Addiction is a disease that typically follows the same pattern as other diseases do of treatment, relapse, and remission. However, it’s possible to stay sober and avoid relapse by changing your behaviors, giving your brain time to heal, and actively treating your addiction. One of the best ways to learn how to do this is by attending a long-term addiction treatment program.
When you are trying to choose the right substance abuse treatment program, you may wonder how long it will take for you to be ready to leave rehab. If you have struggled with addiction for any amount of time, you are likely looking for a long-term solution. Learning about the various benefits of long-term rehab can help you decide whether or not an extended-care program is right for you.
1. Long-Term Drug and Alcohol Rehab Gives The Brain Time to Heal
Chronic substance abuse physically changes the structure of the brain and chemically changes the way essential neurotransmitters are released and used. After struggling with addiction, your brain will have a hard time creating naturally-occurring feel-good endorphins like serotonin and dopamine on its own. It relies on drugs and alcohol to do that, instead. However, part of recovery is giving your brain time to heal from these long-term effects.
Even though withdrawal symptoms usually stop after a week or two, the brain can take months or years to heal completely. The only way to increase the speed of healing is to stay sober, avoid relapse, and practice basic self-care. By staying in rehab longer, you give your brain more time to reverse the damage done by substances before going back to the real world. This will make the transition from structured rehab to independent living much easier because you’ll be better equipped to cope with triggers and cravings.
2. You Can Benefit From Long-Term Structure and Stability
Addiction changes the way you think, feel, and behave, and it takes time to undo these changes. Addiction treatment programs in Massachusetts provide structured living environments and individualized care to introduce a level of stability into your life. You will develop a daily schedule that works for you, attend your therapy sessions on a regular basis, and learn how to live day by day without using drugs or alcohol.
Unlearning old habits and embracing new ones takes time. A long-term addiction treatment program is the best way to fully master life in sobriety and prepare for living sober after rehab.
3. There is Enough Time to Learn About Addiction, Make Behavior Changes, and Build a Relapse Prevention Plan
Short-term addiction treatment programs only allow enough time to detox, learn about addiction, and get connected to the resources you need to treat your addiction on your own. Long-term drug rehab programs have time for these basic services and so much more. An extended care program can help you:
- Learn about the disease of addiction
- Address underlying issues or co-occurring conditions
- Identify negative behaviors, coping mechanisms, and self-talk to build self-awareness
- Embrace healthy coping mechanisms and find ways to use them in everyday life
- Identify triggering people, places, and things
- Learn about the signs of relapse
- Build an individualized relapse prevention plan
- Work with a counselor to develop a detailed aftercare plan
Your sobriety depends on you being able to accomplish all of the above-listed items. By taking your time to heal and not rushing the process, you can increase your ability to stay sober after rehab.
4. You Can Develop Meaningful, Sober Relationships During Long-Term Addiction Treatment
When you first go to rehab, you may have the support of your family and close friends, but you may not have many sober influences in your life. An addiction treatment center is a great place to meet other people in recovery and develop sober relationships. However, relationships don’t develop overnight. It often takes time and dedication to foster a meaningful, healthy relationship.
Drug rehab centers in Massachusetts host group therapy sessions and support services so you can meet other like-minded people in recovery. The longer you stay in rehab, the more time you’ll have to dedicate towards developing these relationships, meeting new people, and practicing healthy communication. Having a healthy and active support system is an important factor in maintaining sobriety. In fact, active engagement in peer support groups is proven to be a key predictor of sustained recovery.
5. You’re More Likely to Stay Sober After a Longer Treatment Program
Because long-term treatment gives you more time and resources to heal, it can also increase your likelihood of staying sober after rehab. Not only will you have given your brain, body, and soul the time it needs to heal, but you will also have mastered the coping skills you need to stay sober.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most individuals need at least three months in rehab and it is critical to remain in rehab for an adequate period of time. They also note that the best outcomes happen with longer durations of treatment.
Find a Long-Term Addiction Treatment Program in Massachusetts Today
Relapse doesn’t have to be a part of your journey. By attending a long-term rehab program, you can fully grasp the lifestyle changes required for you to maintain sobriety.
Our team at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is firmly grounded in the philosophy that life choices and the skills to influence those choices can break the cycle of addiction and return people to a life of purpose. Our Massachusetts drug and alcohol rehab program can help you begin your healing journey today. Call now to get started.