There are more than 14,500 drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the US alone.
The longer you stay in treatment, the better your chances are of staying clean and sober.
Some drugs have a relatively minor impact on the body compared to other drugs, and some drugs have longer withdrawal periods than others. If you’re addicted to a particularly dangerous drug or a drug that has a long withdrawal period, you might choose to attend a longer program.
Also, consider how much structure you need in your life. Do you have a lot of free time right now? Drug addiction takes up a lot of mental space, and too much idle time can mean obsessing about the drugs. Is your home life stable or unstable? Inpatient rehabs are highly structured environments with predictable daily schedules. If you don’t have a lot of structure in your life right now, spending extra time in a scheduled environment can help you maintain your sobriety.
Finally, think about your support system. Do you have a lot of friends and family who will support you getting sober? If so, your support network can help you transition out of a shorter rehab program. If you have no support system at all, a long-term sober living community can provide you with the support and community that you need.
During addiction treatment, many people become tempted to leave the program early. However, it’s best to stay until the end of your program.
As mentioned earlier, sticking with your treatment will give you better success. There’s a reason why rehab lasts for such a long time. Addiction is difficult and painful. It’s a lifelong chronic illness that requires long-term treatment and care. Ending your treatment early can lead to relapse, which may cause overdose.
You also need to give your mind and body a chance to get used to the new situation. Your body needs time to get used to not having access to drugs. Your body will go through a period called withdrawal when you stop taking drugs. Your brain and nervous system have gotten used to working under the influence. Now that they’ve stopped doing that, you’re going to go through some difficult symptoms. Your withdrawal symptoms will depend on the type of drugs you’ve used, but some common symptoms include the following:
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Anxiety or depression
- Stomach issues
- Heart and blood pressure changes
A longer rehab program can give you a safe place to recover from these symptoms, and medical staff members can provide medication to provide relief during the worst stages of withdrawal. Thirty days is often the amount of time that it takes for certain drugs to fully leave the system, but some drugs need more time.
Aside from the physical symptoms, you should also give yourself some time to get used to the structure of rehab. You might not be used to having a regular schedule, so rehab might feel restrictive, especially in your first week or so. However, over time, a lot of people find the structure comforting. Drug addiction can make you feel like you have no control or predictability in your life. Structure can help you regain that sense of control.
Finally, if you used insurance, scholarships, or other forms of financial help to pay for rehab, leaving early may result in penalties. If you don’t stay for the entire program, you may face insurance penalties, lose your payment plan, or have to pay back the money you got from the scholarship. Leaving early can mean paying for your rehab out of pocket, which may cost tens of thousands of dollars.
If you need help finding the right type of rehab facility, call 800-492-QUIT today.
What Happens When I Do Leave?
What happens when you do leave rehab? The best thing you can do is continue with some form of treatment. Remember that addiction is a lifelong illness just like depression, so it will require lifelong treatment. This doesn’t mean staying in rehab for the rest of your life. Instead, it often means finding a therapist with whom you can meet on a regular basis. This way, you can continue with some of the treatment styles that helped you while you were in rehab. Another option is group therapy, which is less expensive than individual therapy but just as helpful.
You can also continue with other activities that you enjoyed while in rehab. Did you take up a yoga or meditation practice? Find out that you enjoy hiking? Keep up with those activities in your free time. You should also find a community of like-minded or supportive people after you leave rehab. 12 Step Recovery groups provide one option, but you can also look for non-12-Step meetup groups if you’d prefer a different style.
If you’re looking for a rehab facility or other type of addiction treatment, Rehab Info can help.