If you or your loved one is suffering from the disease of opiate addiction, you are not alone. Many other Americans can empathize with the heartbreak and devastation of the disease. Opiate addiction has greatly surged in recent years to the point that it has become a nationwide epidemic. Since this epidemic has begun, there have been many new debates surrounding the addiction and recovery field. One of the widely debated topics is the length of time that is appropriate to stay at a treatment center for opiate addiction.
Recovery is a Process
When choosing an addiction treatment center for yourself or your loved one, one of the most important considerations you will have to make is the length of time you or your loved one stay in treatment. You will most likely be offered a 30-day stay, a 60-day stay, or a 90-day stay. Some treatment centers may offer a 45-day stay, 120-day stay, or other varying-length stay.
There may be a variety of factors that have to do with your or your loved one’s stay such as the length of time your health insurance covers, costs of staying past what your health insurance covers, work obligations, and family obligations. A 30-day stay may seem the most desirable to you or your loved one because it is what your health insurance covers and/or it is the most affordable. It may also seem the most desirable because you or your loved one can get back to everyday life sooner. However, it is important for you or your loved one to acknowledge that recovery is a process that should not be rushed.
The recovery process is naturally done in three stages. Each of these stages has their own average allotted time. The length of each of these stages may vary per individual.
- Acute Adjustment
The acute adjustment stages typically takes 30 to 45 days. Your or your loved one’s health insurance will most likely only cover this stage because this is the amount of time it takes for the addictive substance to be detoxed from your or your loved one’s the body. Your or your loved one’s body and brain have to adjust to functioning without the addictive substance. This stage is only the beginning of the recovery process, not the conclusion of the recovery process.
- Physical Healing
Physical healing typically takes 30-90 days. During this stage, yours or your loved ones’ body is healing itself from the damage that was done by the addictive substance. While you or your loved one was actively using, your or your loved ones’ body was lacking adequate nutrition, rest, and exercise. During your stage, your or your loved one will be healing your body by getting the healthy amount nutrition, rest, and exercise.
- Psychological Healing
Psychological healing definitely takes more than 90 days. It is the most complex part of treatment. This is where you or your loved one will address underlying psychological issues, errors in thinking, and poor coping skills that contributed to the addiction. This is also the stage where you or your loved will learn to develop new perspectives and new coping skills for recovery. Addiction is both a physiological and psychological disease; therefore, psychological healing is just as important as physical healing.
From these three stages, you can see that the recovery process takes much longer than 30 days. The longer you or your loved one will stay in treatment, the more of a chance you or your loved one has at a successful long-term recovery. Recovery does not merely mean you or your loved one will no longer be using; it means you or your loved one will be creating a whole new life. The same job, family, and friends obligations from the old life may not be applicable in the new life, so they should not influence your or your loved one’s decision in choosing the length of a treatment center stay.
Twelve-Step Alternatives: Many Paths to Recovery
The Twelve Steps have been the traditional protocol for addiction treatment. However, they are not one-size fits all. They may or may not be right for you or your loved one. If they are not right for you or your loved one, you or your loved one do not have to worry because modern addiction treatment has a plethora of viable alternatives to The Twelve Steps.
- Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery and Women for Sobriety
The SMART recovery program runs on four main points, which are motivation, managing urges, handling oneself emotionally and mentally, and balancing life. The meetings in this program are typically run for an hour and a half and by a facilitator. There may be homework exercises for the members to do in-between meetings.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.)
S.O.S. is not based on any other program. The meetings consist of discussion and group interactions. The values of the program are sobriety, confidentiality, responsibility. Peer support is the core of this program.
- Life Ring Secular Recovery
This program divides the recovering individual into the “Addict Self” and “Sober Self”. The person’s goal is to weaken the “Addict Self” by strengthening the “Sober Self”. This program highly emphasizes the individual and his/her own ability to stay sober.
- Moderation Management
Moderation Management does not require a member to be abstaining from their addictive substance. It views a person’s use of an addictive substance as a habit that needs to be managed in nine steps. Drinking in moderation is allowed at certain points, but the second step requires a person to be sober for one month. There are guidelines in this program such as participating in other activities that do not center around alcohol, abiding by drinking and driving laws, and keeping an appropriate blood alcohol concentration. The goal of this program is to teach a person to drink alcohol without centering his/her life around it.
Conclusion on 30-Day Treatment Stays
While individual needs vary, a 30-day treatment stay is definitely not sufficient to treat your or your loved one’s opiate addiction. The three stages of recovery take beyond ninety days. Thirty days is only acute adjustment stage, which is only how long it takes the addictive substance to detox from your or your loved one’s system. Recovery also requires physical healing and psychological healing. Recent studies even show that 30 days is not enough. A study done on recovering airplane pilots and doctors showed that a treatment stay of at least 90 days produced a 90 percent recovery success rate. More treatment centers are offering varying lengths of treatment. Though longer treatment may cost more in the short-term, it will be worth it in the long-term. Just Believe Recovery Center is well aware of the need for a longer than 30-day treatment stay, and they are willing to help you or your loved one. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us at (866) 840-6411