Long term rehab programs give addicts the best chance at recovery by sheltering and nurturing them during the vulnerable early stages of sobriety. Unlike 30-day or outpatient treatment programs, long term rehab programs acknowledge that the disease of addiction is a deadly foe that warrants aggressive and thorough opposition. UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION Those who have not experienced drug addiction firsthand are often perplexed at the behavior of addicts. It is particularly painful for the family and friends of a drug addict to witness the process of self-destruction, and it is difficult for these loved ones to understand that an addict in the midst of his or her disease is incapable of stopping; even for the sake of those they love most dearly. Addiction is often misconstrued as the simple result of poor decision-making. This is a drastically oversimplified understanding of the condition. For a true addict, the idea of choice is a foreign concept. An addict must use, even when he or she wants desperately to stop. The only way to break this destructive pattern is by means of a complete overhaul of the addict’s life. The reconstruction must be external, changing circumstances and behaviors, but it must also affect the addict’s emotional and mental climates. Only by treating the disease of addiction from the inside out can true recovery take place. Long term rehab allows addicts the time they need to delve into these deeper psychological aspects of addiction. GETTING HELP For most addicts, it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that reaching out for help, or at least accepting help that is offered, is a necessity. For most people who use drugs and alcohol in excess, these substances function as something of a self-prescribed medication for psychological, emotional or physical pain. The addict grows attached to the idea that their use of the substance is saving them; it is helping them survive. Addicts hold onto this notion of the substance as a solution, even when it becomes blatant to others that the substance is, or has become, the problem. Because addicts tend to have this medication-like relationship with their drugs of choice, it is hard for them to accept that they are powerless over these substances. When circumstances become dire enough that the addict tries to stop using, only to find it impossible, he or she may come to understand that such a feat cannot be accomplished without help. These moments of despair are valuable windows of opportunity. Even a temporary comprehension of the devastation drugs have wreaked on an individual’s life is enough to inspire this individual to make the decision get help by committing to long term rehab. WHY CHOOSE LONG TERM REHAB? Unfortunately, the consumption of drugs and alcohol is not the only issue that needs to be addressed in recovery. While these behaviors (and perhaps other destructive behaviors) are the most obvious problems, there are always other issues under the surface that need just as desperately to be explored. The root cause of addiction can be described as an inability to cope with life, both externally and internally. People who feel enticed by drugs tend to be people who, for one reason or another, want to escape from themselves. Common causes for this escapist mindset are psychological conditions like chronic depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, as well as traumatic experiences like physical and sexual abuse. If we think of getting high as a means of escaping one’s own mind, where all of this pain is housed, we can understand how other behaviors which provide a similar exit strategy can be equally enticing, and equally dangerous. The disease of addiction manifests in many ways, and usually in multiple ways. Those who suffer from drug addiction and alcoholism are also likely to engage in eating disorders, sex addiction, codependency, gambling or shopping addictions, and self-mutilation. Because the disease of addiction has such a broad root cause, and such a broad effect, long term rehab is the only way to truly address addiction in its entirety. In order to stop using drugs, individuals must come to understand what triggers them to use, and develop new coping strategies. Addicts must also abstain completely from any other addictive behaviors that prevent these new healthy coping mechanisms from taking hold. These are no easy tasks. As creatures of habit and comfort, addicts tend to be people who are terrified of change, making the idea of an entirely new life intimidating. Long term rehab takes the process of restructuring an addict’s entire life seriously and allows this process enough time to unfold. SAFE HARBOR LONG TERM REHAB FOR WOMEN Addiction has a devastating effect on the lives of both men and women, but the specifics of the way it takes hold differ depending on gender. For women suffering from the disease of addiction, the psychological, emotional and situational circumstances surrounding addiction are unique, and need to be acknowledged as such. Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women in Costa Mesa, California understands that recovery for a woman is different than it is for a man, and that women have the best chance at success when they are able to recover in a protected all-female setting. Through a multilateral treatment program comprised of structured therapeutic groups, individual therapy, 12 step meetings, life skills development and uplifting activities, Safe Harbor optimizes the effectiveness of long term rehab. All aspects of Safe Harbor’s treatment program are tailored to suit a woman’s experience of addiction, allowing female addicts to explore any and all experiences and feelings that relate to their drug use without feeling stifled by the presence of men. Safe Harbor’s open and loving environment allows profound growth to take place every day within its community. In addition to women enrolled in the 90-day treatment program, Safe Harbor is home to roughly thirty women who reside in its sober living homes, all of whom serve as mentors to women in the treatment program. Safe Harbor is not only a well-regarded long term rehab center, but also a community of women whose unity and will to recover is unparalleled. Any woman looking to leave drug addiction behind her and commence a new way of living has a home waiting for her at Safe Harbor.