Long-Term Treatment for Drug Addiction

long-term drug addiction treatment

Treating an illness appropriately can sometimes take time. When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can also take time to treat that addiction effectively. Long-term treatment for drug addiction can be critical for your success in recovery.


The first step in overcoming your addiction is to rid your system of the addictive substances you’ve been taking for so long. However, detox by itself is not the total solution to a drug abuse habit. Medically assisted detoxification can help you manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal and can be the steppingstone toward effective long-term treatment for drug addiction. Freeing your body of the toxic substances is critical for your physical health but will not address the underlying causes of your addiction, an important aspect of being able to move forward with a successful recovery.

A Long-Term Process

While it’s important to remain in addiction treatment for an adequate period of time, that timeframe might differ from one person to the next, depending on the individual’s specific situation and needs. Research does indicate that most people need at least three months of addiction treatment to effectively reduce or stop their drug use. The best outcomes are seen with longer treatment durations, as recovery is a long-term process.

It is also vital to assess the treatment plan continually and modify it as necessary to ensure that the program meets the changing needs of the individual over the long term. A combination of services and treatment components may be necessary, depending on how long the individual has abused drugs and the effects addiction has had on their life.

Long-Term Residential Treatment

A residential setting can also prove beneficial when you are in need of long-term treatment for drug addiction. Residential treatment offers care 24 hours a day in a non-hospital setting. Stays in such a setting can last as long as six to twelve months and can help with resocialization skills in addition to other active treatment components.

When undergoing treatment for addiction in a residential program, your therapy may focus on the social and psychological aspects of your addiction. The program will help you develop personal responsibility and accountable as you learn how to lead a socially productive life.

Your treatment will be highly structured, even confrontational at times. You will examine your damaging beliefs and self-concepts as well as your destructive patterns of behavior. The goal is to adopt more constructive ways of interacting with others in your life and to have the tools you need to move forward with a healthier life.

Relapse Is Not Failure

In long-term treatment for drug addiction, you will develop life skills that can help you after you complete the program. However, relapse can occur with drug addiction just as it can occur with any other chronic illness. That does not mean you have failed or that your treatment program has failed. Relapse can, though, signal a need for you to return to or continue your treatment, particularly if you left the program prematurely.

Successful long-term treatment requires engagement and participation as well as continual evaluation and modification. Think of it as you would a chronic disease such as hypertension. If your high blood pressure symptoms were to decrease because of the medications or lifestyle changes, you would say that the treatment was successful. You would not stop the treatment, though, because if you did the symptoms would return.

When you are addicted to drugs and participating in long-term treatment, a relapse does not mean failure. It simply means that you need to continue focusing on your long-term recovery and the addiction treatment that will help get you there.


The professionals at BRC Recovery offer you evidence-based therapeutic approaches to help you with your addiction. We specialize in helping people who have relapsed, recognizing that it does not mean failure. At BRC Recovery, we help you work with you to heal your mind and your body while addressing the underlying issues that lead to your addiction. We bring you real change for your life, with proven treatment options that will empower you to recreate and reclaim your life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer a safe, clean environment so you can continue receiving the highest quality of care. To learn more about our services and to get the help you need, please call BRC Recovery at 1-866-291-2676 to speak to our team.