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Long-Term Rehab Programs

Do I Need Long-term Addiction Treatment?

rehabs-shutter-long-term-rehab-therapyDrug or alcohol addiction is a disease that significantly affects a person’s physical and mental health. A single addiction treatment approach is not appropriate for everyone because substance abuse affects each person differently. At times it is necessary to seek proper care from an addiction rehab center that offers a long-term treatment program to bolster the chances of long-term sobriety.

Addiction is a chronic condition that cannot be overcome by simply discontinuing the use of drugs or alcohol. It is a condition that benefits from focused, evidence-based professional care and treatment. Long-term rehab programs that take 120 to 180 days or longer can help treat chronic alcohol or drug addiction by providing intensive and structured treatments and by helping the addicted person to sustain abstinence and reclaim his or her normal life at the completion of the rehabilitation stay.

"According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 8.6% of the U.S. population, or approximately 22.7 million Americans, needed drug or alcohol addiction treatment in 2013 alone. In the same year, only 2.5 million, or 0.9% of those people received treatment at a rehabilitation (rehab) or mental health facility. The remaining 20.2 million people did not receive the necessary treatment for their addiction."

The Benefits Of Long-term Residential Rehabilitation

Anyone who has experienced substance abuse, or seen a loved one suffer from it knows all too well that a short stint in a 30-day rehab program often is not enough. The path to a successful recovery from substance abuse can be a rocky one that requires time, perseverance and support.

According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, a rehabilitation period of 90 days or longer is typically needed to allow enough time for a patient to fully recover. While many patients may resist going into a long-term addiction treatment center, the longer the stay at a rehab center, the higher the chances of successful recovery.

Substance abuse is a complicated issue that involves a number of factors including emotional issues and triggers, social situations, personal relationships and daily habits. The main benefit of long-term rehab centers is the gift of time. Some 30-day drug rehab programs, your first several days or weeks may be used up in the detoxification stage leaving little time to break old harmful habits and form new ones.

A 2009 study performed by researchers at University College London, UK, showed that it takes most people an average of 66 days to form a new habit and stick with it. However, individual times varied anywhere from 18 days to a one-year drug rehab program. If you are someone who has wrestled with drug or alcohol problems for years, you’ll likely need more time to shed old, detrimental habits and form new, productive ones.

When you enter a long-term inpatient alcohol rehab center, you gain a support network of trained therapists, counselors and medical doctors, as well as the support from other patients. Together, the people at your facility create a healthy, positive environment to heal and grow as an individual. Being away from home can help create distance from old, emotional triggers that contributed to your substance abuse, as well as from the people that may have encouraged your past behavior.

Long term centers provide you with the time to examine your life, mend broken relationships, and re-integrate successfully into society by offering employment assistance to help you find meaningful work.

Who Should Attend a Long-Term Rehab Center?

The length of treatment varies greatly depending on your individual needs. It can take anywhere from 90 days up to two years, however most treatments last between 6 to 12 months. Not everyone is suited for a stay at a long term inpatient drug rehab center. If the following points describe your situation, a long-term rehabilitation center may help you get your life back on track:

  • You have severe substance addictions.
  • You are one of the 5 types of alcoholics
  • You have suffered from substance or alcohol problems for many years.
  • You have already attended one or more detox and/or short-term rehab sessions with little success.
  • You have experienced many relapses following treatment.

What Happens During Long-Term Treatment?

Long term rehab centers are all unique so it’s best to do your research and find a treatment center that you find comfortable. At Beachway, we believe in a holistic treatment approach and follow the South Florida Model. We abstain from any narcotics or other drugs during detox unless absolutely necessary.

Addiction is a disease. Every patient is presented with an individualized treatment plan. We aim to address the deep-seated emotional and mental health issues that often accompany this disease. This is done through a variety of methods including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Recovery groups
  • Addiction treatment education
  • Relapse prevention
  • 12-step meetings

Phases Of Long-term Rehab Treatment

Long-term rehabilitation treatment programs are usually composed of various phases that gradually move an individual through resolving the many causes and effects of substance abuse. Some of the common phases of long-term rehabilitation treatment include:


In most rehabilitation facilities, detoxification is a process whereby the individual stops using all drugs and alcohol. Some detoxification programs offer substitute medications, massage therapy, meditation, yoga and other techniques to help minimize the discomfort of drug withdrawals. Other programs have specially-designed detoxification processes that work to not only get the individual off drug use but also eliminate residual drugs from their system.


