Drug rehab homes would be things like halfway houses, three quarter houses, or any long term treatment center that people live at for periods of longer than 28 days. These long term treatment centers can have a range of support that they offer to the recovering addict or alcoholic.
For example, some long term rehabs have therapy groups that are mandatory and meet up every single day, regardless of how long an addict has lived there. These are more intensive programs that stay pretty tightly focused on recovery. On the other hand, there are places where you basically get a job and pay a percentage of your income as rent, but there are not a lot of mandatory recovery groups, and you are pretty much expected to work your own recovery program. So there is a wide range of how intensive the programs are when it comes to how focused they are on recovery activities. Some of them might only require you to attend a few 12 step meetings each week, while others basically have an in-house treatment program that is similar to inpatient rehab.
Do drug rehab homes work?
Yes and no. Based on what I have seen, the success rates with long term treatment are only slightly better than 28 day programs. In some cases, the rate of success would appear to be equal in fact. This is a bit discouraging to me as I would think that the huge level of support that you get from living in long term treatment would heavily stack the odds in your favor. Apparently this is not the case.
However, I am convinced that if someone really wants to get sober, then living in a drug rehab home affords them the best opportunity of doing so. You can not find a higher level of support anywhere else than with living in recovery with other people who are on the same path as you are. So the opportunity is there if you want to succeed in recovery.
I also believe that long term treatment offers hope to those who have never had any success with inpatient treatment. If you continue to relapse and have never tried long term, then you are a perfect candidate for a long term home. Most people reject the idea of living in treatment because it is too drastic. But sometimes this is exactly what is needed to overcome addiction: drastic action. Living in long term can be the right solution for a lot of people who cannot otherwise manage to stay sober. It can work when other recovery solutions fail.
Isn’t it expensive to live in treatment for a long time?
Usually not, depending on how the treatment center is funded. Many of these long term solutions are funded differently than “normal” treatment centers. For example, some long term treatment centers are actually set up to accommodate homeless addicts and alcoholics, so getting funding for something like this is not usually a problem (as it is assumed that the client has no sources of funding).
Also, some long term treatment centers will allow the clients to eventually go back to work, and then they take a percentage of their earnings to help cover rent and expenses. Those who do not work do not have to pay into the program.
How is long term treatment different from regular, 28 day programs?
There are a few similarities with residential treatment, but generally long term is quite different. Let’s take a look.
With traditional, short term, residential treatment, the client is generally going through an intensive program, with constant groups and lectures all day long while they are in rehab. They might also attend 12 step meetings, have a therapist assigned to them, and probably receive some aftercare recommendations.
In long term treatment, the client is not going through such an intensive program, because they have much more time in which to spend on their recovery efforts. There are generally still groups, therapy, and meetings, but they are more laid back and more spaced out over time. The emphasis is on the transition back into healthy living. The whole point of long term treatment is to get a person ready for independent, sober living again. Are they ready to walk out the door yet? If not, what skills do they need to develop in order to do so? What issues do they need to deal with in therapy in order to prepare themselves? These are the kinds of questions that might drive a client through a long term treatment program.
Give long term a chance to help you
If you are on the fence about going to long term treatment, just go. It is that simple. If you really hate it you can always back out later. It is not jail. There are no locks on the doors keeping you in. You are free to walk away from a long term treatment center at any time.
If you have been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for any length of time, then it makes sense to consider long term as an option. This is especially true if nothing else has worked for you. If you’ve been to residential treatment before, but not had good results, then you might be an excellent candidate for living in a drug rehab home.
My own experience is this: I had been to regular drug rehab twice for short stays and experienced poor results. In my mind I was afraid of long term treatment and I thought of it like it was jail. But I finally got miserable enough in my addiction to give it a try, and obviously I learned that it is not so bad. Instead of taking away all my freedom (as I thought it would do), long term gave me true freedom in my life. I recommend it to anyone who is struggling with addiction, that has failed repeatedly using other methods.