How Long Term Rehab Can Help Get Your Life Back on Track

Creating a long term rehab plan can help set you up for success in sober life. Here’s what you need to know to help you start out on the right foot.

Did you know that nearly 90% of people who need addiction or drug rehabilitation don’t ever receive it?

Given the fact that over 44,000 people in the U.S. die each year from drug overdoses or drug-related injuries, that’s a terrifying percentage!

Rehabilitation programs are designed to help an individual struggling with an addiction take the necessary steps toward a sober life. While many rehab centers are designed to address drug and substance addiction, it is possible to seek assistance for non-substance addictions.

It can be difficult to make the choice to pursue long term rehab, especially if you feel limited by financial and situational constraints. However, a long-term rehabilitation program can be the key to getting your life truly on track.

In this post, we’ll look at what long term rehab can do for you!

1. Long Term Rehab Enables Safe Detox

Many individuals battling a substance addiction develop a physical dependence on the particular drug. Releasing this dependence can be incredibly painful and, in some cases, very dangerous.

This is because most drugs, including alcohol, suppress the central nervous system. Many release excessive amounts of dopamine, the body’s ‘pleasure’ chemical, into the brain.

As the body gets used to this depressed and dopamine-induced states, it becomes harder to emerge safely. In fact, many addicts experience withdrawal symptoms several hours after they have consumed a substance. These symptoms include cravings for more drugs, physical discomfort, headaches, and more.

Cutting a drug out of one’s life cold turkey can actually damage the central nervous system and lead to fatal withdrawal symptoms.

This is largely why most addicts struggle to release a substance addiction on their own: they physically cannot do so.

Long term programs bear all of this in mind. Most of these programs, particularly ones geared towards substance abuse, begin with a mandatory medical detox.

Some programs will initiate detox programs on-site. Others enable attendees to undergo detox at a local hospital prior to enrollment in the program.

A medical detox enables an addict to safely withdraw from a drug in a supervised environment.

Some detoxes involve medication that can help prevent damage to the nervous system and keep other symptoms at bay.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, individuals may spend up to a week or more in a detox facility. Medical professionals always monitor people undergoing detox to ensure that the transition is as smooth and safe as possible.

From a biological perspective, a medical detox can literally save someone’s life. It can also start chipping away at one’s physiological dependence on a substance, which is a massive component of the healing process.

2. Receive Medical and Psychological Aid

Many long term rehab facilities don’t relinquish this attention to the medical side of things once a patient is enrolled. This is the beauty of long-term care: Patients undergo comprehensive therapy.

Many centers will build an established routine of psychological care into their program. This may involve one-on-one sessions with therapists or psychiatrists in addition to group discussions and workshops.

Others may continue to prescribe medication for certain patients following a medical detox, depending on the level of the addiction.

Centers focused on non-substance addictions, such as behavioral addictions, may also incorporate medical intervention. This is to ensure that your physical and emotional bodies are on the same page.

Prioritizing the physical as well as the emotional body is a key aspect of effective rehabilitation.

For this reason, many rehab facilities also place an emphasis on a healthy diet, exercise, and other body-centric activities.

3. Long Term Rehab Attendees Have Higher Success Rates

One of the greatest benefits of long term rehab is the simple fact that it can be what truly initiates an addiction-free life.

Attendees of long term rehab programs have higher success rates in general in comparison to those who attend short-term rehab programs or none at all.

This is because long term programs enable an addict to fully integrate into the healing process. Addicts who undergo rehabilitation treatment for several months are more likely to powerfully and permanently change behavioral patterns with professional guidance.

Many addicts attend a 12-step program or engage in “Do It Yourself” rehabilitation. Some of these can be helpful. However, long term rehab is more likely to result in success because it is immersive, guided, and designed to provide comprehensive care.

4. Acquire Actionable Skills for ‘Real Life’

The key to sobriety often lies in an individual’s ability to shift patterns of dependence. Addiction can arise from many factors, some in or out of a person’s control.

For example, some research indicates that addictive patterns could be inherited through that person’s genetics. Others suggest that trauma, abuse, or socioeconomic factors can influence addictive patterns.

