My older brother has been in rehab several times, and along the way I’ve gotten a pretty good education on program basics and variations. The first goal of most organizations is to get individuals clean for between 28 days to one month. During this initial phase of recovery, counseling and group work is done to help individuals come to terms with the fact that they have a problem. Often, restitution is made to family members that have been hurt by the addicted person’s actions, and a plan is created to live clean and sober after rejoining society out of the program.
For many people, a month-long ìwake up callî is all that is required to shake an addiction and get back on track toward healthy living. For others, like my brother, this short period is just not enough time to get to the root issues that drive an individual to substance abuse.
During his last fall off the wagon, my brother lost his job and his apartment in the same week. Seriously lacking options, he called a no-nonsense friend that has been involved in the world of recovery for years. She offered to let my brother stay at her place for a short while, if he agreed to check himself into a long-term rehab program. He agreed, and the search for an effective, extended Drug rehab program began.
Long-term programs generally run anywhere from three months to two years. Many of these programs operate as a halfway house, allowing patients to earn money (much of which is usually saved in a bank account for post-rehab use) while they work through their issues via ongoing group and individual counseling. Some programs operate totally outside of regular life. Patients live in secluded and rustic settings, often performing farm labor to pay their way through the program. Other programs operate in the heart of the city, ensuring that their patients must face their demons as they run into old ìparty buddiesî or drug dealers during the course of the program.
Regardless of the program an individual chooses, it is imperative that the family members of the addicted individual offer support without rushing in to rescue. During the course of a long-term rehab program, serious issues with parents and other family members are almost guaranteed to arise. These loved ones are often called in to participate in therapy sessions with the addicted individual, as a way to resolve the issues and bring healing to wounded areas in the soul.
Though my brother has put the entire family through a great deal of heartache and worry during his roller coaster life of addiction, we still love him and believe that he can push through to a drug free and healthy life. It is never easy to come to terms with addiction or to make serious life changes, but numerous programs exist today that have stellar success rates for turning out long-term clean and sober individuals. Add my brother to that list; he is going all the way.