Benefits of Long Term Rehab
Anyone who’s used drugs or alcohol to the point of addiction has crossed a definite threshold that, more oftentimes than not, requires a long-term recovery effort. Once a person’s brain and body become addicted to a substance, much of the recovery process entails reversing addiction’s effects.
Reversing addiction’s effects involves two essential objectives: giving the body time to heal and repair and developing a drug-free mindset. For people who’ve used for a long time, other mental health problems may have developed along the way. Long term rehab offers recovering addicts the time to address these problems while creating a drug-free lifestyle in the process.
Reversing Addiction’s Effects
An addiction to drugs or alcohol leaves the mind and body dependent on a substance, much like the mind and body depend on food and water to survive. Body functions slowly but surely deteriorate as a drug’s effects take over. While the body can heal and recover once drug-use stops, brain functions, such as thinking, reasoning and emotional responses still have a ways to go before any sense of normalcy returns.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction’s effects on the brain not only alter its chemical functions, but actually causes physical damage to brain structures. Likewise, body processes also undergo considerable damage in the process. Until this damage is repaired, a person remains susceptible to relapse no matter how long he or she has been drug-free. Long-term rehab treatment works with the brain/body healing process in terms of providing support and guidance along the way until a person returns to normal functional ability.
More importantly, long-term rehab picks up where short-term rehab leaves off by treating the psychological dependency aspect of addiction. While detox remains an essential first step in the recovery process, only treating the physical aspect of addiction leaves a person at tremendous risk of relapse. In effect, a person is not fully recovered until the psychological aspect of addiction is treated.
Sober Time Needs
Unlearning the compulsive, drug-seeking behaviors that go with the addiction lifestyle requires time and practice. The main goal of rehab recovery is to help recovering addicts become accustomed to living daily life without the need for drugs.
Through ongoing counseling, support group work and carrying household responsibilities, recovering addicts remain engaged in the recovery process while developing healthy coping skills for dealing with everyday life. In effect, long-term rehab programs provide the length of time need for recovering addicts to develop healthy, productive lifestyles.
Addressing Mental Health Needs
People recovering from chronic addiction problems often develop psychological disorders, such as depression and/or anxiety conditions that stem from deteriorated brain functions. When this happens, people in recovery become that much more susceptible to relapse as depression/anxiety symptoms can easily trigger drug cravings and drug use.
Long-term rehab programs are well versed in dealing with mental health issues throughout the recovery process. Through ongoing psychotherapy, group work and support from peers going through similar experiences, recovering addicts learn how to manage co-occurring disorder symptoms as part of the recovery process.