When I first went into recovery, a 30-day rehab stay sounded like a long time, certainly ample time to break free of my addiction. I learned, however, that everyone is different. While some people find 30 days to be sufficient, many of us feel as though we have only just begun.
In my case, I initially signed up for a 30-day program and adjusted the time frame as I went along. I ended up staying in rehab for 90 days instead.
Why start with 30 days?
This initial block of time got me through detox and allowed me to begin the process of:
- Learning relapse prevention techniques
- Addressing the root of my anxiety and depression
- Mapping out a course of continued treatment and aftercare plans
- Dealing with family issues
- Identifying and treating some of the following: behavioral issues, medical issues, learning disabilities, and day-to-day challenges
Why isn’t 30 days enough time for everyone?
While most people are through the effects of withdrawal in this time period, psychological and emotional progress varies from person to person. Some people have long-term abuse issues or some other trauma that takes longer to sort out. In my case, I simply did not feel I was strong enough yet to deal with the real world where alcohol, and people encouraging me to drink it, seemed to be everywhere.
I learned that it is very important not to leave rehab before I was ready. While some people are ready and just a bit nervous in that time frame, I needed more time in intensive treatment. Leaving before I was ready could have set me up for failure. With that failure, I would have run the risk of starting to drink again and possibly suffering alcohol poisoning.
If you feel ready to leave the facility, but do not feel quite ready to be on your own, there are intermediate options available:
- Outpatient Treatment Services – If you feel ready to embrace a life of sobriety, but still don’t feel completely comfortable doing it on your own, this is an excellent option for you. Many treatment facilities offer outpatient services. A simple Google search will list the ones in your area.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment – This is the option I chose. It involves rigorous therapeutic treatment in a facility during the day, and then returning home or to a sober living facility for the night. I chose to return to my home. The daytime treatment was just what I needed to make a complete transition.
- Sober Living Homes – These are places you can stay that are safe and sober, and are ideal for addicts that need more comprehensive support before transitioning to their own homes. The rules are strict for your own protection: You cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at any time. These homes generally help you transition back into society by requiring you to: find employment, remaining active with your recovery, helping you with legal issues, and maintaining the home.
It is critical that you do not leave treatment before you are ready to take the next step in your recovery. Remember, everyone’s needs are different. Take the time to get to know yourself, so that you can be successful in recovery, and be sure to have a support system in place when you are transitioning back into society. This can be done through any of the options above, attending 12-step meetings, or both.
Your recovery period needs to be as individual as you are. Take your time, and give yourself every opportunity to be successful.
If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol addiction, it’s crucial that you seek professional help. Please call us at Lighthouse Treatment Center today. At any time we are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Contact us today to discuss your situation in confidence.