What to Do When (30-Day) Rehab Has Not Worked: Finding Effective Addiction Treatment

When 30-day rehab has not worked, you need to consider when and why short-term treatment fails. You might find that the benefits of long-term dual diagnosis treatment centers are more suited to your struggle. Once you understand the importance of choosing the best path to recovery, you will have a clearer vision of the help that you need and the paths that can provide it.

When you’re struggling with addiction, taking those first steps toward recovery can feel like a huge relief. It’s the point where you’ve finally accepted that you have a problem that you can’t fix on your own, and you see the potential for change on the horizon. But after going through 30-day treatment and realizing that rehab has not worked, it’s easy to fall back into feelings of hopelessness and despair.

But, as tough as things might seem, it’s not the end of the road. In fact, for many people, 30-day treatment simply isn’t enough. The problem isn’t that you can’t overcome your addiction—it’s that you haven’t found the right path to address it. With the right long-term residential treatment program, you can engage with a plan that is catered to addressing and helping you overcome each of the unique roots of your substance abuse.

When and Why Short-Term Treatment Fails


Getting any kind of treatment seems beneficial when you’re in the throes of addiction. You’ve spent days, weeks, or years of your life consumed by something that seems uncontrollable, and you finally see a path free from it. But given the choice of short or long-term treatment, many people opt for the former simply because it’s cheaper and sounds simpler. There’s a certain hope, even expectation, that it will help you maintain a relatively “normal” life without throwing a wrench into your work schedule. Yet, all too often, people underestimate the magnitude of their addiction and become blinded by the promising opportunity of getting help fast.

“Many addicts, families, insurance companies and even treatment centers treat addiction like an acute illness,” said David Sack, who is board-certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. He calls addition “a chronic disease similar to heart disease and diabetes which requires long-term care.” Even after a 30-day program, people require continued outpatient care and connection to psychiatrists and therapists to ensure that treatment doesn’t simply “end” after their initial stay.

In other words, many people that need extended care end up not getting the treatment they need because of the hope that short-term treatment will act as a quick “cure” to get them through recovery faster. It’s not uncommon to relapse shortly after leaving short-term programs—and while this fall can be used as a learning experience, getting yourself into the right program from the get-go makes for a much more rewarding experience. Not to mention for those struggling with chronic relapse, this kind of care is a necessity.

The Benefits of Long-Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers


Addiction is a complex issue, and the path to recovery is no different. The right long-term treatment program can help you address every issue that lies at the heart of your addiction in a way that is constantly adapting and evolving to your unique needs.

Some benefits of long-term, dual diagnosis treatment include:

  • Medical detoxification. The first step on the road to recovery is giving yourself time to rid your body of drugs. In some cases (such as benzodiazepine withdrawal) the detoxification process can take months. This already poses a problem for short-term programs, which is why these kinds of addictions typically require an equally long time in treatment for proper recovery.
  • More time for rehabilitation. Addiction doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, meaning long-term treatment isn’t always best. But with such a path, you have much more time to focus on address each root of your addiction and move towards rehabilitation. This is especially necessary for those with complex addictions involving co-occurring mental health disorders, family relationships, and addictions with the potential for protracted withdrawal symptoms.
  • Building support networks. By establishing peer support networks, you are facilitating your recovery both within the treatment setting and afterward. With more time to build these relationships, your bonds will strengthen and help you gain more from your recovery. You’ll also have more time to explore professional supports, giving them more freedom to guide you and dig deep into the roots of your addiction.

If you think that you’re in a position where long-term treatment is going to be the best route, you should at least consider it as an option. Keeping yourself open to the available treatment programs will ensure that you get started on the absolute best foot. Moving into the first stage (diagnosis) with an open mind is the best way to ensure you get the help that you need.

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Choosing the Best Path to Recovery


The right residential treatment program will provide you with the tools and support networks necessary to begin your path to overcoming your struggle with addiction. When considering your options, always choose a dual diagnosis center that offers comprehensive psychological testing. This will ensure that you get started on a path defined by the treatment modalities best suited for your problems. These modalities range from various kinds of holistic therapies to traditional therapies.

No matter what twists and turns your journey to recovery takes, take the time to explore your healing in an environment that allows for professional, personalized treatment. Addiction recovery can feel like walking a tightrope, but the more time you spend focusing on your treatment, the more stable you will feel.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive addiction rehabilitation for anyone that requires addiction treatment. Contact us today to learn how you or your loved one can benefit from long-term residential programs designed for substance abuse disorders.