The decision to quit drugs or alcohol is the first step toward sobriety. When people make this choice, they are acknowledging that many, if not all, of the problems that they are experiencing stem from their addictions. They are admitting that they need help. Few people can end a powerful addiction on their own. Becoming drug-free or alcohol-free requires professional help, and inpatient rehab gives them the help they need to get and stay clean.
Although people sometimes view drug rehab as one, big, all-inclusive entity, there are different alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation programs that are tailored to treat different needs. They include long-term and short-term programs. The length of rehab that will work best for a person depends on their individual treatment needs. Long-term users who have heavy addictions are better served by long-term treatment programs.
For the long-term user, a deep and honest look at themselves and the relationships in their lives is essential. This often requires more time than a 30-day short-term program can address. Some long-term users began abusing drugs or alcohol when they were young, so their addictions are large parts of their everyday lives. Their addictions are strong and the possibility of relapse is high.
A long-term rehab program is also preferable for dual diagnosis therapy. In that type of therapy, people receive treatment for drug or alcohol addiction and various mental health issues. There are different approaches to rehab depending on the rehab treatment needed for different situations.
Who Benefits from Short-Term Rehab?
Unlike people who have abused drugs for a long time, the ideal candidate for short-term inpatient rehab has a shorter history of chronic drug addiction. After detoxing (detoxifying their body), candidates undergo treatment plans that help them reshape their outlooks and learn ways to maintain their sobriety. Although these programs are thirty days or fewer, they may be long enough to give former drug or alcohol abusers the tools they need to stay sober.
The usual short-term drug rehab is an inpatient residential program where a person is under the care of either a hospital or treatment center for twenty-four hours a day. Such programs often use 12-step approaches to rehab that require participants to progress through a series of steps.
Through intensive therapy and feedback, people in the programs learn how to live clean, sober lives. At the end of their inpatient programs, people sometimes enter intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) to help them maintain their sobriety.
Short-term rehab is often a less expensive approach to treatment. A short-term residential rehab program may require a 28-day or 30-day minimum stay requirement. Some short-term outpatient programs are shorter. Both behavioral and group therapies may be requirements of the program. A 30-day rehab program gives people opportunities to detox and engage in therapy to address problems that led to addiction and learn strategies for continued sobriety.
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Short-Term Treatment Facilities
Treatment typically begins at a short-term inpatient rehab center or hospital with a detox process to remove drugs and alcohol from a person’s system. People participate in therapy, learn how to prevent relapses, and master strategies that help them maintain long-term sobriety.
Upon completion of the treatment program, people are encouraged to seek continued assistance in intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) or other settings. Some short-term drug treatment programs began as alcohol-treatment clinics. Widespread opioid use prompted these centers to open their programs to people suffering from drug addiction. Many early programs started with inpatient hospital treatment. Group therapy was used for treatment, and people continued receiving outpatient treatment once released.
Therapy is a key component of 30-day programs and other substance abuse treatment. It helps people understand the issues that led to their addictions.
There is a social element to recovery, and people in rehab programs spend time with others who are going through drug treatment with them. Spending time with other people who are facing the same challenges can help people feel less alone in their struggles. They may form strong peer support groups that may extend beyond rehab settings.
Some 30-day facilities use lockdown protocols, which means that people living there are not able to leave or receive visitors. The reasoning behind lockdowns is that they allow people to focus fully on their recoveries, not what is going on with their families and friends who are outside of the centers. Other programs practice varying degrees of restriction. Some programs allow people to see visitors throughout the course of their treatment.
Outpatient Short-Term Rehab Programs
Not all short-term rehab programs are residential programs. Some are outpatient or partial inpatient programs. They allow a person to maintain a normal life while he or she goes through drug addiction treatment. The programs typically require people to spend several hours a day in a rehab setting.
During this time, people may undergo the same rehab processes as their counterparts who are staying at the treatment facilities. Since outpatient programs allow individuals to continue to live at home where they may face the same temptations that contributed to their addictions, outpatient programs are typically for milder forms of addiction and for individuals who have positive support to help them stay sober.
This type of addiction treatment is known as a partial hospitalization program or a partial inpatient program. It is a type of short-term treatment that may work well for people who have demanding jobs or other responsibilities that do not let them stay at treatment facilities.
Short-term programs range in duration from one to a few weeks. Once their programs end, people are encouraged to continue treatment through an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or an aftercare resource.
Rehab programs often encourage family involvement in treatment because family members and friends are valuable sources of support. Once people complete programs, loved ones may help them stay on track by reminding them to use the skills they learned in inpatient rehab and to avoid triggers.
Such support may be especially useful for people who receive outpatient assistance. It is essential for people to have good outside support systems to help them through the critical initial periods of recovery. Former substance users and their support systems need to know and understand addiction triggers and how to resist them. By becoming actively involved in the treatment of their loved ones, people may promote recovery and prevent relapses.
People may be more committed to their recovery if they know that the people who matter most to them are also invested in their recovery. Valuable lessons learned through therapy may help heal addiction issues and help people form good foundations for strengthening important relationships.
Services Provided of Short-Term Drug Rehab
During a 30-day program, people learn how to identify stressors that may trigger their addictions. By working through these issues, people gain a better understanding of themselves and learn triggers that may threaten their sobriety. They become more aware of various situations that may cause relapses and the tools they need to triumph over these challenges.
What to Expect at Short-Term Drug Rehab
Intake is an early step of the rehab process. During this step, medical staff at facilities gather as much information as possible from clients. To gather this information, they typically conduct physical examinations, gather complete medical histories, and compile history of the clients’ drug or alcohol use.
