Traditional drug and alcohol rehab program is based on a 28-day period. Early models for recovering from drug and alcohol addiction were formatted based on this four-week schedule. The design for the 28-day structure began around 1940 and was based on a 12-step strategy. It’s not ironic that a popular motion picture from the year 2000 took its title from this philosophy.
The movie 28-days was full of a number of comical scenes and light overtones, but it didn’t fail to impress upon viewers the most important point. Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is serious business. It just happens to be that, like the title of the movie, many inpatient programs span a period of 28-days.
So, why are so many programs 28-days, and what can you expect to be the basic treatment payout of a rehab program of this length? While there are points in early recovery that focus directly on the individual person, there are systematic steps that most facilities follow. Here is an overview of the basic 28-day rehab program.
Each individual may have a different degree of drug or alcohol withdrawal. One-week is the customary time period necessary to safely reduce the physical effects of being without its drug of choice. The mental distractions created by this physically challenging period make it hard to focus on recovery. There are four basic factors that influence the detox stage.
- The type of addiction is important, primarily whether it’s alcohol or drugs, and the type of drugs.
- Next, it is critical to determine how long the individual has been using.
- Professionals will also apply consideration to how much and how often the alcoholic drank, or how frequently they used drugs.
- Finally, there a number of personal factors that will influence the length of detox required, such as gender, body size and individual physiological factors of each person.
Stabilization and Realization
Once free from the often agonizing physical withdrawals from drugs and alcohol, a person’s mind will begin to clear. Now, under the supervision of compassionate and knowledgeable counselors, you will begin to feel mentally stable.
Once the mind clears, it is more readily open to suggestions addressing an obvious problem. Without an honest, open-minded willingness to face the reality that there is a problem, sustained recovery is difficult.
A majority of this stage in a 28-day rehab program will involve presenting you with facts about your addiction. While some aspects of this reality may be startling, they are necessary for most alcoholics and addicts to appreciate the severity of the potential consequences of continuing down a perilous road.
There will be a series of one-on-one meetings with skilled professionals to help you formulate a new way of thinking. You’ll meet and begin to interact with like-minded individuals in recovery.
These will be people who can relate to your pain, and also understand your passion to make life-altering changes. During this stage of stabilization, it will become easier to accept the reality of drug addiction and alcoholism are cunning and baffling diseases.
Finishing Work for a Foundation
The final portion of a 28-day rehab program is often equated to finishing school. However, once this last portion of the format is completed, clients are not magically cured and forever drug and alcohol-free.
As you begin to better understand what recovery is all about, you’ll be gifted with a set of tools to establish a stable foundation for recovery. Just like an eloquent finishing school, the knowledge provided during this period of the program is the knowledge that will sustain the client over the weeks and years to come.
These final days within the protective environment of a 28-day rehab program are going to be followed by a period of outpatient supervision and a lifelong program of recovery. There are three things that you’ll work on during this final couple of weeks in your 28-day stay.
Knowledge and Information
Educating you about alcoholism and drug addiction is a priority of every rehab structure. It is important to appreciate the mental and physical damage that happens as a result of these addictions.
There are usually classroom types of settings where you’ll be exposed to the physical ramifications of abusing drugs and alcohol. You’ll be presented with statistical information on recovery, and why relapse is a pitfall that consumes so many alcoholics and addicts.
Personal Counseling and Group Interaction
You will share your own experiences with counselors and others working towards recovery. These open exchanges will help develop an educated foundation to address issues as they arise after you leave the rehab environment.
While your counselors will be a vital source of knowledge and support, the shared experiences of those who truly understand will prove refreshing. As you begin to share in group settings and in outside meetings, you’ll gain improved confidence that you don’t ever have to struggle along the road of recovery alone.
No road to recovery should be attempted without a plan. It is a journey, not a destination. Attempting to sustain a lifelong abstinence from drugs and alcohol without a plan would be like setting out on a trip with no map and no idea where you’re headed.
There is a strong probability that you’ll end up lost. No one wants or needs to experience the fear of feeling alone in recovery. With an organized plan of action, developed during your last stages in a 28-day rehab program, you’ll have a road map for recovery.
You’ll always have access to a compassionate staff of counselors once you head out into the real-world of recovery. While there will be an after-care plan in place, just knowing you have a compassionate person to consult can be reassuring when challenges arise.
When it comes to compassion, few will be able to share the same level of sympathy as one of your recovery peers. Part of every good plan developed during a 28-day rehab program is a support network. This network should include people of all levels of clean and sober.
They can be an indispensable resource when faced with the horrific urge to relapse. This final phase of a 28-day rehab program is not the end of your journey. It is a beginning, a road map for a lifelong journey towards a happier and more fulfilling life, free from drugs and alcohol.
This is an overview of the basic layout for a 28-day rehab program. Keep in mind that there are individual circumstances that can make it necessary to slightly modify this layout. The general objective is to address the potentially dangerous period of physical withdrawal first.
Once you’re feeling more emotionally stable, you’ll be able to better absorb and appreciate suggestions to help you realize the brevity of the problem. An initial rehab program, no matter what the length, is not a panacea for drug and alcohol addiction.
It is the first vital step in the right direction, but it is a phase that will help expose you to the beautiful journey in recovery.