery from substance use disorders. This does not just end after you leave our facility, as we offer aftercare services to help you stay sober and avoid a relapse. Our facilities are staffed by experienced and compassionate professionals, including licensed therapists and psychiatrists, addiction specialists, and highly qualified support staff. Our team members are extremely understanding and treat each client with an unmatched level of respect. Evoke Wellness MA is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, which shows our dedication to offering the highest quality of addiction care for each person that steps through our doors.