Drug and alcohol addiction and dependency did not develop overnight or over a twenty eight day period. An addiction is developed over a long period of time. It is a slow gradual process. There is usually a lot of fear, insecurity, and trauma that fuels addiction. Those contributing factors are what keep the individual "sick" and active in their disease. A short term program does not allow the individual with the time to conquer those contributing factors. It merely is a band aid for the problem. It temporarily removes the addicted individual from temptation. Short term programs provide an introduction to recovery. But that often is not enough. Once the individual returns to society, they lack the skills and the confidence to utilize the tools of recovery to stay sober. It is also not uncommon for addicted individuals to enter treatment to "run from their problems. It acts as a vacation from life. However, life is waiting when they return they do not have the ability to remain abstinent.
Long term programs allow for the individual to experience recovery. The individual has the opportunity to develop and learn the missing tools and coping skills that are required to live a sober life. The new skills are like any other skills; it takes time, focus, practice, and experience support to master them successfully. The long term setting provides addicted individuals with the time needed to overcome their fears and insecurities while coming to peace with past trauma. Chances for recovery improve when distanced from addiction and using associated "people, places, and things". The resolve to recover and remain there is stronger when residents are not only exposed to a new way of life but they are having the opportunity to experience the rewards of clean living and helping others. The key to success is the addict/alcoholics desire to become sober and achieve serenity. Having experience a period of sobriety, people develop a willingness to maintain their new lifestyle.
Over the past five years, I have been working in the drug and alcohol treatment industry. My experience has shown that the longer an individual is removed from temptation their chances of recovery increase dramatically. Recovery is more than just physically sobriety. It is about finding a new way of living that allows for addicts to face life on life's terms. Addicts always want the world to revolve around their needs. Being in recovery, allows them to face the challenges of life as they encountered without the need to alter their mind and body with substances. Long term programs give addicts an opportunity to do this in a safe and supportive environment.