Long term alcohol treatment is the best solution we have right now for treating alcoholism. I know that is a bold statement but I believe that I have earned the right to say it because of the following reasons:
1) I struggled to get sober for years and the thing that finally worked for me was long term treatment for alcoholism.
2) I have worked in a treatment center for 4 years now and I see how badly short term residential and outpatient programs work.
3) I have friends in recovery and the majority of them are sober now thanks to long term treatment.
Now I realize that only one of those is an objective measurement (the second one) and the other two are based on my direct experience. But that is still pretty convincing to me when combined with all the data I see based on my place of employment. Short term residential treatment is like a revolving door and it is absolutely crazy to see how many people relapse and come back again (sometimes several times in one year).
Long term rehab is a transitional tool. The idea is that you are living in a treatment center, but you are learning how to live a sober life in the real world. The key is in the transition. If they kept you locked up for six months, would that teach you how to live sober? Of course not. And so a good long term rehab will slowly push you towards independent living. They will spoon feed you your freedom back, a bit at a time, until you are ready to spread your wings and fly. A bit cheesy, I know, but it is true. The key is in how you transition from intensive rehab to the complete freedom of living back in normal, every day society.
I made this transition myself and it worked quite well for me. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to leave a short term rehab after only a week or two and have to make it on your own without relapsing. I tried to do just that a couple of times and could not even come close to making it in recovery. And so when they suggested long term treatment this last time around I jumped at the opportunity and lived in a long term rehab for 20 months. This was the best decision I ever made and it saved my life. Without long term treatment I am not so sure I would have been able to get sober.
If you have tried other methods of recovery and failed, such as:
2) AA or NA meetings
3) Outpatient therapy
4) Inpatient short term treatment
Then it might be time to step up to the plate and check into long term recovery. It could be the key piece that you have been missing out on. Don’t be put off by the time investment, because:
1) Time will go by anyway, and if you keep drinking, things will just get worse.
2) You still have plenty of freedom while living in long term recovery.