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Our guide to long-term drug rehab

Long-term drug rehab comes in many forms, from a twelve-step based programme including detox and subsequent psychological support to signing up to being part of a recovery community. These long-term drug rehab arrangements can last anything from a few months to a year and a half or more. Here is Port of Call’s complete guide to long-term drug rehab.

For many people, it can be frustrating when they hear that there is no guaranteed time in rehab that will work for every person. However, recovery experts and research statistics do point out the fact that long-term drug rehab programmes that are usually maintained for over 90 days or more have proved to be more successful in helping a person to achieve recovery from their drug addiction.

Long Term Drug Rehab

What is long-term drug rehab?

An addiction to drugs is generally not something you can easily overcome. Many people who enrol in long-term drug rehab may have tried countless other shorter-term approaches in the past but still not achieved the results they were looking for. This can be due to many factors including timing, other situations happening in their lives, or just not being able to face up to and overcome their addiction completely.

Some people feel more comfortable taking part in longer programmes. Adopting a long-term approach helps them to adjust their way of thinking and the time they may need to achieve recovery. They begin to understand that their recovery period cannot be measured in days and that they have to start thinking in months or even years.

Perhaps the best thing about long-term drug rehab is that you have more time to adjust to a life without drugs. Even though this might seem straightforward, readjusting to a life that is drug free and filled with honest relationships is a new experience for many. Living a life without drugs is something you may not have experienced in a long time.

This is why it is so important to manage your exit from long-term drug rehab carefully. So you don’t find yourself going through some kind of culture shock when you reintegrate back into society. You may need to adjust every facet of your daily life and learn new ways of living. Most importantly, long-term rehab needs to tackle any underlying problems to ensure there will never be a need in the future to use drugs or alcohol as a crutch.

How long is long-term drug rehab?

Long-term drug rehab is usually classed as taking part in a drug programme or being in a therapeutic community for 90 days or longer. Programmes like this exist to treat a variety of chemical dependencies. Some of the most common addictions treated in long-term recovery centres are related to substance abuse of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, alcohol, meth and some prescription drugs. A longer time in recovery equates to more time to understand and resolve underlying issues that are causing the addiction.

When a person first arrives at a recovery programme, they often have to undergo detoxification first. After the detox is complete, they will have to adjust to being in a full-time facility before the actual treatment can start. Considering that these two initial periods may last upwards of two weeks, it means that the first part of the process is already taken up with getting adjusted. With only 14 or so days left in rehab, this doesn’t really allow enough time to provide the space for lasting change.

Long-term inpatient treatment centres can break the cycle of dependence by providing a safe space to remain sober for extended periods without distraction. This allows the chance to focus on recovery, a step that is already difficult in its own right.

Long-term drug rehab focuses on identifying destructive habits to help a person identify and eliminate these patterns in the future. This goes beyond ‘sobering the patient up’. it means taking time to understand any internal issues in order to find ways to deal with them, without the possibility of a relapse.

The abuse of drugs or alcohol takes a tremendous physical toll on the body. Long-term rehab options provide a longer period of time for physical rest and care. Often people begin to notice they are sleeping and eating better than they ever have before, experiencing an overall sense of physical wellbeing. Both their physical and emotional health begins to improve over time, which should reduce the overall need or urge to use drugs or other substances again in the future.

How to access long-term drug rehab

Finding a long-term rehab programme that suits you can be quite a consideration. Here are some questions you should ask when considering a stay at a long-term rehab facility:

  • Are the staff members trained and certified to treat chemical dependency?
  • Does the facility offer both clinical and medical staff and treatment options?
  • Are there appropriate group and individual therapy options to meet your needs?
  • Does the facility offer education regarding life skills, coping mechanisms, nutrition and other factors that will make it easier to remain drug free?
  • Can your family or a loved one be involved in your treatment?
  • If necessary, does the facility offer dual diagnosis treatment options for those struggling with multiple addictions or with chemical dependency and mental illness?

Whatever your drug issue might be, if you or a loved one is trying find help to beat their addiction, Port of Call are here to help. With access to a wide and varied network of drug rehab centres, all across the U.K, including short and long-term treatment programmes, our expert team are waiting to speak to you. So don’t delay – take that first step towards recovery by speaking to one of our advisers for free on 08000029010, text ‘PORT’ to 82228 for a callback or email us at help@portofcall.com.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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