Common to the world of drug addiction recovery is this theme of a “30 day recovery or treatment”: 30 days spent in an inpatient drug rehab with a structured schedule, workshops, group therapies, and community support. This rehabilitative time is often marked by a curriculum, alumni partnerships, and sometimes, 12-Step work. All day, every day the patient works to understand their sobriety, and learns to remove addiction from their lives. But no matter how comprehensive the program, no matter how hard the patient works, and no matter what lessons are learned; often at the end of 30 days, the addict still has that compulsion to use. Drug rehab cannot cure your addiction in 30 days. Period.
There are a number of reasons that a 30-day drug rehab is just not enough for most patients. This is not to say that there are not programs out there, with the best doctors, best facilities, and best support working round the clock (and helping you work round the clock) to get you better. There are (and we have them). But, the process of recovery from addiction requires time, incremental freedom, and most importantly, dealing with your own baggage (psychological issues as root and stem of your addiction).
Genuine Rehabilitation Takes Time
Though addicts have done 30-day rehab programs and gotten clean for life, they have been so few and so far between. Approximately 60% of people relapse within their first year of treatment recovery. A host of reasons could be to blame, from not being ready to the type of program used, but the point here is that the first months, year of addiction recovery are tenuous. Successful early recovery requires ongoing support and rehabilitative efforts. That first year (at the very least) should be dedicated entirely to drug addiction recovery: getting well. To give yourself the best shot, a 30-day program should be followed by an extended care or sober living program, and then a rigorous IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). Supported the whole way, conscious of the goals of sobriety and of this new life, you make your way through that year–and at the dawn of your year mark, the risk of relapse will be a shadow of the monster it was, just out of rehab.
Lasting Sobriety Requires Steps
We’re not alluding to the 12 Steps (though we believe them to be necessary); we’re referring to a step-down process. A process that begins with inpatient drug treatment, and progresses through extended care, sober living, and finally-to an intensive outpatient program; keeping clients rooted in sobriety and fully-supported throughout the crucial first year. Each step after initial inpatient care allows for more freedoms, less intensive scheduling; but continued, reinforced support from peers and alumni. At Granite Recovery Centers, each step’s duration is customized to the client’s needs. In using steps, the addict is taking the tools and lessons learned in residential treatment and applying them to a more and more independent life.
Lifelong Recovery Requires Dealing with Baggage
People who become addicted to a substance have a disease, but what spurs the condition is often a grief, loss, trauma, or co-occurring disorder (such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc). In fact, people who have a mental disorder are twice as likely to develop a substance use disorder as someone who does not. Feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, and shame–whether as conditions or derivative of life events–can make drug use compulsive. Getting to the root of the issues that make you pick up, dealing with them, and healing from them in therapy is crucial. Get sober without this healing, and the sadness, anger, etc with come back, and you’ll pick up…again and again.
The First Step…
So, does this mean you have to commit to a year of treatment right now? No. It’s all about baby steps. Start with the 30-day drug rehab program. Get clean, get well, and lean on your treatment professionals, your peer community when you need to; to find your way through the steps of sobriety to a better life. You’ll see. One day at a time.