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Addiction affects individuals in different ways, but the effects of an unhealthy dependence on drugs, alcohol, or other addictive behaviors, like gambling or pornography, are often the same. All of these dependencies result in an excessive compulsion to participate in unhealthy activities and in unfortunate short and long-term consequences. Addictions can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s personal life and relationships with a spouse, children, parents, friends and others. The individual who is addicted to substances or activities may struggle in the workplace which can impact his or her financial situation. In some cases, the individual may have a related legal charges, and this can compound the situation.

Fortunately there is addiction rehabilitation treatment for these behaviors. Recovery is generally a lifelong process, and the individual must receive ample support and care from those close to him or her in order to find success and recovery on a daily basis. In most cases, individuals who are most successful in their effort will spend time in an addiction treatment center and emerge a sober and transformed individual.


The first stage in any treatment program is the detoxification stage. During this stage, an addict who is dependent on drugs or alcohol may experience physical withdrawal symptoms as the substance passes through the body. Individuals who are addicted to an activity or behavior may need to overcome their impulse to participate in the behavior. Generally, the detox process can take between three and fourteen days, but the actual time may vary based on the level of dependency the body has on the substance, as well as the type of substance in the body.

In some cases, the individual suffering from a dependency on drugs or alcohol may participate in a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or a residential treatment program. In these programs, the detox stage may be medically assisted. Some withdrawal symptoms may be painful, and medical assistance can make this process easier to endure. There are also intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and outpatient programs (OP) for all types of addiction.

The Treatment and Therapy Process

In many cases, the inpatient and hospitalization programs are shorter in length and more intensive in nature, but this is not always the case. When an individual initially visits an addiction treatment center, he or she will participate in a screening process. During the initial screening process, the needs of the patient will be ascertained by well-trained individuals and the level of the dependency will be determined. While the detoxification stage may be the first stage in all types of treatments, the type or level of assistance provided after detoxification may vary.

Some individuals may need assistance with stress management or behavioral counseling to overcome their addiction. Others may need to learn how to better deal with anxiety in social situations. Each addict has a behavior that stems from unique factors, influences, stressors or even personality traits and genetic conditions, and these will be reviewed during the consultation. A customized treatment plan will then be created that will address those unique issues and challenges. Once the individual has completed their treatment plan and are ready to return to their everyday life, they are given the option of living in a sober living facility. The individual may live at a sober living facility for as little or as long as needed, between 30 to 365 days. This step serves as a transition from living in a treatment facility to a house with other addicts in recovery who maintain a steady job and are working to remain in recovery. Sober living facilities offer the individual the support system they need upon leaving the addiction treatment center.

Why Treatment Lengths Vary

A typical treatment length can vary from approximately 30 days to 18 months or longer. This is a large variation in treatment times, and this variation stems from the fact that each addiction is unique and each individual has special needs that must be met during the treatment process. In addition, some individuals react differently to certain types of treatment. The treatment process may include group therapy, individual therapy and counseling, and medicated treatment. Psychological disorders, behaviors and social situations may all be contributing to the addiction, and these will all be addressed and treated during a successful treatment. The treatment plan will be reviewed up-front with the addict before the process begins.

Receiving Support at Home During Recovery

After the actual treatment process has been completed, the individual may still struggle with an inclination or desire to participate in the behavior again. Individuals are never cured of an addiction, and instead they will remain in an on-going state of recovery. Those who are most successful at leading a sober lifestyle free of their negative or destructive behavior are those who receive adequate support at home and from their friends. Because of this, the best treatment plan is one that incorporates education and support services for the loved one of the addict. Continuum of care in the treatment process is important. When an individual relapses, there may be a need for the individual to walk through the entire treatment process once again. If you or a loved one is struggling with a problem with alcohol, drugs or any type of impulsive behavioral issue, it is important to reach out to an addiction treatment center to receive the support that is needed.

If you would like to speak to one of our compassionate advisors for guidance on addiction treatment, please call us. We are here 24 hours a day: (800) 260-2109