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Pros & Cons of Long-Term Alcohol Rehab Centers & Programs

In an alcoholism alert publication in 2000, the National Institute of Health indicated that hundreds of thousands of people seek alcoholism treatment in the United States every single day, but that group represents only a fraction of the people who need help. Extended care alcohol rehab is one of an array of treatment options that is available to recovering alcoholics who have completed detox and a primary care program. This type of rehabilitation is a long-term alcoholism treatment option that provides structured and intensive addiction recovery help for those people who need more time to develop sobriety skills.

Treatment programs for alcoholism are varied, and it can be difficult to identify the right option for someone struggling with an alcohol dependency or addiction. Programs can be distinguished by type of treatment, service protocol, methodology, length of program, location, quality of care, staff credentials, cost, and many other variables. Another factor complicating your decision is that the type of treatment that may work for one individual may not be appropriate for another. It is a critical step in an alcoholic’s recovery to match an individual’s specific needs with the appropriate treatment program.

Pros: A Proven and Effective Extended Care Plan

has shown, however, that time is an alcoholic’s best friend. Long-term treatment has been proven to increase the success rate of the transition to a sober life and help prevent relapse. Extended care alcohol rehab is available for time periods as short as 30 days and as long as 180 days. Ninety days of rehab is considered the optimal amount of additional recovery time needed to ensure the highest rate of success.

Extended care is offered on an residential or outpatient basis. Some of the most popular treatment centers are residential. Their communal structure allows individuals to concentrate on addiction recovery, without worrying about real life issues. The rehab program typically consists of daily group therapy, combined with life and vocational skills training.

Many of the residential programs have developed their own approaches to recovery and focus on a particular group of people, such as women or teens. In some instances, long-term alcohol treatments have been integrated into specialized living formats. For example, sober living and therapeutic communities, where recovering alcoholics can live in a structured environment for even longer periods of time, have become popular ways to prevent relapse through extended treatment.

Long-term alcoholism treatment is often particularly effective when an individual has multiple addictions or a history of relapsing. It is also one of the best options for people with underlying mental health issues or other types of health problems. While some people can beat their alcohol addiction after a stint in primary care, intensive treatment over a longer length of time can increase the rate at which people successfully stop abusing alcohol, help people avoid relapse, and teach people healthy habits and skills that can stabilize their lives and contribute to long-term sobriety.

Cons: Why Some Avoid the Long-Term Commitment

Although extended care alcoholism treatment programs are often considered the best way to ensure lasting sobriety, there are a number of common reasons why individuals may refuse to make a long-term commitment. Some of the reasons given by individuals for not seeking extended treatment include:

  • Not having health care coverage
  • Fear of a negative impact on the person’s job
  • Fear that receiving extended treatment might cause others to develop a negative opinion of the person
  • Feeling that he or she could handle the problem without further treatment
  • Not knowing where to go for treatment

It is important to understand the options for extended treatment that are available so you can counter the negativity and fear that may act as a stumbling block to the mindset needed for recovery. Call our free referral service to get the help you or a loved one needs to make an informed decision about extended care alcohol rehab.


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