Addiction is a chronic disease that does not have a cure; rehabilitation, relapse prevention and maintenance of sobriety can treat an addiction over the long-term and provide individuals suffering with tools to remain healthy. Due to the fact that addiction has no cure, relapse is possible and many suffer from chronic relapse. Long-term addiction treatment programs can provide support, structure, and guidance for avoiding relapse and sustaining long-term recovery.
Abuse, dependence and addiction range in severity, but all substance use disorders have wide spread effects in a person’s life and in the life of those around them. Long-term care addresses the negative effects one step at a time and allows patients to work towards recovery at a pace they are comfortable. Many times relapse occurs because individuals suffering from addiction complete an outpatient rehab or inpatient treatment program and are overwhelmed trying to incorporate their previous life with their new recovery lifestyle.
In Long-term addiction treatment programs individuals take small steps towards independence and work at a comfortable pace building a positive recovery environment until they feel confident they can maintain it on their own. In long-term care addicts have structure and a safety net to minimize the chance of a relapse occurring. With each level of care and as they progress in the addiction treatment program individuals replace a bit of structure with responsibility and therefor allowing themselves to build self-assurance and self motivated to improve and maintain sobriety.
Due to the complex nature of addiction, there are several aspects that need to be worked through, and each issue must be properly dealt with. Treating a severe addiction can take time. Each phase has its own general time frame based on the individual. The initial phase of treatment usually involves a medical detoxification process where medications can be used if needed, such as methadone for heroin addiction.
Once the detox phase is completed, the patient will be introduced to many different programs that are done on an individual or group basis in order to prevent drug-abusing behavior. Programs such as art therapy and the 12-step program can be used to help rehabilitate the patient back into a normal lifestyle.
After the intensive treatment, aftercare programs can continue to keep a patient sober and mentally healthy. Programs include support groups and sometimes aftercare facilities, where the recovering person has the freedom to leave the facility but still run under strict rules and constant drug tests. This can help ease the individual back into a normal way of life.
There are several benefits of a long-term program for drug and alcohol addiction that cannot be fully recognized in a short-term program. They include the following:
Furthermore, a very important part of any drug treatment program is long-term relapse prevention. Long-term rehab programs have a solid system to help patients avoid relapse as they are rehabilitated into their life again.
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