Long Term Rehab: 5 Benefits of Extended Residential Addiction Treatment

Studies show that people who participate in long-term residential treatment have a nearly 25% greater chance of continuous sobriety than those who received shorter, standard treatment. I know what you’re thinking - more treatment?! It’s easy to feel like going into a residential addiction program will disrupt your career, disrupt your relationships, disrupt your whole life. The truth of the matter is that substance abuse will do all that for you if left untreated. If you’re serious about getting sober and finding recovery, extended residential treatment works. Here’s why. 


Safe, Supportive, Structured Environment


Learning how to live sober and in recovery is like getting into shape. It takes time, consistent effort, support, and a plan. You don’t get results by doing something for a month and then quitting. Extended treatment is all about taking the foundation created in the first part of treatment, and building on it to create long-term success. If you’ve been drinking or drugging for a long period of time, it can take 30 days just to get your head cleared up and think straight. Staying in treatment allows time for a more in-depth healing process. It gives you the space, free of outside stressors, to explore underlying issues and learn effective, healthy coping mechanisms. All while surrounded by a supportive community of people working on similar goals. 




Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Lonely. Misunderstood. The majority of people who have faced substance abuse are all too familiar with these feelings. Addiction thrives in isolation. The stigma around addiction makes most people hesitant to talk about their situation or ask for help. It is a miserable existence. Long-term rehab cultivates community and friendship. Everyone in the program understands each other's pain. For many people, it’s the first time they’re able to speak openly about their lives and feel heard. Feel understood. It’s not uncommon for individuals to make lifelong friends during their time in extended treatment. The support and accountability that comes from these relationships is unparalleled. 


Living Life on Life’s Terms


Recovery from addiction is about more than just stopping the drugs or alcohol; that’s merely abstinence. Recovery deals with building the mental, emotional, and spiritual skills necessary to thrive in all aspects of life. In long-term treatment you are building a toolkit from which you can draw upon no matter what situation arises. Relapse prevention, life skills, healthy coping mechanisms. Learning how to implement these abilities in everyday life takes time. That’s the value of extended residential treatment


Therapeutic Deep Dive


Addiction issues don’t typically spring up overnight. They are the manifestation of past trauma, self-medicating a co-occurring disorder, genetic predisposition, and a fair amount of recreational substance use. Along the same line, addiction issues aren’t treated overnight either. With long-term treatment comes a more comprehensive and thorough therapeutic process. Individuals are able to build a trusting relationship with their counselors, dive deep into past issues, and examine behavior and thought patterns. Extended residential treatment is especially useful for working through trauma which is a gradual process and takes time


Rebuilding Relationships


Substance abuse doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Anyone close to an addict or alcoholic can testify to the fact that addiction, in some way or another, had a negative impact on the lives of those around them. A lot of people coming into treatment for substance use disorder have left a wake of destruction behind them - whether they intended to or not. It can be tempting to enter treatment, start to feel better, and feel the urge to get home and repair relationships. But those people need their own time to heal. What happens when you get out of treatment, promise your loved ones you’ve changed and then relapse a month later? The best way to heal broken relationships is with time, space, and focused, internal work on yourself. Change is shown through actions, not words. 


Ultimately the decision to accept long-term treatment is a personal one. Long-term rehab is a commitment to self, an investment in a future free from the chains of addiction. The benefits extend beyond the cessation of substance use; they encompass a holistic transformation.

If you’re interested in learning more about extended residential treatment and if it’s the right choice for you or a loved one, call Sunflower Recovery today.

Why Long-Term Rehab Works