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While deciding to send your loved one to a rehab program for any drug-related issue, you might be faced with multiple options. An important one is deciding for how long the person will stay in the rehab. 

There are all kinds of programs such as short-term, long-term, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and residential programs. In this post, we discuss the benefits of short-term and long-term addiction treatment, the main differences between them, and how to choose the right one.

Short-Term Rehab

Don’t think that a short-term rehab program is any less intensive than a long one. It’s supposed to be best for people who need a quick head start before kicking the addiction. These programs will offer a safe environment in which a person goes through medical detox to get off of alcohol and drugs. There are medical experts who manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Below are some of the benefits of one such program – 

  • Less time-consuming, quick, and effective
  • Allows living a drug-free lifestyle in a comparatively shorter timespan
  • Medical supervision available
  • Can be parlayed into a longer form of rehab should the need arise

The only downside to a short-term rehab program is that it lacks the time wherein deep healing of emotional, behavioral, and psychological issues can happen which are triggering the addiction in the first place. As a result, the likelihood of relapse might be high.

Long-Term Rehab

Any program that lasts longer than 90-days falls under the category of a long-term addiction program. These programs will use a combination of therapy, counseling, and medical detox to get to the root of addiction. It also addresses emotional, mental, psychological, and behavioral issues that might be causing the addiction.

Benefits include:

  • Relapse prevention techniques to keep the patient off drugs even after the treatment is over
  • Development of coping skills that help the person from falling into the old patterns
  • Gets to the root of psychological issues to treat the addiction from the core

Longer term addiction treatment often carries high costs and is typically available at more luxury addiction treatment centers located throughout the U.S.

Who is Likely to Benefit from Short-term Addiction Treatment?

Anyone who requires quick and inexpensive care is likely to benefit from using rehab centers with 30 or 60 day programs. It’s also right for people who rely on Medicaid. Since this type of treatment can be completed without disrupting the everyday routine, it’s good for anyone who has a tight schedule.

Most people who enroll in one such program:

  • Want to miss little work
  • Want to assist with elder and child care duties
  • Want to continue living at home
  • Don’t want to travel too far off distances to receive medical care

Anyone who struggles to make ends meet and doesn’t have the liberty to put his life on hold just so he/she could handle addiction is a great candidate for a short-term recovery program.

The program allows them to stay active so their life and routine don’t get affected or fall apart. A short-term program allows them to keep their job and handle everyday routine tasks while also working on their addiction.

Families from low-income groups are also forced to utilize a short-term program; mostly because their insurance company may not always cover the cost of treatment for extended periods.

It’s clear that people who are short on funds are better candidates for this treatment. However, there are many others as well. For instance, someone who’s able to detect their addiction at an early stage and is ready to make things right will likely opt for a shorter-term program. 

They realize early on the kind of poor choices they are making. And so, to correct their behavior and addiction all they need is a little bit of regrouping to nudge them into the right direction. Someone like that doesn’t need to opt for long-term services as they don’t really need intensive care.

They still remember life before addiction. Therefore, they are able to get back to their normal life with just a little bit of care and correction.

Who Needs Long-Term Addiction Care?

People who need a long-term addiction program are often those with a long history of addiction. Usually, these people start doing drugs at a young age and have now reached a point where leading a drug-free life seems like an impossibility. People who have such intense addiction that they simply cannot overcome on their own or have high chances of relapsing are also ideal candidates for long-term care. 

They need a lot of care, therapy, lessons, and intense detoxification in a specialized/medical setting cut-off from the world. This kind of treatment is also necessary for people with mental health issues other than addiction. 

Making the Right Choice Between Short vs. Long-Term Addiction Treatment

Both the treatment plans come with their own benefits and limitations. If you look at the relapse rates, then people from both groups can fall back into their old patterns.

So, the true success of therapy depends on a lot of factors such as:

  • The willingness to receive treatment
  • Involvement of family
  • History of addiction
  • Personal devotion

In the end, you have to consider a lot of factors such as family history, presence of co-occurring mental disorders, how old the addiction is, the level of care you receive, availability of funds to receive long/short-term addiction treatment, and so on.

If you have difficulty deciding between the two, you can always talk with a therapist. When all else fails, it’s better to go with your gut.