What is Long-Term Addiction Treatment?


What is Long-Term Addiction Treatment?

While addiction science has come a long way in the past several decades, treatment for substance use disorder remains a process for those who seek long-lasting recovery. The advancements in medicine made throughout the current, ongoing opioid epidemic have produced effective medications that help many struggling with addiction. However, successful recovery is not as simple as taking a dose of medicine every day.


Can Length of Treatment Predict Recovery Success?

A study found that those who remain in treatment for a longer span of time tend to be more successful and have lower readmission rates after following patients for twelve years. Patients in the study who completed 90 days in treatment on average showed more favorable outcomes, suggesting that the duration of a program is a strong indicator of future success.

According to statistics in the study, there appears to be an inverse relationship between re-admittance into recovery programs and how long a patient attends treatment. Those who tend to re-enroll into addiction treatment programs previously had shorter treatment durations than those who remained in recovery. All evidence shows that the longer patients actively seek services aligned with comprehensive, community-based treatment programs, the more successful they will be in recovery.


What Kind of Treatment is Most Successful?

Everyone’s opioid use disorder recovery journey looks different, and every patient requires a personalized treatment plan to give them the best chance at succeeding. That being said, not all treatment methods work the same way. Many studies have compared the effectiveness of residential inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment programs with varying results.

Recent statistics from 2020 show that patients enrolled in intensive inpatient residential treatment for opioid use disorder (both short and long term) were associated with higher levels of overdose and hospitalization upon release. However, a study from 2011 shows that residential treatment shows a higher completion rate among patients at a rate of 64.5%, while outpatient methods carry a completion rate of 51.9%.

Despite the face value of the metrics in these studies, it’s difficult to conclude concrete answers about what is better for everyone seeking opioid addiction treatment. Still, it suggests that long-term outpatient treatment would carry the greatest chances of long-term recovery. This includes medication-assisted treatment with substance use counseling and regular group sessions for an average of 90 days or longer into completion with continued care as needed.


Why is Long-Term Outpatient Treatment Effective?

Outpatient opioid addiction treatment is evidence-based and uses FDA-approved medications to help patients overcome withdrawal symptoms as they work to rebuild their lives. Comprehensive medication-assisted programs also provide group and individual substance use counseling so patients can better understand their chronic illness and prepare for a life of long-lasting recovery. Among these benefits, outpatient program formats tend to help those with opioid addiction adjust to living everyday life while attending treatment, allowing them to seek and maintain employment and take care of their responsibilities, including family and civic obligations. This means that patients can learn and work through their challenges as they happen in the real world as they progress through their treatment program.

Inpatient residential programs are undoubtedly helpful for some cases of chronic relapse and those who have had repeated unsuccessful attempts with outpatient methods. However, the isolated nature of long-term residential treatment can make re-joining society difficult for patients, thus leading to difficulty with preventing relapse or dealing with day-to-day triggers. Some studies show that the length of stay at residential inpatient facilities doesn’t correlate with better outcomes despite previous patterns observed. Ultimately, the right approach to opioid use disorder treatment is highly subjective, and each person will require an expert opinion on which venue is best for them. Luckily, there are more options than ever in history when it comes to addiction treatment, so finding the right fit is possible.


Seeking Opioid Addiction Treatment in New Mexico

Recovery Services of New Mexico provides outpatient opioid use disorder treatment for those looking to take back what addiction took from their lives. The compassionate staff and knowledgeable medical providers and nurse practitioners at RSONM facilities are dedicated to making every patient feel comfortable for the duration of their opioid addiction treatment, regardless of how long their journey towards long-lasting recovery lasts. Message or call us today to learn more about our recovery programs.