Time is a crucial component of any successful treatment and addiction treatment is no exception. In case of addiction treatment, the appropriate length of treatment for each individual varies, depending on the type of substance abused, the length of the abuse, presence of any co-occurring mental health disorder(s), such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and the intensity of the patient’s addiction.
Research indicates that most individuals struggling with drugs or alcohol need between one to 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use, and the best outcome occurs with longer duration of treatment. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the type of treatment may include residential treatment or partial hospitalization treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, 12 step, or smart recovery meetings. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses with drug or alcohol addiction are possible and require the repeat of the treatment. The possibility of relapse while in recovery is the reason that most comprehensive addiction treatment programs provide relapse prevention strategies along with therapeutic counseling. For many recovering individuals the continuing care approach with outpatient services such as aftercare plans, provide the additional support that increases the change of lasting sobriety.
Effective addiction treatment programs offer individualized treatment plans that are periodically assessed and modified as necessary, ensuring that they meet the changing needs of each client. In addition to counseling or psychotherapy, a patient may require medical care, family therapy, parenting instruction, vocational rehabilitation, and/or social and legal services.
Successful recovery depends on a person’s ability to stay in treatment long enough to realize the treatment’s full benefits and learn the necessary strategies for relapse prevention. Factors associated with the individuals staying for the full length of the treatment are related to the level of engagement, motivation and the commitment of each person. The level of support from family and friends and sometimes external pressure such as from the criminal justice system, child protection services, employers, or family play a big role in convincing the individual to complete the treatment.
To facilitate treatment, the medical and clinical team establishes a positive, energetic and therapeutic relationship with their recovering clients to ensure that the treatment plan has the support of the person under treatment and the plan is followed. When problems such as serious medical or mental illnesses are involved, intensive interventions are administered to bring or keep the individual in treatment. These intensive interventions are not permanent and gradually transitioned to less intensive continuing care that supports and monitors individuals in their ongoing recovery.