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The Main Problems With a 28 Day Treatment Model

Addiction is an incredibly complicated, enigmatic disease that’s unlike virtually any other disease that exists. Whereas most diseases are either physical or psychological, addiction exists somewhere in between. People who become addicted to alcohol, drugs or even a number of addictive behaviors experience rapid deterioration of their physical, mental, emotional, social, and even spiritual health; it results in a profound transformation of personality, behavior, and overall cognition. In turn, this causes a number of major life changes such as losing one’s job, destroying relationships, contracting diseases, and the list continues indefinitely. Fortunately, although addiction is, itself, an incurable disease, there are ways to overcome the disease, such as with 28 day treatment programs, so that its effects don’t continue to compromise one’s well-being.

Like the disease of addiction, rehabilitation and recovery are extremely complicated, too. There isn’t a pill or medication that one can take to quickly mitigate the effects of a chronic substance abuse problem. Although the designation “disease” would suggest that there are clear ways to address the effects of addiction, this is not actually the case. People can develop addictions in quite a wide variety of ways, typically designated by their different circumstances. Similarly, each person’s addiction causes different effects to his or her health and life and, therefore, require different types of treatment, therapy or other support in order to overcome the disease. In short, every addict’s recovery needs are unique to him or her individually; what works optimally for one addict isn’t necessarily as beneficial to other addicts, so addiction recovery is taken on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that each addict’s unique recovery needs are met.

While there are many forms of treatment for addiction, there is a finite number of different types of addiction treatment program. For the most part, these treatment programs exist on a spectrum with outpatient on one end and inpatient on the other. As you might have guessed, inpatient programs have patients live on-site, within the treatment facility, for the duration of the program while outpatient means that the individual travels to and from the facility for each day’s treatments. The month-long treatment model — typically consisting of four weeks or 28 days — is a form of inpatient treatment that’s quite prevalent in terms of how common it is. But is it the most effective form of addiction treatment?

What is the 28 Day Treatment Model?

As we mentioned above, the 28 day model of addiction treatment refers to an addiction treatment program that lasts for a single month, which breaks down to four weeks or a total of 28 days. During this time, the addict in question will live within the treatment facility to participate in a number of daily therapies. Many of the benefits of this model apply to programs of other lengths, too; for instance, this 28 day program model provides patients with a safe, supervised environment in which to get sober. This means that there’s none of the temptation or distractions that would put their recoveries in jeopardy if they continued living at home while commuting to daily treatments. As well, inpatient programs offer patients a level of safety and security that they would get with outpatient programs since the inpatient format means there’s a staff of physicians, nurses, and other staff members to ensure their safety throughout the recovery process. By comparison, individuals in outpatient programs don’t get the peace-of-mind that comes with round-the-clock medical supervision.

Why 28 Days?

There are a couple basic reasons why a 28 day model of treatment would be the “basic” level of inpatient treatment. First, this length of time — 28 days — represents the shortest amount of time in which a person could be in an inpatient program and hope to experience lasting benefits from the program. In a 28 day program, an individual has four weeks in which to begin getting comfortable being sober and to learn new daily routines that don’t involve alcohol or drug abuse. Over the course of these four weeks, a patient is able to begin getting comfortable with sobriety; this is incredibly important, especially since it would be incredibly unlikely that an individual could get re-acclimated with recovery while being in treatment for any lesser amount of time.

group therapy

Not Enough Time For Recovery to Be Long-Lasting

However, there are a number of drawbacks to a 28 day program, especially when you compare this month-long program to other, longer programs. For one thing, most sources agree that it takes about two months to break or form a new habit; this means that a single month is an insufficient amount of time for sobriety and recovery to become habit. Further, this means that the success of a month-long inpatient program hinges almost solely on what follows a patient’s month-long stay in rehab. If he or she were to simply return home and consider him or herself done with rehabilitation, it’s unlikely that he or she would be able to remain sober. For a month-long program to be successful, the individual would need to follow the 28 day program with some other type of treatment, whether some other type of inpatient treatment or even an outpatient program.

Limited in the Variety of Treatment Options Available

Not only is a 28 day addiction treatment program not long enough to turn sobriety into a new habit, but the shorter duration of the program means being limited in the types of treatments and therapies that can be incorporated into the program to supplement the essentials of the program. Virtually all addiction treatment programs, whether inpatient or outpatient, put a major focus on psychotherapy and group therapy; these are considered fundamentally essential to addiction recovery. However, being in a shorter-duration program means that there’s not enough time to add other types of treatments and therapies to these core essentials, which would only strengthen the effectiveness of the program. As well, it’s through adding complementary and supplemental offerings that individuals are able to ensure that their treatment programs meet their own, unique recovery needs.

Call Ohio Addiction Recovery Centers for a free consultation

If you or someone you love would like to discuss the treatment options that are available, call Ohio Addiction Treatment Centers toll-free at 800-481-8457 now. Whether it’s day or night, we’re always available to help you or your loved one begin the journey back to health and happiness.

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