The 30 Day Myth- Shouldn’t Rehab Only Take 30 days?

A Drug Education Article by Suncoast Rehab Center

There is an idea in society that drug rehabilitation should only take 30 days. This idea says that, after only 30 days of withdrawal and treatment, the individual should be clean and sober for the rest of his or her life – and if they don’t remain sober, there is something wrong with that person.

This “30 day” standard of treatment is not workable for many people. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in these shorter rehab programs 40-60% of people return to drugs and alcohol. This is because the amount of time withdrawal and rehabilitation takes is actually individual, it can’t be penned into a cookie-cutter 30 day program.

You might be very surprised to learn that the idea of a 28-30 day course of treatment has no medical or scientific basis. These time limited programs were originally created to accommodate very specific circumstances – those of the US Air Force. The amount of time a person serving in the US Air Force could be away from duty without having to be reassigned was 28-30 days. This is how the “30 day” treatment program was born.

However, it is rather catchy and it seems convenient. An office or job can agree that an employee leaving for a set 30 days does not seem as bad as a longer, less definite time period. It may seem hard for a family to face the absence of a loved one for longer than 30 days. Plus, 30 days seems like quite a long time all by itself.

Withdrawal and recovery periods can vary, depending on the drug, how much has been used, and for how long. Most physical withdrawal symptoms stop after a week or so for many individuals. This is separate to the action of rehabilitation. This is simply stopping the ongoing onslaught of harmful drugs which are poisoning the person’s body.

Not only does an individual need to stop feeling the physical effects of the drugs, they need to overcome the mental effects, they need to rebuild their health, and they need to discover the underlying reason they began taking drugs. After they have achieved this, they need to work out how to go on living without drugs or alcohol. This time of self-  discovery and rebuilding does not have a time limit upon it. It is different for every person.

Evidence-based methodology and procedures are being practiced and supported more and more in the field of drug addiction services, but the temptation to try a “quick fix” is always there. In fact, we are coached as a society to pursue the fast solution, the pill that will resolve it all. This is why such unworkable ideas as the “30 day rehabilitation program” spring up and stick.

When dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, faster isn’t better. One needs time to carry out a complete step by step treatment to get to the desired end result—kicking the habit for good.

At Suncoast Rehabilitation Center we give a person exactly that—a long-term program that helps the individual handle the damage done to the body through drug and alcohol abuse. We utilize exercises and counseling which work to help a person discover and handle the root of their drug addiction.

It takes longer than 30 days for a body to heal and build back the lost vitamins and minerals from the depletion and deficiencies caused by drug use. So, our first focus is on just that: building the body back up and making the person physically strong. Then we move on to the mental and emotional, therapeutic part of the program. We use this powerful combination to help a person overcome their addiction; a detoxification of the body, which removes the remnants of drugs in the system to keep cravings from causing a constant battle, along with cognitive therapy and counseling to help a person get back in control of their life again.

And there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a person who is now drug-free and eager to live their new life. For more information on our full service rehabilitation program, contact us at (866) 572-1788.