Rehab: How Long Is Long Enough?

Our society has conditioned us to expect immediate results. Need to find the capital of Burundi? The answer is just a mouse click away. Want a hot fudge sundae in the middle of the night? There’s a store open to cater to that craving. Need a package delivered by tomorrow morning? There are several carriers happy to oblige.

Faster isn’t always better, though, especially when it comes to substance abuse treatment. According to statistics provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), long-term residential treatment programs have higher success rates than short-term or outpatient programs. SAMHSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, found that the completion rate for long-term residential treatment (defined as lasting more than 30 days) was higher than other treatment options.


Why longer treatment gives better results

Of those completing long-term residential treatment, cases involving alcohol saw the highest success rate at 38 percent with cocaine and opiate users at 29 percent. That means nearly one-third of all those entering long-term residential treatment completed their programs. An additional nine percent were transferred for further treatment.

So just how long is “long-term”? The median length of stay for those who completed long-term treatment was 75 days. That number may seem high, but longer treatment often equals higher long-term success. Of course, there’s never a good time to put your life on hold for even 21 or 30 days to enter a substance abuse treatment program, but if you’re at the point where you and those around you recognize you need help, it’s worth giving your sobriety the time and attention is deserves. A healthier, fuller life will be waiting for you when you complete your program.

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.