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Addiction: Length and Quality of Therapy Makes a Difference

Addiction is a horrific disease which is largely centered in the mind. Someone in the depths of addiction has essentially lost all grip on reality. Their lives become increasingly tumultuous. The lives of their loved ones are gravely impacted.

Negative consequences pile up for the suffering person and everyone concerned.

The brain of someone in active addiction has been extremely damaged. Brain chemistry is scrambled. Destructive thought patterns are deeply entrenched, and judgment is impaired almost completely.  But what else could you expect when a person uses lethal drugs for years on end?

By Shayne Sundholm, CEO, Clean Recovery Centers

Yes, recovery is possible

Recovery is hard. To the suffering addict it seems virtually impossible. However, there is good news – recovery is possible and, in fact, highly probably if the person does the work required.

How long does it take? This is a question many addicts and their loved ones ask. There is no precise answer. Some people get well rather quickly while others take much longer. The desire and effort the person puts into the process also matters. Another major factor is the amount of damage done to the brain and physical body.

 

How to recover?

What does it take to recover? First and foremost, there must be willingness. The suffering person must admit they have a problem and be willing to seek help. Once this occurs, the real work begins. This work is normally very intensive and can take considerable time. Why?

First, it is unreasonable to think that 5 or 7 days of detox might be enough after using drugs and alcohol for years on end at lethal levels. Years of destroying the brain cannot be repaired in 5 to 7 days. In fact, research shows that it will take from 1 to 3 years for the brain to heal once someone begins the recovery process.

 

Short term detox is not the answer

The relapse rates out of a short-term detox or 30-day programs with no after care plans tend to be extremely high. The primary reason is that it’s rare for someone to recover from 2, 5, 10 or more years of continuous drug and alcohol addiction in such a short time. The good news is that it typically does not take 2, 5, or 10 years to recover. In our experience, it takes 90 days or more of continuous effort in a program that works followed by an aftercare plan of daily healthy routines to sustain long term recovery.

 

Dramatic results

This is the primary reason we have designed our program in the manner that we have:

  • Typically, someone out of detox will come into our Day/Night with Community Housing program (PHP) for 4 weeks (33 hours of clinical per week).
  • This is followed by 4 weeks of Intensive Outpatient Treatment (Phase 1 – 17 hours of clinical per week).
  • This, in turn, is followed by another 4 weeks of Intensive Outpatient (Phase II – 11 hours of clinical per week).
  • Then there are 4 more weeks of Outpatient Treatment (Phase III – 2 to 4 hours of clinical per week).

Each of these levels of care include one-on-ones, case management sessions and weekly doctor visits. Additionally, most clients live in our Community Housing (DNT) and Transitional Living (IOP/OP), which is monitored via CCTV and by behavioral technicians 24/7.

With this program structure we have seen dramatic results and believe it gives our clients the best possible chance of establishing what will become long term and permanent recovery.

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