Length of stay is often an issue that patients attempt to address at the beginning of addiction treatment. Unfortunately, it’s not a question that can always be accurately answered early on. Most patients start by signing up for a standard 30-day program and then adjust that as needed, according to how their personal timeline of growth in recovery unfolds. For many, 30 days is just the first step in a program that lasts months or even years.
Why is a 30-day program common in residential treatment? It can offer enough time to get the patient through the physical withdrawal symptoms related to detox, as well as time to begin the process of:
Why isn’t 30 days enough time for everyone to effectively heal and return home to their new life of sobriety? Everyone is different. Though almost all patients will have cleared their withdrawal symptoms in this time, not everyone will make the same amount of emotional and psychological progress. Some will have only just begun to address deep-seated trauma or long-term abuse issues. Still others may not feel safe in the idea of returning to the real world with minimal or no support and the expectation of remaining relapse-free.
It’s important that patients who are not ready to leave rehab do not force themselves to do so if it is beyond their comfort level. Though most patients may feel a little bit nervous about their ability to maintain sobriety upon their return home, patients who are clearly in need of more time in intensive treatment can set themselves up for failure if they attempt to leave treatment before they are ready. In these cases, a return to active addiction and/or overdose, especially fatal overdose, are real risks.
For those who are not yet ready to go home but feel that the comprehensive care that defines residential treatment is no longer necessary, there are intermediate options. These include:
You can discuss how long your loved one should enroll in recovery and find out more about flexibility in altering this timeline as needed when you contact us at the phone number listed above.
Integrated Treatment of Substance Abuse & Mental Illness