LONG TERM TREATMENT CENTERS AND THEIR ADVANTAGES When someone you love becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is natural to wish you could make them quit. Unfortunately, as difficult as it is to watch a loved one destroying themselves, the decision to quit using must be made by the addict. What you can do is prepare yourself for the time when the addict you love has had enough. By researching treatment options and coming to understand the disease of addiction, you can make yourself ready to step in when the time to help arrives. Choosing a treatment center can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially with the variety of options available. Though some treatment centers may claim that they can “cure” alcoholism or drug addiction in a 30-day period, claims like these are essentially marketing ploys. In order to fully address all aspects of alcohol and drug addiction, time and energy needs to be invested in handling all of the components of addictive thinking and behavior. These include physical addiction, emotional and psychological problems, and misguided life skills. Put bluntly, this multifaceted restructuring of the addict’s life cannot be successful if it isn’t given at least 90 days to develop. Long term treatment centers like Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women in Costa Mesa, California require addicts to put a great deal of time and effort into recovery. By moving addicts into a residential treatment facility for the duration of the program, these long term treatment centers insulate newly sober individuals from situations that might trigger the desire to use or drink. Residential treatment centers function as therapeutic communities, reducing the stress of day-to-day life to a bare minimum so that recovery and self-discovery can take center stage. Though residential long term treatment centers generally exist in non-hospital settings, they are staffed 24 hours a day and are always ready to address any medical issue that may arise as a result of the detoxification process. Safe Harbor Treatment Center offers a 90-day program for women, and a 12-month sober living option to follow up treatment. Long term treatment centers like Safe Harbor are realistic about the time involved in the resocialization process. As addicts and alcoholics, the women who come to Safe Harbor have practiced unhealthy living patterns for years, sometimes decades. They need to spend a significant period of time submersed in a healthy, functional and nurturing community in order to cultivate new patterns. Like the programs offered at most long term treatment centers, Safe Harbor’s treatment program is a structured curriculum of activities that encourages residents to assess counterproductive beliefs, self-image, and behavioral patterns, and helps them adopt new healthy ideas and strategies for interacting with others. Safe Harbor separates itself from similar long term treatment centers in the area of community support. The unparalleled strength and cohesiveness of the Safe Harbor community makes it an ideal place for women to embark on the journey of recovery. All of the staff members are women who have overcome the disease of addiction, making them relatable mentors for freshly sober addicts. After completing the 90-day treatment program, most women choose to move into one of Safe Harbor’s sober living houses for the duration of their first year of sobriety. They remain active members of the community and stay involved by reaching out to women who have just arrived in treatment. This aspect of Safe Harbor’s community is truly unique and makes Safe Harbor stand out amongst other long term treatment centers for women. The first stage of recovery is an incredibly vulnerable time for an addict, and women who join Safe Harbor’s nurturing recovery community find themselves supported through this difficult period. One key advantage long term treatment centers have over their 30-day counterparts is that the addict’s stay in treatment will significantly outlast withdrawal from substances and detoxification of the body. In a 30-day program, there is barely enough time for the body to return to a normal balanced state, let alone time for the mind to reorient itself. In a 90-day program like Safe Harbor’s, residents have time to become reacquainted with living sober before they are thrust back into the outside world. Effective treatment programs accept recovery as an individualized process that differs from person to person. At Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women, residents are given the freedom to progress at a rate that is individually appropriate for them. A continuing care program is available for women who complete the 90-day treatment program and move on to sober living, but still require a more intense level of individual attention from counselors and case managers. Long term treatment centers design their programs with the understanding that recovery is a lifelong commitment. Alcoholism and addiction are chronic diseases which cannot be eradicated. Even when the mind and body have cleansed themselves of outside substances, the psychological factors behind addiction remain. For this reason, depression is not uncommon in the first year of sobriety. With therapy and other resources provided by long term treatment centers, it is possible to process some of these repressed issues, thereby relieving some of the pain, but it will not happen overnight. It crucial that an individual be situated amidst a supportive recovery community for a substantial period of time after getting sober if relapse is to be avoided. Though 30-day treatment programs have long been the status quo, statistics are causing people to reconsider the effectiveness of the standard 30-day program. Even when two programs offer the same treatment regimen, studies have shown that the longer program will yield better results. Long term treatment centers are often the last house on the block for addicts who have tried to stay sober and failed repeatedly. What did not stick in a short-term rehab program tends to suddenly register when given sufficient time to develop. Long term treatment centers like Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women are capable of doing much more than simply detoxifying an addict and briefing her with a few lessons about addiction. By welcoming this addict into a functional sober community, Safe Harbor gives her the opportunity and the time to rediscover herself and redesign her life. Recovery is the only option for addicts and alcoholics who want to live again – what is a few months or a year in exchange for life?