With this information, medical professionals and therapists create individualized treatment plans for their clients. The medical professionals, therapists, and clients discuss such treatment plans with their clients. They modify the initial plans throughout the programs as they communicate with and observe the clients more. During intake, clients learn about rehab programs and receive answers to any questions they may have.
Another part of the rehabilitation process is detox (detoxification), when addictive substances are removed from the clients’ systems under strict medical supervision. Detox takes varying amount of time. Its duration depends on the severity of the addiction and the type of drugs the clients used.
Detox causes withdrawal, a complex and sometimes dangerous phenomenon that must be carefully monitored. During this period, clients may receive medications to help them get through their withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, clients explore their surroundings, meet fellow patients, and learn the expectations the facility has for them. They engage in therapies and programs that may include individual behavioral, group, and 12-step approaches.
Individual therapy focuses on clients and addresses their specific challenges. Group therapy allows clients to interact with others who are striving to achieve sobriety like themselves. Major goals of rehab programs are to help clients heal, grow, and find hidden reserves of personal strength. Clients meet and interact with professional staff members on a consistent basis.
A 30-day program happens quickly and many things occur during the program. Some professionals question whether they allow clients sufficient time to think about and develop strategies for their lives after the program.
Some programs offer clients the chance to extend the program if they feel the extra time will give them a better chance of avoiding relapse. It comes down to the individual. While some people may thrive during a short-term program and other forms of assistance, others may need a longer program to have a better chance at maintaining sobriety.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)
Many rehab programs encourage family involvement and support. Once clients complete their programs, loved ones’ support may help keep them sober.
This is especially true for people who received outpatient care. Since they never separate themselves from environments that may hold so many temptations for them, it is essential that they have good outside support systems. Through therapy, they can learn to identify and control factors that may trigger their addiction and build networks of supporters who are committed to their rehab. A 12-step program may be beneficial in providing support.
Returning to their familiar environments may put people in contact with friends who shared their addiction. Some of these people may still use. Avoiding relapses and staying sober may make it necessary to cut contact with people in social circles who are still abusing substances.
By entering intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) that may offer 12-step programs or other forms of assistance, recovering addicts can make social connections to others who are committed to staying sober. Making new friends to support sobriety is a powerful tool. Whether people have strong support networks to help them through their recovery process or whether they will facing recovery alone are important considerations when choosing a recovery program.
Since there is a higher relapse rate among alumni of short-term programs, it is sometimes suggested that clients continue treatment at longer-term facilities upon release. A short-term program is a good beginning. In some cases, a short program is all clients need to prepare themselves for sobriety. In other cases, clients may require additional drug treatment beyond short-term programs. Short-term rehab facilities with post-rehab care programs may provide the additional assistance some people need to remain sober.
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Other Reasons for Choosing Short-Term Rehab
Not all recovering addicts are young and without commitments. Many are adults with family and work obligations. They cannot afford to sequester themselves in a rehab center for months. A short-term rehab option may be less disruptive to a person’s life.
Short-term programs require less time to attend and often cost less than long-term rehab. For low-income people, short-term rehab may represent a more accessible option. People with family or work obligations may find that partial inpatient short-term rehab programs work best for them.
The Cost of Short-Term Drug Rehab
Depending on the services offered by the facility, the cost of a short-term inpatient program may be expensive, but there are several ways to cover it.
- Out-of-pocket payments: People pay the full cost of their rehab programs with personal savings or credit cards.
- Health insurance: Health insurance policies or other assistance may cover the costs of drug rehab programs that are thirty days or shorter.
- Payment plans: Some facilities allow clients to make partial payments or charge on a sliding scale.
- Loans: Some financial institutions offer loans to cover the cost of treatment.
- Scholarships: There are corporate, nonprofit, and private rehab facilities that offer rehab scholarships for clients in need.
Components of Short-Term Facilities
There are certain benchmarks that people seeking short-term inpatient rehab center should consider:
- What is the program’s rate of success?
- What is the program’s cost?
- What are the staff’s credentials and experience?
- What is the client-to-therapist ratio?
- Does the treatment facility provide assistance after treatment ends?
- Is the location of the facility easily accessible for clients and their family members?
Family support and meetings are an important part of the rehab process. If facilities are not easily accessible, it could impact the outcomes of therapy and recovery.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Drug Rehab
Short-term facilities offer alternatives to clients who cannot attend or afford to attend extensive long-term drug rehab. During short-term rehab, clients may undergo detox and therapy and learn how to handle relapse triggers through various coping strategies.
There are some drawbacks to the short-term rehab model. The relapse rate is higher than for clients in long-term programs. One reason for this is the amount of time it takes for a clients to detox. If people undergo longer detox periods, they have less remaining time for therapy and other treatments during a 30-day program. Medical and behavioral therapy does not typically begin until after detox, so clients may not have enough time to cover other important aspects of the program sufficiently.
Clients who have been unsuccessful with other programs may not be well-suited to the short-term rehab model. Due to the brevity of the program, people who need more time to fully grasp treatment concepts may not be well-served by brief programs.
Short-term programs may also be more intense than long-term programs. More is crammed into rehab programs to maximize the time that rehab professionals spend with clients. Long-term programs have more time to explore various approaches and may often include recreational activities to complement the programs.
Higher percentages of short-term clients complete their rehab program than long-term patients. The period following detox and beginning recovery is crucial for long-term success. By referring clients to post-rehab assistance such as 12-step care and utilizing a group approach, short-term drug rehab may encourage long-term sobriety.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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