Long-Term Drug Rehab

For some addicts, 14-30 days in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs isn’t long enough to complete the treatment process, and so long-term chemical dependency treatment programs are available. In general, long-term drug rehab programs are categorized as long-term if they last from 90 days to one year in length, with three months being the norm; depending on the patient, they may run longer.

Individuals are directed to long-term drug rehab programs if they’re still exhibiting behaviors or having problems that indicate more treatment is needed. Among the circumstances that entail a longer program: additional time needed to address all outstanding issues involved; continued attempts to acquire and use drugs or alcohol; relapses into old pattern of substance abuse.

Components of Long-Term Drug Rehab

  • 24-hour care and behavior monitoring
  • Complete facility participation
  • Treatment programs designed specifically for the individual
  • Multiple methods of treatment, either as stand-alone therapy or combined with other methodologies

While some facilities may use medication as part of the long-term chemical dependency treatment process, all use some form of behavior modification. Treatment programs are meticulously structured to help the individual recognize and correct the beliefs and behavior patterns that contribute to addiction and how to create news pattern of behavior. In addition, psychological therapy in varying degrees is employed in order to help the patient deal with the personal issues that drive substance abuse.

It’s important to note that an effective long-term drug rehab program is tailored to each individual’s personal circumstances and psychological profile. Although program components may overlap or parallel the treatment plan of another, it should still be unique. It must also have built-in flexibility to allow for improvement, ineffectiveness, regression or more rapid advancement, as well as services for family members; anyone directly affected by the addict’s actions should to be able to voice their concerns and learn how to cope with issues to help facilitate change. 


Long-term drug rehab takes place in non-hospital settings. Hospital-based care is a detoxification program and is not designed for long-term care. Patients are referred to extended stay facilities following release from a hospital program. Most facilities today are modern and comfortable, with access to qualified professionals for both the patient and his or her family.

Post-treatment care

An essential element of any treatment program is care and treatment following completion. While long-term drug rehab is highly effective, there’s always a strong possibility that a person may relapse and return to old ways. In order to prevent a relapse, post-treatment care should include some combination of:

  • sponsorship support
  • individual/group therapy
  • community-based support groups

Long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a highly effective means of ending the cycle of destructive behavior that is a product of substance abuse. Select a facility that will design a treatment program unique to the patient, involves the facility’s entire community, leaves the door open to a longer stay if there’s danger of relapsing and offers strong post-treatment programs for both patients and their families.