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Short-Term Alcohol And Drug Rehab Centers

Joseph Sitarik, DO

Medically reviewed by

Joseph Sitarik, DO

January 29, 2019

Both outpatient and residential programs are offered in short-term format and may provide the opportunity to save money. Though short-term programs can still lead to successful results, many people find greater success within longer programs. It is best to understand all options before deciding on a program.

Does Inpatient Treatment Make A Difference?

In an outpatient program, the participant is permitted to return to life between treatment sessions. While this means the individual may have access to the support of loved ones, it also means he or she could be exposed to distractions and triggers which could hinder recovery progress. The risk of relapse runs higher in outpatient programs.

For these reasons, a residential inpatient program may offer the most optimal environment for healing, growth, and building personal strength. During the treatment stay, clients are surrounded and supported by highly-trained staff on a consistent basis. Their positive influence and guidance are two of the most important tools during treatment.

What Happens In A Short-Term Rehab Program?

During treatment, individuals are directed to different types of therapy, such as individual counseling or group therapy. Different short-term programs will provide access to different forms of therapies and treatments depending on the facility.

A variety of coping and life skills will also be taught to a person can function and cope more effectively within their life. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is meant to work well on a short-term basis, leading many short-term programs to utilize it.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), many short-term programs rely on a modified 12-step approach. These peer-based support programs offer individuals access to the accountability, inspiration, structure, and hope which can be so influential during the early part of recovery.

Many facilities have adapted to the growing, national need for addiction treatment, and now provide effective, intensive care in shorter periods of time. For the right person, short-term programs can offer comprehensive and life-changing care.

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Short-Term Treatment May Cost Less

Finding low-cost rehab centers capable of providing short-term treatment can help an individual recover from an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Lack of financial resources is the number one cause of delaying addiction treatment, and this can often make the difference between successful recovery and continued abuse. The financial burden of rehabilitation can prevent users from seeking help.

Fortunately, short-term rehab centers offer low-cost options for quality care to those in need. It does require some research, but finding the right, low-cost rehab center is much easier with the wealth of resources provided by treatment specialists.

However, in considering treatment, it’s important to think beyond the cost and focus on what really matters: the program that will offer the most effective treatment. The cost of an addicted lifestyle, should treatment not work, may be greater in the long run.

Choosing a short-term rehab center can make treatment more affordable, though it’s important to select the right program. While the lower cost of short-term rehab centers make it possible for more substance abusers to get treatment, a shorter duration of care isn’t for everyone, and may not always provide an individual the best skill set to get sober.

Do Short-Term Programs Provide Enough Care?

One risk faced by those who can’t afford higher-end treatment facilities or longer programs is the quality of care they receive. Sometimes a shorter program will end before an individual feels ready. Then, they may not be able to handle triggers such as people, places, or events in a healthy way, leading to relapse. If an individual attempts treatment and doesn’t feel that it helped them, they may easily relapse and never trust a treatment program again.

Many people become overly confident in a short-term program. When experiencing the brief periods of sobriety found in shorter programs, many people bask too heavily in a sense of accomplishment and don’t consider what they’ll do when treatment ends.

Short-term programs move fast, so many people may not have time to think about life after treatment or build the necessary life skills they’ll need during this time. After leaving a short-term rehab program, a person may not be fully equipped to handle long-term recovery.

For this reason, it’s imperative a person takes time to compare his or her needs against what a program offers. Long-term and/or serious addictions, especially those with a co-occurring mental health disorder, may require long-term programs, or other treatment support after the short-term program has ended.

Continued Care After A Short-Term Program

For many, the key to success after completing short-term rehab is continuing treatment in a group or individual setting. Because recovery is long-term, treatment may continue at different levels for some time, depending on the varying levels of sobriety, health, and strength in recovery each individual personal experiences.

The step-down method may include a number of treatment levels, such as:

  • Sober living home
  • Halfway house
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Support groups

Even once a person has integrated back into their new, sober way of life, aftercare and continued support is important. This can occur within a group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, one-on-one counseling, or even outpatient treatment, as NIDA recommends.

The longer an individual can stick to a treatment protocol, the better chance they have of a successful recovery and sober life.

How Do I Find A Short-Term Rehab Center?

Many people find sobriety and learn to live a more balanced life through short-term rehab programs, but it’s definitely important to spend some time researching options when considering addiction treatment.

In looking for a short-term rehab center, many factors must be considered, including insurance, cost, rehab programs offered, length of programs, location, severity and type of addiction, any co-occurring disorders, and much more. The process may seem daunting, but trained specialists can make this decision much easier for individuals seeking treatment

For more information about short-term treatment plans, contact us today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)

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