What are the Benefits of Long-Term Treatment Programs?

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on February 14, 2022.

The Benefits of Long-Term Residential Treatment for Addiction

If you or a loved one is living with substance use addiction, long-term addiction treatment might be the best path to take to get back on your feet and live a healthy life. The idea of entering long-term treatment might feel daunting at first, but today, we want to help ease those uncertainties and share some of the many benefits of long-term treatment for addictions.

What Is Considered Long-Term Residential Treatment?

Long-term residential addiction treatment programs offer a more intensive level of treatment than many other options. 

Long-term treatments take place outside of a hospital setting and typically offer clients 24/7 access to care to suit their needs. These long-term rehab treatment options allow clients more time to develop sober living skills, which can often result in greater success when reintegrating into everyday life. 

How Long Do Residential Treatment Programs Usually Last?

One of the most significant differences between general addiction treatment and long-term addiction treatment is the duration of your stay. For general rehab programs, you can expect the length to be anywhere from 30 to 90 days, while long-term inpatient rehab can last 90 days or longer.

Long-term rehab clients’ treatments typically last 90 to 180 days. The length of treatment can vary greatly depending on the person and the substance they are seeking relief from. Typically, the release date is not set from the start. It's based on progress. When the client can show the ability to live a sober life on their own, they'll be released from the addiction treatment facility.

Why Does Rehab Often Take So Long?

While short-term addiction treatment might seem more convenient, shorter stays at rehab centers are not always better. Addiction is a chronic disorder that takes time to address. Seeking treatment for a more extended period of time will give you more opportunities to learn, grow and set a solid foundation for life outside of treatment. 

Who Might Benefit Most From Long-Term Addiction Recovery?

If you are using multiple substances at once, a condition known as polysubstance addiction, you might experience more significant treatment struggles than someone experiencing a single substance addiction. A long-term treatment facility might be a better option for you. 

Long-term rehab can also be beneficial if you believe that you might be living in a toxic environment at home.

Other individuals who would benefit from long-term addiction treatment include:

  • Those with mental disorders.
  • Individuals who have previously relapsed.
  • People living with chronic pain or other medical issues.
  • Those coming from codependent relationships.

What Are The Benefits of Long-Term Treatment Programs?

Some of the advantages of long-term treatments are as follows:

  • Additional time to work through withdrawal symptoms: When seeking treatment for substance use, it is typical for a client to experience withdrawal symptoms. While the most severe symptoms typically occur within the first week of being sober, it is not unusual to continue to experience withdrawal symptoms weeks or even months after your last substance use. Having trained professionals around to help you through your withdrawal symptoms has been proven to be very beneficial. 
  • More time to address underlying issues contributing to the addiction: Often, those who are experiencing substance addiction are also living with other underlying mental health issues. While most addiction treatment programs work to treat both, long-term treatment programs offer more time to dig into the roots of these problems.
  • The development of more robust coping mechanisms: Much of addiction recovery focuses on developing strong, healthy coping mechanisms to utilize if the urge to use substances again arises after treatment. This process can take a long time, and it often requires a degree of trial and error. Long-term rehab facilities give you the time and support you will need to find what healthy coping mechanisms will work for you. 
  • A lower chance of future relapses: The main goal of entering any addiction treatment facility is to live a sober, healthy life. The longer you spend in a treatment facility, the less likely it is that you will relapse. 

What to Expect During Long-Term Residential Treatment

One of the first things you can expect to do while at any long-term addiction treatment facility is to go through substance detox. This process can last up to 10 days, and you'll typically spend this time working with a specialist to subside withdrawal symptoms while being closely monitored.

After detox, you'll transfer to a residential program in the facility. These programs usually start with heavily structured days. As time passes and you make progress in your treatment, you'll be able to have more communication and visits from friends and family. 

You'll reside at the treatment facility and have 24/7 access to care when needed. From a day-to-day standpoint, you can expect to participate in behavioral therapy interventions to work through lifestyle changes. These therapies can take place in the form of one-to-one sessions, group and peer sessions or even sessions with friends and family members. 

Many long-term treatment centers offer a holistic approach to treatment. That might include alternative medicine treatments such as yoga, massages, acupuncture and fitness and nutrition classes.

Overall, long-term treatment facilities aim to make you feel at home. While exact specifications will vary among treatment facilities, you can typically expect to have a private room on a peaceful campus to focus on recovery.

How Long Should You Stay in a Drug Rehab Facility?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you should stay in a drug rehab facility. Length of treatment depends on factors like what substance you've been using and any underlying mental health concerns you need to address. The goal is to stay in treatment until you, your doctors and your therapists feel you're able to live a healthy life free from addiction outside of the facility.

Learn More About Residential Treatment

At the end of the day, everyone’s road to recovery will look a little different — and progress is not going to happen overnight. Because of this, a long-term addiction treatment facility might be the best bet for someone looking to live a life of sobriety. 

If you're ready to get help, reach out to Diamond House Detox today. We offer residential treatment that can help you get back to living a healthy life on a timeline that works for your needs.





Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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