30 Day Treatment Programs for Substance Use Disorders

30 day treatment programs are relatively standard recommendations for addiction treatment. However, you should be aware that 30 days are sometimes considered the bare minimum for effective care. There are many factors that determine what the best length of stay in treatment for a Substance Use Disorder is. Some of these considerations include:

  • The type of substance used
  • The amount of substance used
  • The duration of substance use
  • The amount of support one has for sobriety
  • The type of life stressors currently experienced
  • The home environment
  • Whether there are co-existing conditions

Your History and Consequences of Substance Use

The history of one’s substance use is an important factor in determining the length of stay recommended for a course of treatment in an addiction rehab. Keep in mind that at one extreme of Substance Use Disorders, one may have used for a short while before seeking treatment. At the other extreme of such disorders, one may have used heavily for years. And, of course, there are many possibilities in between those extremes.

Psychological Dependence and Treatment Needs

Some significant differences between a short duration of use and years of use are found in the dynamics of psychological dependence. Psychological dependence can develop in any Substance Use Disorder, no matter what the substance is, or how long and how much one has used. It involves the felt need for the substance as a coping strategy in one’s life, and it is separate from a physical or physiological need for the drug.

Physical dependence is a biologically based issue. The body develops a tolerance for the drug and ‘needs’ it to prevent withdrawal. Psychological dependence, on the other hand, is an emotional need rather than a biological one. Typically, the longer an addiction has been active in one’s life, the more life experiences that are tied to substance use. Also, one is more apt to become both physically and psychologically dependent upon a drug if the use is a more pervasive and common experience in one’s life.

When drug use is involved in many aspects of one’s life, it becomes a core coping strategy and one’s psychological reliance upon using increases. For example, if one uses when angry, sad, disappointed, or frustrated, these feeling states can later trigger the desire to use. Similarly, repeated use during any life experience can cause that experience to trigger a desire to use again. This can happen with any life event you can imagine—from simple evenings at home to majorly stressful events. Consequently, people with strong psychological dependencies may not have enough time to address these completely in just 30 days of treatment. They may better benefit from a longer course of treatment that allows them to learn other coping strategies and rehearse them a while before leaving intensive treatment.

Your Support System and Treatment

Establishing and maintaining a recovery focused support system is a vital part of your recovery efforts. In many ways, it really does take a village (at least a tribe!) to support you in your efforts to get well and stay well. However, not everyone goes to rehab already surrounded by a recovery support network. In fact, the very opposite is most often the case.

Prolonged substance use typically estranges us from healthy supports in our lives, and the company we keep in active addiction is apt to be as sick (or sicker) than we are in our substance abuse. Consequently, many people need time to establish a good support system that can best ensure their success after a rehab stay. For some, that means a longer treatment course that includes entering a transitional living arrangement or halfway house after rehab. Those settings are sober living environments with built-in support for continuing recovery efforts. Others without good support in the community may opt for longer rehab stays such as 60, 90 or 120 days in a highly structured and therapeutic setting to gain recovery ‘traction’.

Life Stressors and Treatment Stays

Life stressors are just part of life. We all have them. However, the severity of stress in our lives varies from time to time, and definitely, no two people will have the exact same amount of stress. Many of us go into addiction treatment with what seems like nothing but stress in our lives. And, in those cases, getting everything straightened out in a 30 day treatment program can seem overwhelming if not impossible.

Effective addiction treatment requires us to get a lot of things done. Withdrawal and detox are first, of course, and some will have a lengthier period of not feeling well as they go through that process. The severity of use, and some substances cause withdrawal and detox symptoms to linger longer than in other cases. Plus, even though successful completion of detox is a great achievement, it does little to ensure you can stay sober. The rest of treatment is vital for that. You have to learn how to maintain your gains, and that takes time in treatment, too. Dealing with the life stressors you will face after rehab in a drug-free manner is critical if you want to stay abstinent. Consequently, some will require a longer rehab stay than a 30 day treatment program to have the best chance of remaining sober after rehab.

Co-existing Conditions and a 30 Day Treatment Program

If you have a co-existing condition such as another mental health disorder alongside an addiction, you may need more than a 30 day treatment stay to best ensure stability after rehab. While dual diagnosis treatment programs can treat both addiction and a mental health condition simultaneously, it may simply take longer than 30 days of treatment for your body and brain chemistry to stabilize.

People with dual disorders may need a longer treatment stay because:

  • Psychiatric symptoms may be severe upon admission to a program
  • Psychiatric symptoms may worsen during withdrawal and detox
  • It may take some time after detox to properly diagnose another mental health condition
  • If psychiatric medications are needed, it may take time after detox to know which medications and in what dosage will best work

When 30 Day Treatment Programs are Right for You

A 30 day treatment program may be right for you for several reasons. Some of these include:

  • You are not yet willing to commit to a longer course of treatment.
  • Your life circumstances do not allow you to stay in treatment longer.
  • You cannot afford a longer treatment stay.
  • You are motivated to continue intensive recovery efforts after a 30 day treatment stay.

All of this may sound as if a 30 day program is a default choice. It isn’t! And, it does not mean that you are settling for less. We have to be realistic and consider the many facets of what going to addiction treatment means to you personally and in your life circumstances at large.

Addiction is a progressive and fluctuating illness. There are times in our lives when we need help, but have reservations and are ambivalent about it. This is a normal occurrence. Everyone with a Substance Use Disorder goes through this at some time or another. However, it is wise not to let reservations and ambivalence about treatment undermine your efforts to get help. You can make a short-term commitment to a program, clear your head, and see where you want to go from there. Just as your illness progresses and fluctuates, so can your recovery. A very wise and beneficial recovery effort is to take the steps that a 30 day program offers and re-evaluate what you want to do after that.

30 day treatment programs will get you through withdrawal and detox. And, having professional support during the withdrawal and detox process is priceless. A great number of people can’t do it without that structure and support. If you’re serious about stopping use, professional support in a therapeutic setting is your best bet by far. You stand a far better chance of successfully completing detox in a 30 program than you do on your own.

A 30 day treatment program will also definitely give you time and space to become more clear-headed. You will have a much needed clarity with which to assess you situation and choose how to move forward. This is an invaluable opportunity to step back from your life, gain perspective, and consider your options. The professional support you receive goes far beyond detox, and that is a valuable resource you can’t find outside a rehab setting at the same level of availability and intensity.

Finding the Right Help

Your choice of treatment program involves a search for the right professional help. You need a program and staff with expertise in the particular problem you have with substance use, and not every rehab is the same. Along with your clinical needs, financial issues are also a concern.

Naturally, a shorter term treatment program is most likely less expensive than longer ones, and for most of us, this is a significant factor in making a choice. Keep in mind that every treatment program sets its own fees, and there can be assorted costs factored in during your stay. You will have to inquire about each program you consider what the total costs of treatment are, and what payment arrangements they can offer you. Consequently, finding the right program can take an intensive search—not only for the right clinical help but for the right financial fit, too.

If you need treatment and would like help with your search, our services are free. We can make recommendations appropriate for your treatment needs and your financial situation. Give us a call today and let us help you find the right help.