Last updated: 04/12/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Some people need more help than the short-term treatment programs often offered for quick addiction recovery. In certain cases, it can be much safer and more effective to attend extended care for addiction rehab in order to ensure that you are able to create a strong recovery before you leave treatment.
How Long Does Rehab Normally Last?
Most rehab programs last somewhere between 30 and 90 days, although it has been extensively proven in a number of studies that care lasting at least 90 days or longer is often much more successful in creating a strong recovery as well as preventing relapse. Some individuals only need the short, 30-day option while others usually benefit from at least 90 days in treatment. However, you may need treatment that goes beyond this length, offering a program that will last from 6 months to a year or longer.
Extended Care Options
Both inpatient and outpatient programs can provide extended care. Patients who need to be in treatment for a longer period of time can benefit from these options, but it is important to consider the severity of your addiction as well as the intensity of your needs.
- If you are suffering from multiple addictions, comorbid disorders, or a dangerous home environment, it could be safer for you to choose inpatient care. In one of these facilities, you will have 24-hour access to medical care and be in a controlled environment where you will not be able to return to substance abuse.
- If you have a job and lots of support from your loved ones, outpatient care could be a better option for you. You may still need extended care, but you can attend a treatment program that does not require you to stay day and night at the facility if you do not need this extra help.
What Happens in Extended Care Rehab Centers?
Inpatient centers that provide longer-term treatment options to patients often use resocialization to help these individuals create a solid, lasting change in their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward substance abuse. Doctors, nurses, counselors, and even other patients all become a part of the individual’s resocialization, which entails surrounding them with people who all want to see them succeed in their recovery. In addition, these rehab programs are often very strict and controlled, which helps patients learn to follow the rules of the facility as well as the rules and goals they set for themselves.
Extended care outpatient programs often provide patients with long-term options for recovery, usually involving behavioral therapy and medication. For example, opioid addicts who attend methadone maintenance treatment in an outpatient center will often stay on the medication for a long period of time, visiting the facility as often as necessary to receive more medication and to be reevaluated by their doctor. While both types of facilities utilize many of the same methods, the intensity of treatment varies immensely, which is why it is important to choose the best option for your needs.
Aftercare and Its Benefits
Extended care doesn’t always mean a long-term treatment program. Some individuals instead attend aftercare once their 90-day rehab program has ended. Many times, these aftercare options are set up by the facility itself, and they can include
- Booster sessions where the patient returns to the facility periodically
- 12-step or other types of support groups
- Less intensive treatment (such as an outpatient program after an inpatient program has finished)
Do I Need Extended Care?
If you are suffering from a severe addiction, extended care is likely the best option for you. But it is important to remember to take all your needs into account and to ask yourself if your treatment program will be able to meet them. Still, those who struggle with long-term addictions, dual diagnosis, and other issues can often benefit from longer treatment options.