In general, addiction is most likely to emerge out of a basic desire to feel better. Many substances do provide sensations of pleasure, escape, and physical and emotional relief.

It can be hard to let this go, especially if an addiction stems from difficult life circumstances.

Long-term rehabilitation facilities are designed around all of the potential patterns of addiction.

Most importantly, they focus on providing patients with the skills they need to operate successfully in a non-rehab environment.

These skills are more than in-the-moment coping techniques. They are actionable skills, meaning that they provide a functional foundation for future use.

These skills may involve means of building healthy relationships, strategies for coping with past trauma, or ways to stay sober even when drugs are available.

These skills can truly develop in a long term rehab program. Shorter-term programs may not give patients the time they need to create a behavioral foundation for sobriety.

5. Experience Inpatient and Outpatient Care

A lot of individuals fear leaving a treatment facility, even if they do so with a host of new skills.

For this reason, long term rehab centers often incorporate an outpatient care program.

Outpatient care programs will vary between rehab centers; indeed, some do not offer outpatient services.

However, most outpatient care programs enable a patient to transition easily from the rehab environment into their ‘real life.’ This may involve medical supervision or further therapy work.

The purpose of outpatient care is also to ensure that an individual is truly set up for success.

This is an important component of rehabilitation due to the fact that some addicts to undergo relapses even after rehab treatment, requiring further work.

6. Keep Your Family in the Loop

Because a long term rehab program is so immersive, many facilities like to involve family members in patients’ healing processes. This can be a critical component for enabling a positive return and creating a powerful support network for patients.

Some rehab centers do not permit contact with friends or family during rehab. Others do but keep this contact limited in order to ensure a full detox.

Whatever the case, your family can be an important element of the healing process. Some programs work with family members in therapeutic settings to give them the tools to best support you following your transition.

7. Enjoy Other Healing Modalities

Every rehab center varies. In general, however, most centers will emphasize full engagement with one’s self through a variety of healing modalities.

These may include yoga, meditation, or wilderness excursions. Some treatment centers incorporate animals as forms of therapy, such as equine work.

Such modalities may be harder to experience in shorter rehab programs, despite the fact that they can be truly effective in combating addictive patterns.

How to Start Long Term Rehab

If you or a loved one is interested in pursuing rehab, it’s possible to get started on your healing journey today. Here are some things to keep in mind as you move forward.

1. Share Your Decision

The most important step to take when considering long term rehabilitation is sharing your decision with someone you trust. Telling a parent, close friend, or partner that you are ready for rehab can, for one thing, hold you accountable to your choice.

It can also give you the immediate support you need to navigate this new part of your path. Many addicts may entertain the notion of rehab but eventually give up on the idea due to lack of support.

If possible, also inform a medical professional of some kind. This may be a therapist or general physician.

The more people you can include in your support network, the greater your odds are for rehabilitation success!

2. Research Centers

If possible, ask members of your support network to help you identify a center that works for you. Depending on the type and severity of your addiction, now might be the time that you undergo a medical detox.

If you do so at your local hospital, medical supervisors may be able to refer you to a rehab center nearby.

Research wisely and thoroughly. Learn more here about finding a rehab center.

When possible, speak with a program representative in person or over the phone. Ask about financial assistance and insurance policies.

Also ask about outpatient services, medical detoxes, and family involvement if applicable.

3. Breathe Deeply

Making the choice to commit to long-term rehabilitation can be intimidating. However, it may be the decision that saves your life.

Once you’ve chosen a center and enrolled in the program, breathe deeply. Help is on the way.

Most importantly, an addiction-free life is on the horizon!

The Benefits of Long Term Rehab

Long-term rehabilitation can be your key to taking back your life. These programs are designed to be immersive and to help addicts truly reverse behavioral patterns responsible for addiction.

They also have higher success rates in general. Long term programs can involve family members, enable outpatient services, and give attendees the skills they need to ensure sobriety in the ‘real world.’

At Musebox, we’re passionate about helping you live an inspired life. Check out our other thoughts on achieving the well-being you deserve!