I felt like an abject failure. After 30 days in rehab, I relapsed in just six days. I lost my job, and my parents told me I couldn’t see my children until I got my life together. What was wrong with me? I had every opportunity to change, and it didn’t work. I couldn’t even hold down a job or take proper care of my children. It all just made me want to drink even more, to drown my sorrows and stay numb to it all. And I did, for quite a while, couch-surfing until I ran out of friends who would put up with me. I finally broke down and called my parents and explained that I wanted to go back to rehab and asked if they would loan me the money. They weren’t comfortable with that, but they were willing to foot the bill by paying a rehab center directly. They convinced my brother to let me stay with him for a few days while they sorted it out. I learned later on that they spent that time researching facilities on the internet in order to find me a more comprehensive program. They also learned why 30-day programs often fail. For many years, a 30-day program was considered the standard. It gives you enough time to detox and begin to address co-occurring mental health, medical and family issues, behavioral disorders, and daily life stressors. And, often times, it is the maximum amount of time insurance will pay for. Everyone is different, however, and while many addicts can get through the withdrawal process and begin to identify and address their issues in that time frame, they are often only scratching the surface. Many of us suffer from long-term abuse issues or severe trauma, and more time is needed to work through those things. Others do not feel strong enough yet to return to the real world and avoid relapse, which is why so many of us do. Research has shown that the brain of an addicted individual needs at least that amount of time just to repair itself and think clearly. In fact, the longer you stay in rehab, the more treatment, healing, and establishing new coping skills will be accomplished. The body also needs more time to heal, at least 90 days. This is due to poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and irregular sleep that occurs during active addiction. It takes a great toll on the body. Psychological healing is even more complicated. While detox and learning new principles can happen during the first 30 days, it takes much longer to acquire the necessary skills to undo the old, dysfunctional way of life during active addiction. Recovery is not complete without those essential skills, so the longer the stay in treatment, the lesser the chance for relapse when back in society.
For those of us who cannot stay in treatment for longer than 30 days, there are alternative transition options, such as sober living homes and intensive outpatient treatment. Sober living homes provide a safe environment while encouraging residents to find employment and learn to live on their own while continuing the recovery process. Intensive outpatient treatment works in conjunction with sober living. Residents attend a customized schedule of therapeutic treatment during the day and return to the sober living home at night. I started over with another 30-day program immediately followed by admission to a sober living home with intensive outpatient treatment. I have been sober for three years now. So give yourself enough time. Your recovery is worth it! The Oceanfront Recovery has a modern and effective recovery program in a beautiful beachfront setting that can help you or your loved one through the process of recovery from addiction to any substance. Contact us today for a confidential assessment, and begin the journey of recovery today.