Even if an individual has successfully withdrawn from drug use and even eliminated residual drug toxins from their body, they must address and resolve the reason or problem behind their initial drug use or run the risk of relapse. Counseling, either individual or group, can help the individual spot these reasons and address and resolve them. Some programs also include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in order to modify the individual’s attitude toward drugs, family therapy, motivational incentives to reward the individual for remaining drug-free, and more. The intention of any drug-rehabilitation counseling is, of course, to empower the individual to take control of their own lives and prevent a future return to drug use.

Life skills

Some individuals may feel ill-prepared to return to society if substance abuse has prevented them from completing their education or if substance abuse was an answer to a life problem that remains unsolved. Providing courses invaluable life skills can raise the individual’s confidence levels, and better prepare them for a successful reintegration into society after completion of their treatment program.

Aftercare support

Despite the intensity and thoroughness of a long-term residential rehabilitation treatment program, there is still the chance that a rehabilitated individual will encounter unexpected difficulties when they return to their normal life. Aftercare support can aid the individual in spotting and resolving these difficulties, so they do not lead to relapse.

Treatment Approach of Residential Rehab

The treatment inside a residential treatment center begins with the detox process, during which the addicted person stops drinking alcohol or abusing drugs. Depending on the substance that was abused, an individual may receive supportive care and supervision, undergo medication-assisted detox, drug replacement therapy, or gradual drug reduction therapy.

These treatments are utilized to manage any potentially serious acute withdrawal symptoms while an individual’s system adjusts to functioning without the support of the drug it has grown dependent on. The process may take several hours or even days, depending on the substance being used as well as the severity and length of the addiction. Preexisting physical and mental health conditions can also affect the duration of the detox process.

Detox is only the first stage of treatment. Without additional substance abuse treatment efforts, successful completion of detox rarely guarantees lasting recovery. Chronic alcoholics or drug abusers are well advised to continue with some form of ongoing therapy as part of the rehab process that resumes when detox is completed. During this stage, the patient undergoes a variety of long-term therapeutic techniques, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Multidimensional family therapy.
  • Contingency management.
  • Motivational interviewing.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Patients learn how to utilize CBT techniques to modify their attitude toward drug use. CBT works by helping patients identify situations that put them at high risk for relapse and help them to develop and utilize relapse prevention strategies. Behavioral therapies can also be used in conjunction with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) techniques — increasing the effectiveness of the medications alone and further encourage patients to remain in treatment and avoid relapse at the completion of treatment.

Cognitive behavioral therapies are performed by a resident or on-call psychologists or counselors.

Multidimensional Family Therapy

Multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is a home-based, multi-systemic program developed for adolescents with alcohol or drug addiction problems. This program encompasses the treatment of the four areas of influence, including the substance using adolescent, family members, friends, and the overall community.

MDFT involves therapy sessions for both the individual and the family and is designed to help young people remain sober by working on reducing harmful behaviors while encouraging positive, healthy behaviors. Each member of the addicted adolescent's family is also encouraged to participate in a 12-step program as well as group therapy.

Contingency Management

Contingency management is utilized to encourage positive behaviors, such as maintaining sobriety or participating in assigned tasks. This can involve providing tangible incentives as a reward for drug-free urine samples, such as getting movie passes, food items, vouchers, or personal items. Contingency management has been shown to be highly effective at keeping individuals in treatment and encouraging sobriety.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is another technique that is used to increase an individual’s motivation to change, as well as encourage the patient to continue treatment and abstain from drug or alcohol use. Motivational interviewing is a non-confrontational and nonjudgmental approach that helps individuals learn about what is causing ambivalence to change, and helps them to resolve this. These techniques can increase the patient's awareness of the adverse side effects of addiction and what can be gained by changing behavior toward these substances.

