Ever hear the saying “recovery is not a race”? Well, I disagree with those who claim that recovery should not be treated as a race. I believe it is a race… a marathon race. Never a sprint or 100 yard dash. True recovery requires most of the body’s key functioning systems to get healthy again; this does not just happen spontaneously, and it is virtually impossible to achieve physical recovery as a result of a stay in a short-term treatment setting.
Short-term treatment provides those who are attentive with a great education of the disease model --“this is your brain, and this is your brain on drugs”. Care after this experience is designed to allow recovering clients to actually put to practice this knowledge in a safe and supportive environment.
The brain, where the disease of addiction centers, heals at a good news-bad news pace. The good news is that the brain’s neuropathways can heal, and will heal as a result of an individual’s participation in specific, healthy actions. The bad news (to the client of course) is that the healing or reconstruction of these neuropathways always takes time. Many professionals believe that a minimum of 90 days of consistent hard work just begins the process and a period of 12 months shows a dramatic improvement in decision making abilities, which is evidence that the pre frontal cortex (our decision making center) is being re-wired and healing.
Furthermore, many times in the recovery process from alcohol and drug addiction other underlying mental health disorders are identified. These issues can properly be treated when clients stay in long term drug rehab programs. When these disorders appear outside the treatment realm, they often times become triggers to more substance abuse.
For many years, I have subscribed to the length of treatment philosophy that says “Slower is Faster,” which indicates that taking a year out of one’s life to rebuild it breeds greater success than the rinse-and-spin-dry—back to your life without sufficient coping mechanisms—approach. I understand that those suffering from addiction are excited to reach recovery as quickly as possible, but my experience has always shown that a longer term approach to rehabilitation produces the most successful and longest lasting recoveries.
To learn more about Turnbridge’s long term addiction treatment program please call us at 1-877-581 1793 or contact us here.
John Palmer, BSW
Director of Operations