What is long term drug treatment?

Detox is a crucial first step to treatment, but it’s generally not enough for a successful start to recovery. Pairing treatment with detox is much more effective, improving your odds of a successful drug-free life. Because addiction is such a complicated disease, each person’s detox, treatment and recovery is unique.

What is long term drug treatment? Long term drug treatment is a program that lasts, at a minimum, 90 days. You can also enter residential treatment programs that last up to 6 months. There are long term outpatient therapies, but these are generally family-based rather than focusing directly on the health of the addicted person. Outpatient long term treatment programs can go as long as a year.

Physical, Psychological, Social and Spiritual Support

Addiction changes the brain while it batters your spirit and body. You may be in a social setting that does not allow you to make better decisions. Additionally, being in an altered or intoxicated state is not a good time to make positive life choices. If you are trying to cut back on your use, you may be dealing with incredibly painful withdrawal sensations.

Long term drug treatment starts with a monitored detox. Monitored detox can feel quite invasive. Not only will you be struggling with cravings, but there will be someone checking your

  • pulse
  • blood pressure
  • fluid intake
  • food choices

If addiction has led you to a life away from family and friends who cared about your well-being, having a stranger fiddling with you can be quite frustrating. Your brain can’t handle the process getting help well and you may find it hard to be pleasant to the folks caring for you.

From Detox to Long Term Treatment

Moving from detox into long term treatment often starts with a bit more autonomy. Once you’re past the hazardous times of nausea, dehydration and heart risk, you may be allowed to make more choices as to what you eat and drink. Be ready to have your access to carbohydrates monitored and possibly restricted; brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine can be triggered by excess sugar and part of treatment is allowing your levels to come back up normally. Entering long term treatment may also mean starting private and group counseling. Working in group may be challenging if you are struggling with feelings of shame or guilt related to drug use. In such cases, private counseling may be extremely beneficial.

From Long Term Treatment to the Outside World

Part of ending treatment and getting back into the world includes reconnecting with your family. Part of reconnecting with your family means acknowledging the damage that may have been done by addictive behaviors. It’s important to note that addiction doesn’t occur in a vacuum. If you grew up in a family that was led by an addict, you may have learned that you were

  • not worthy of stability
  • not able to be safe at home
  • not in control of anything, ever

Those who grew up in households altered and damaged by addictions often have extremely rigid attitudes about how life should be. You may have family members who choose not to reconnect with you. Understand that you are worthy of tribe and connection. Choosing your own tribe may be part of the work of addiction treatment. Tribe can start with group. If you are comfortable with the 12 step principles, you may find great connection in a church setting.

If you are not comfortable with the 12 step principles, you may choose to join a SMART group and gain comfort and connection from others who are working to manage their condition on their own. No matter the group option you choose, do make sure to find a way to connect with others who understand the pressures that you are facing.

The mental pathways of addiction will stay hungry for a long time. Should you find yourself under pressure, you will need to have ways to manage the stress effectively. Long term drug treatment can help you to build healthy methods of managing pressure and stress. Exercise, meditation and group connection are all healthy methods of re-routing your thought processes away from addictive thought pathways. Ready to get started? Call us today at 844-639-8371.

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