If you or a loved one is looking at options for addiction treatment, you probably have a lot of questions. If you have a family or a job, you may wonder how long- or short-term treatment might affect these critical parts of your life.
However, the question “how long is drug rehab?” prompts different answers from different professionals, and may also depend on each patient’s individual situation.
28 Days Is Only a Standard
Many rehabilitation programs center on the 12 steps on Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These focus on 28 days as an appropriate amount of time to go through the steps, detox, and learn some basic coping skills.
From a financial standpoint, many insurance programs only cover 28 days of rehab. That may be about the reason why that number is generally prescribed.
However, the 12 step approach may not work for everyone. There are many non 12 step rehabs that adopt a different approach and advocate more or less time than the standard 28 days.
Some Need Ongoing Treatment
Not everyone has the insurance, financial means, or flexibility to leave their families and jobs for a month. It could be possible that leaving children, spouses, and employers to fend for themselves for four weeks may cause even more problems.
There are options for people who would like to pursue recovery while maintaining their other obligations. There are outpatient programs and clinics where patients may attend evening or weekend sessions, allowing them to continue with their other responsibilities. Patients may also use certain medications to help them through the detoxification process, and soothe the cravings that can lead to a relapse.
Addiction is a disease of relapse. While getting clean from drugs may take a few days or weeks, learning how to live without them can take a long time.
Recovering addicts may find that one approach that works for them may not work for someone else. Some may require long term in-patient treatment. Others may find that with support groups, medications, and therapy, they can successfully stay on the path to recovery for years.
Sometimes a patient will leave a long or shot term-rehabilitation facility and enter into a sober living situation. This may be a shared housing facility with other recovering addicts, where no mind-altering substances are allowed. Some may have on-site counselors or nurses, while others may simply depend on the dynamics of the group.
How Long Is Drug Rehab? As Long as It Takes
Asking “how long is drug rehab?” fails to take into account the fact that each patient is different. Different people may need different forms of support as they try to get off drugs.
People’s decisions may be determined by their insurance and financial situations, their previous attempts at rehab, and their medical condition.
If you or someone in your family is seeking help, consider the wide variety of factors at play and speak with your doctor before choosing the right path towards help. There is no one right way to get sober.
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