Any addict or alcoholic who is struggling to get clean and sober should consider long term rehab as a possible solution to their problem.
Most who are addicted do not want to consider the possibility that it might take long term treatment for them to get clean. It seems like too extreme of a step to take. Why should a person have to live in rehab for several months in order to get control of their life again? But this is exactly what has to happen for many people who struggle, and even then, many who go to long term drug rehab end up relapsing again.
This last bit is scary enough in itself: long term treatment does not necessarily work all that well! You would think that it would be a magic bullet to success, and that anyone who is dedicated enough to live in rehab for several months would have a good chance at overcoming their drug or alcohol problem. The truth of the matter is that the success rates for short term and long term rehab are actually pretty close. Now of course it all depends on how you measure, so let’s take a closer look.
If you just look at 100 addicts who went to short term, and 100 addicts who went to long term, then the success rates are pretty darn similar. Not much difference there.
But if you look at 100 addicts who actually completed and followed through with their treatment, for both short term and long term, then you start to see a slight edge for long term rehab. This is obviously going to be the case, because now we are measuring those who “complete and follow through with treatment.” For long term rehabs, that means that we are looking at people who have already accumulated some significant clean time, simply due to the length of treatment.
So you have to understand that long term drug treatment is by no means a magic bullet, simply because many will not actually complete and follow through with the program as it is intended. Even then, those who do complete are still subject to the possibility of relapse after leaving, and many eventually do.
Then there are addicts and alcoholics who treat long term facilities as something of a flop house. They stay there for months or even years, and yet when they eventually leave, they go right back to drugs and alcohol without any hesitation. Some of these people had no intention of staying sober forever, and were merely using the rehab as a place to stay. They may have thought to themselves “yes, I really should stay clean and sober, that would be the healthy thing for me to do” but in reality they may have had no real conviction, no real motivation to stay clean and sober in the long run. They were just content to have the shelter and housing that the long term place afforded them.
So long term can really be a mixed bag. You would expect to see dynamite results, but in fact it is pretty sporadic when it comes to the success rates, and many who enter a long term facility end up doing poorly. But for those who are truly motivated, the amount of support and help that you can get there is really outstanding. Long term treatment has the potential to help people that have not had success previously in trying to get clean, but only if they are truly motivated. Just saying that you are willing to go live in a long term shelter does not necessarily mean that you are truly surrendering to your addiction and are stopping for good. Many people fool themselves in this way.