A lot of people will need more than one period of treatment over the course of a lifetime. Relapse is simply the nature of the disease. A relapse does not mean that a previous treatment was a failure; it simply means that some level of treatment is once again needed.
The longer you stay in treatment the better your chances of lengthy sobriety and the longer you can stay abstinent, the less likely you are to relapse.
NIDA says that rehabilitation programs (residential or outpatient) should be at least 3 months in duration for best efficacy, and that a person on methadone should stay on the medication for at least one year.
What Makes Treatment Effective?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) some of the elements of effective drug or alcohol addiction treatment include:
- Treatment must be matched to the needs of the individual – there is no one sized fits all solution, and a treatment plan needs to evolve as a person’s need for treatment changes over time
- Addiction treatment works well, but only if you give it time to work! The longer you stay involved in treatment, the better the chances
- Medications can be an effective adjunct treatment to psychosocial counseling
- Involuntary treatment works – people do not need to want help at the beginning
- Medical detox only readies a person for treatment – detox alone will not solve the problem
- Drug testing during treatment is an effective way to monitor for relapse and relapse is a common part of any recovery1
Page last updated Aug 05, 2010