Activities to Promote Recovery

There are many alternative ways to help you reach the path to recovery. Here are a few of the holistic treatments available:

  • Art Therapy: Create art guided by a trained therapist to gain self-awareness, heal from trauma and increase personal development.
  • Equine Therapy: The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) and The Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) work with our patients to heal through therapeutic riding. Working with animals can help with trust, communication, and leadership skills.
  • Music Therapy: Music is known to help people relax, and reduce pain and anxiety levels. This is done through a variety of techniques such as music listening, song writing, lyric analysis, performances and musical improvisation.
  • Pyschodrama: A dramatic production or play is created spontaneously to provide a platform for expression, self-awareness, and group healing.
  • Faith-Based Treatment: A Christian treatment program is available to those who want to recover within a spiritual group and faith-based therapy sessions.
  • Spa Services: Detoxification can be a painful or uncomfortable process which is why Beachway offers services such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic sessions, and yoga.

Addiction Recovery Facilities for 120- or 180-Day Rehab

Group rehab meeting at parkResidential treatment centers focus on long-term rehab programs and recovery processes to help the patient regain sobriety in the most natural and effective way. The ultimate goal of an extended-stay addiction treatment facility is to reinstate recovering alcoholics or drug addicts in their everyday environments and help them to become productive citizens. It also helps addicted individuals regain self-respect, confidence, and a sense of responsibility.

To deliver these goals, residential treatment centers develop long-term rehab programs that emulate a real community. Once the detox and rehab processes are completed, the recovering residents are allowed more freedom inside the rehab center. Many residential treatment centers for adolescents also offer community high schools and colleges.

Older clients may obtain jobs inside the facility to help in their continuing recovery. Most patients are involved with work of some kind, such as completing chores or regular tasks. These programs are developed to aid in restoring patients to their families and communities after they complete the rehab process.

Outdoor activities, such as nature outings, out-of-town trips, and outreach programs, are also a part of long-term rehab programs. Recovering patients can also participate in sports, skills training, and various activities inside the rehab center. Exclusive long-term rehab centers provide luxury services, which may include:

  • Meditation sessions.
  • Massage and tai chi sessions.
  • Spa treatments.
  • Nutritional consultation and special meal preparation.
  • Private rooms.

Private rehabs may also offer:

  • Gender-specific addiction treatments.
  • Anger management.
  • Psychodrama activities.
  • Hypnotherapy.
  • Trauma workshops.
  • Art and music therapy groups.
  • Animal assisted therapy.

Some residential addiction treatment centers offer long-term rehab programs that promote personal healing in beachside facilities or other scenic areas. Patients are introduced to various support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Cocaine Anonymous, during the rehab and recovery process. Recovering patients can also attend one-on-one counseling, group therapy, individual psychological counseling, and dialectical behavioral therapy even after completing the long-term rehab program.

Finding the Right Long-Term Rehab

There are so many long-term rehab options available that it can be difficult to choose one that meets your needs. These facilities can specialize in various areas, catering to individuals who belong to a specific age or gender groups, such as those geared toward teens, pregnant women, or mothers with children. Substance use treatment can be highly effective, and longer periods in treatment often predict future success with maintaining long-term sobriety.

Finding the right long-term rehab doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many resources available to help you fight addiction and start a life of recovery. A rehab admissions consultant can connect you with the right long-term rehab for you or your loved one.

What Do I Need to Organize Before Calling?

It's vital that you have your or your loved one's insurance card in front of you when you call a treatment center or helpline. An admissions consultant will then be able to verify your benefits. It will also be useful for you to disclose what drugs have been abused, in what dose, for how long, and in what way (injecting vs. snorting). Include any previous withdrawal or treatment experiences and what they were like. If you or someone you love has experienced complicated withdrawal, an inpatient detox program could be an appropriate option. Further, if there are any medical or mental health disorders present in the one seeking treatment, provide that information to the admissions consultant. These details can be used to guide your rehab search.

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