Short-Term vs. Long-Term Inpatient Drug Rehab: Which Is Best for My Loved One?
Long-term drug abuse can have devastating effects on a person’s life, leaving him or her unable to function or even survive from day to day. Whether one’s drug of choice is heroin, crack cocaine or OxyContin, the very nature of addictive drugs works against the health of the body and mind.
By the time a person requires inpatient drug rehab, drastic changes have taken place in his or her physical and psychological well-being. At this level of addiction, the standard 30-day treatment program can do little to address the challenges and obstacles your loved one faces.
Deciding between short-term and long-term inpatient drug rehab has to do with choosing the program that best meets your loved one’s treatment needs. Understanding how addiction progresses and the effects it leaves behind along the way can help in determining which type of inpatient drug rehab program will work best.
The Drug Addiction Process
Addictive drugs exert their effects by interfering with the chemical workings of the brain. While different drug types interact with different areas in the brain, the overall effect remains the same.
The much sought after “high” experience develops out of a drug’s ability to force the release of large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals. Over time, these effects cause damage to chemical-producing brain cells, at which point chemical imbalances start to develop.
A person experiences withdrawal episodes on an increasingly frequent basis as chemical imbalances become more pronounced. According to the State University of New York at Buffalo, these conditions start to impair the areas of the brain that regulate reasoning, emotions and motivation, all working to create the addiction mindset.
Short-Term vs Long-Term Inpatient Drug Rehab
As a general rule, the more severe the addiction the longer a person’s treatment stay should be. For regular drug users, the damage done to the brain’s chemical system worsens over time, impairing the brain’s ability to maintain the overall health of the body.
With chronic, long-term drug use, major body systems eventually break down, causing chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, liver problems and diabetes to develop. Treating underlying medical problems is an essential first step in addiction recovery as these conditions can undermine your loved one’s efforts to abstain from drug use, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Under these conditions, a long-term inpatient drug rehab program is best equipped to provide the ongoing medical care needed while helping your loved one overcome the damaging effects of addiction on his or her thinking and behavior.
For someone who’s remained in relatively good health but struggles with compulsive drug-using behavior, a short-term drug rehab program may be enough to get him or her back on the right track.
If you or someone you know are considering inpatient drug rehab and need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-430-1407Who Answers? to speak with one of our addiction specialists.