“The more you have treatment that can help you become continuously abstinent, the better you do. You have to figure out how to be abstinent. You still have cravings. You still have friends offering drugs. You still have to figure out ways not to use. The longer you’re able to do that, the more you are developing skills to help you stay abstinent.”
~ Lisa Onken, Chief of the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Branch
Right after you have decided to get help for your drug or alcohol problem, the initial period of early recovery can be a confusing time. “Help” is such a vague term that it can be difficult to know what path to sobriety is right for you. There are a number of choices for drug rehab in Colorado.
28-day inpatient stay? Long-term intensive outpatient program? Narcotics Anonymous? Celebrate Recovery? Medication-assisted or not? All of the above?
Ultimately, the type of addiction treatment you choose is going to depend upon your personal situation – the severity of your substance abuse disorder, your obligations, your finances, etc. Those are the sort of things that you should discuss with a professional addiction specialist.
But, as more and more data indicates, one thing is becoming perfectly clear – the longer you participate in structured addiction recovery, the better your chances of long-term sobriety become.
Successful Recovery Is Tied to How Long You Stay in Drug Rehab Treatment
The magic number seems to be “90 days” or more. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “… treatment duration is a convenient, robust predictor of good outcomes. Individuals who complete at least 90 days of treatment in a therapeutic community have significantly better outcomes on average than those who stay for shorter periods.”
Let’s take a look at some statistics:
- The Los Angeles Times, reports that more than one-third – 35% – of individuals who remain in treatment for less than 90 days will suffer a relapse within the first year of recovery, compared to just 17% of those who stay in treatment longer than 90 days.
- In different study, people who discontinue treatment sooner than 90 days have a rate of relapse that is almost identical to people who stayed in treatment for just a day or two.
- Among cocaine users, 55% of those individuals who remain in treatment less than 90 days resume use within a year.
- That is double the rate – 28% – of those who were in treatment more than 90 days.
- Approximately 53% of all drug users who stayed in drug rehab less than 90 days relapse within a year, compared to just 19% of those who remained a longer period.
- Most tellingly, 54% of those with less than 90 days in treatment end up in jail within one year.
Longer Rehab Equals Long-Term Sobriety
There are a couple of reasons why longer rehab increases the chances of a lasting recovery.
First – programs providing the best drug rehab in Colorado focus on behavioral changes that the recovering addict/alcoholic can make in their lives – coping skills, stress relief, avoiding triggers, etc. When a person starts to put these lessons into practice, they adopt healthy new attitudes and behaviors, rather than old, unhealthy, and self-destructive patterns.
Second, and perhaps most important – addiction is a disease of the brain, and chronic drug and alcohol abuse can physically and chemically alter the structure and function of a substance abuser’s brain. During abstinence, the brain slowly begins to return to normal, especially when recovery is assisted by the proper medication.
Simply put, the longer a person is free from the influences of alcohol or drugs, the more likely they are to remain clean and sober. Abstinence, bolstered by behavioral changes, is the key. This is backed up by data –
- Only one out of every three people in recovery who abstain less than a year will be able to remain abstinent.
- Conversely, those people who can reach one year of sobriety have relapse rates of less than 50%.
- Just 15% of people who can stay abstinent for five years ever relapse.
If you or someone you care about is struggling to remain clean and sober, contact the experienced and compassionate professionals at AspenRidge Recovery today. Serving as the premier inpatient and outpatient drug rehab in Colorado, AspenRidge Recovery offers comprehensive, evidence-based addiction recovery therapy that can give you the help, support, and hope you need.