For those who are struggling with alcohol addiction and have tried over and over again to stop, long term alcohol treatment may be a more suitable and viable answer to their need for treatment. Because shorter treatment programs often don’t provide enough structure, guidance and long-term support that some people need to recover from alcohol addiction, long-term programs offer a better choice.
These programs are structured to provide alcoholics with a live-in situation that offers a comfortable environment and eliminates the standard hospital-like setting that is found in many alcohol treatment programs. Instead, long-term treatment programs provide patients with a home-like atmosphere that is conducive to extended care. A type of residential facility, long-term alcohol treatment centers provide around-the-clock care for clients and offer counseling, therapy and support that is unsurpassed.
Most long-term alcohol treatment programs focus on providing:
- cognitive counseling
- behavioral therapy
- like skills therapy and education
- life coaching
How Long is “Long-Term” Treatment?
Generally, a long-term alcohol treatment program is extended past the norms of 90 day programs. Some centers consider a 90 day program to be long term but the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends that treatment take place over a period of at least 90 days in order to be most effective. Long-term alcohol treatment is generally at least 90 days and up to 12 months. Some programs even extend into the 1-2 year period but for most, 12 months of treatment is enough to change behaviors, change thinking, eliminate dependence and get on the right track.
Initially, the addict is provided with a substantial amount of time to detox and overcome physical alcohol dependence. In a standard 90 day program, some alcoholics will not have adequate time for detox and treatment. For those who have used alcohol for a very long period of time, the detoxification process could take weeks or even months to complete which would leave very little time for counseling and therapy. In a long term alcohol treatment program, detox can take place over weeks or even months and still leave plenty of time for therapy.
After detox, the patient is able to learn more about their addiction, take accountability for their actions and the decisions that he or she has made and learn how to prevent poor decision making in the future. This is the meat of the program which includes life skills education and counseling as well as behavioral therapy and other means of support. The tools that are learned in treatment can be used for many years to come to prevent relapse and reduce the chances of future addictions occurring.