After detox1, all the toxic substances are out of your system, hopefully for good. Many people mistakenly believe that detox is the end of the story, that they’ll be able to resume a normal, everyday life just because they’re now clean and sober. Despite sound reasons from medical professionals why residential treatment is recommended after detox, they may reject the advice or think it’s not for them. Unfortunately, such misguided thinking often lands the newly sober individual right back in the same situation as before: succumbing to cravings and urges and being unable to resist the temptation to drink and do drugs.
Just because detox was completed, it doesn’t mean the now-sober individual is equipped to deal with life’s daily stressors, not to mention the too-recent dependence on alcohol or drugs. They haven’t learned about the disease of addiction or acquired any coping skills to be able to withstand cravings and urges.
The truth is that detox is often not enough to stay sober or remain clean in the long-run. In fact, without the kind of comprehensive, integrated treatment available in a residential drug rehab center or alcohol treatment center, relapse may be just one slip away.
What’s Best After Detox?
Once drug or alcohol detox is completed, the real recovery journey begins. There’s a learning curve involved, where you not only learn about the disease of addiction, but also become better equipped with effective coping strategies for dealing with cravings and urges which are likely to continue for some time.
Depending on the length, severity and type of substance, this process can take much longer than the typical 30-day stay in short-term treatment. Long-term treatment of 90 days of more is preferred for optimum recovery. Long-term rehab centers that provide such comprehensive care are not as prolific as other residential rehab facilities, but they are unique in the treatment and recovery field.
Following successful detox, the body and mind are still reeling from the effects of the drugs or alcohol. In some cases, physical characteristics remain, while others are more psychological and emotional in nature. Depression2 is common during early recovery, and can be intermittent or somewhat persistent during the first year of recovery. Sometimes, patients experience strong and troubling emotions that won’t go away, but are afraid to mention it. By immediately bringing it up with the therapist, however, something can be done during long-term drug rehab to help get past this transition period. If the issue is more deep-seated, therapy can help in addressing it. Working together, patient and therapist can come up with ways to manage such difficulties.
Residential treatment that’s long-term is best to combat the pendulum of emotions that go with the recovery process. It’s never a straight-line from suffering with addiction to being in recovery from addiction. There are many distinct aspects of living in sobriety to learn and practice. That’s why the incorporation of a variety of treatment services3 is so important in long-term rehab centers. These include services to help meet specific needs: vocational, social, medical, legal, and psychological.
How Long-Term Residential Treatment Works
What can you expect with long-term residential treatment? How, specifically, can it assist you in better learning how to live in sobriety without the constant fear that you’ll relapse? A point of fact is that in long-term rehab centers with continuing care4 you have the best opportunity to learn and practice coping skills and devise effective strategies for dealing with life’s complex issues. Indeed, rather than succumbing to temptation out of loneliness, depression, a feeling of worthlessness or helplessness, with targeted, evidence-based treatment modalities you are better prepared to overcome these holdovers of addiction, to be confident that you’ll have a well-thought-out plan to deal with any eventualities or situations.
When sobriety is the goal, the effort expended is worth the time it takes. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)5 is important to help modify behaviors and attitudes associated with drug use, increase healthy living skills, and continue in conjunction with any necessary medications and other forms of treatment deemed appropriate.
Since you’re dealing with the rest of your life, isn’t giving yourself the best chance at recovery the best choice? For many who seek to live a life without drugs, residential treatment after detox offers the greatest likelihood of success.