Many alcohol treatment centers in Texas only provide treatment for 30 days. However, is this really enough? Experts agree that this is insufficient. When we understand the facts that studies have consistently found, that it takes four years of sobriety before someone is likely to achieve long-term recovery, 30 days seems like a drop in the ocean. Let’s take a look at why 30 days of treatment is not sufficient for treating the disease of addiction.
Short Term Rehab and Relapse
During short term rehab, patients are often rushed through the system. Treatment facilities, for all their best intentions, are simply under pressure to detox someone, give them as much counseling as possible and then send them on their way again, causing many of those who attend short-term rehab end up relapsing soon after. Unfortunately, many people leave rehab and return straight to their past behavior. The relapse rate is said to be between 40% and 90% in the initial month following rehab.
This shows how severe the disease of addiction is. Additionally, you have to look at this from the psychological perspective of the person with a drinking problem. Imagine, someone who has mustered up the courage to ask for help, only to quickly relapse. Approximately 15% of people that complete a 30 day program seek additional treatment after relapsing. However, by offering longer treatment options, the chances of someone relapsing are greatly reduced.
Why Do Short Term Rehab Facilities Exist?
If short-term rehab has proven to be less successful than long-term treatment, then why do so many facilities offer 30-day programs? Believe it or not, the responsibility for that problem lies squarely with the insurance companies. Different insurance companies offer different contract terms for treatment and services.
Insurance companies determine the length of stay for patients to be covered for treatment, often covering only 30 days and refusing payment if any further treatment is requested. Since rehab facilities are generally privately-owned and for-profit organizations, they have no choice but to offer 30 day treatment programs if they want to accept insurance from their clients. At the very least, treatment facilities are able to reach some people with this, rather than none should they refuse to conform to the demands of the insurance companies. However, they know that these services have proven to be ineffective long-term.
The Stages of Rehabilitation
Many people don’t quite understand just how much hard work rehabilitation requires, regardless of the particular substance of abuse. It starts with a five-day period of detoxification minimum, which can actually be longer with those who have drinking problems as they often cannot quit cold turkey without risking their lives. After that has been completed, the patient must be physically and psychologically assessed.
“Over the past 30 years, several studies have shown that alcohol use disorders often co-occur with certain mood and anxiety disorders. In fact, the National Comorbidity Survey found in 1997 that alcoholics were two to three times more likely than non-alcoholics to also have an anxiety disorder.”
Although diagnosing a patient need not take too long, it would be impossible to say that each of these problems could be “fixed” in the remaining 25 days (if someone only had five days of detox). When the diagnosis has been completed, therapy will start. Generally, patients undergo cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy and family therapy. This continues on throughout the program, after which patients should be provided with a 12-step program as well as a sober living accommodation. There is no way this could be done in just 30 days.