Are 90 Day Programs Offered by Treatment Centers Effective?

There have been discussions at great length concerning how long drug and alcohol treatment programs should be. Some of these discussions happen within the walls of courtrooms. The substance behind these agreements usually involves some punitive aspect.

What we’re going to talk about here is why 90-day treatment programs are effective any more so than programs of different lengths.

What Happened to the Original 28-day Model?

The history behind rehabs goes back decades. There was an original theory that a substance abuse problem, chiefly alcoholism, could be treated sufficiently in around four weeks. Henceforth, the old model for treatment facilities was based on a 28-day program.

This became so engraved in our culture that a motion picture was filmed, titled by the same name. The US military further supported the notion by implementing 30-day programs for enlisted personnel in the 1970s.

The one-month concept became even more entrenched when it becomes the common denominator that insurance companies would pay for. While this plan helped some, addiction experts did not agree that it was the best option. Let’s now take a look at why 90-day treatment programs are more effective.

What Makes 90 Days Better than 28 Days?

There are specific reasons that many experts in the recovery community believe that a 90-day treatment plan is the most effective. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t situations where shorter or longer programs might work; it just means this is the plan that has a history of proven results.

  • Critical Detox Period – One aspect of a 28-day stay, which often is not taken into consideration, is the need to address the serious problem of withdrawal. The need for detox is unique to the individual, the drug of choice, and the length of addiction.

When you take away the detox stage, there are roughly three weeks remaining to develop a foundation for recovery. The goal is build a treatment plan that sustains recovery for your lifetime. That is a difficult challenge in three weeks time.

  • Clearing Your Mind – Even after you’ve safely completed a detox phase, the typical mental state of an alcoholic or drug addict isn’t ready to fully absorb concepts. The next couple of weeks can be a period where you walk out of the fog so to speak.

When you account for detox, then follow that up with even a week of compromised comprehension, there is little time to learn. A 90-day treatment plan has sufficient latitude to allow you the time necessary to clear your mind and focus on recovery.

  • Practice a New Lifestyle – When you remove two-weeks from a month-long program, there are only 14-days left to practice a totally new way of living. This can be more than hard, it can be essentially impossible.

When you begin your journey into recovery under a 90-day format, you will have the time you need to establish new habits and make critical lifestyle changes. It will be the implementation of these changes that will be the cornerstone of staying clean and sober.

  • Lengthier Change of Environment – There are many substance abuse problems that are supported by the surroundings you are exposed to on a daily basis. While there may be situations you will have to remove yourself from completely.

However, sometimes getting away for a few weeks is enough of a break to ease the stranglehold environmental triggers can have. Treatment programs that are less than 90-days simple do not provide much of a break from a bad environment.

  • Building Relationships for Life – Sure, shorter treatment plans can offer you an opportunity to make friends. However, when you spend three months with people, those bonds have a chance to grow in intensity.

Shorter treatment plans will expose you to potential new friendships. Nevertheless, almost as soon as you begin to develop a strong sense of identification with a person, you’ll go your separate ways.

In a 90-day treatment program, you’ll also go back to where you came from. But, when you live and learn with others for nearly three whole months, you cannot avoid building new and lasting recovery relationships.

Treatment programs of varying lengths have the potential to be helpful. However, when the consequences of relapse can be so devastating, it is wise to choose a timeframe with more proven results.

The best way to get the help you need, no matter how long the program, is to call and ask for help at 770-299-1677. There are trained counselors ready to help you take that next, all-important step. These same professionals will help you select an individualized treatment plan. If you’re ready for recovery, a 90-day treatment plan can be an effective way to begin your new journey.