why completing 90-day treatment is the beginning of the journey, not the end


Once you or a loved one enters rehab, you might breathe a sigh of relief and think, “It’s finally over.” Hopefully, if the treatment center is any good, this will turn out to be true, but quitting drugs or alcohol is only the first step in a long, arduous journey. Recovery isn’t a destination — it’s an ongoing process. Even 90-day programs that lay the groundwork for a sober life require a lot of effort afterward to maintain it. There are no quick cures or shortcuts.

That’s not to say that completing treatment isn’t a big milestone. It is. But then the real work begins. Instead of returning to your old ways, you’ll establish a new normal, practice healthier habits, and decide what you want out of life, all while learning to manage triggers, temptations and stressors in the real world. It’s hard, but people who view their time in rehab as a beginning rather than an end are more likely to stay on track and reach their goals, especially after building a strong foundation in a long-term treatment program.

raising the bar with 90-day treatment

Until now, the standard in addiction treatment has always been 30-day programming. This became the norm in rehab centers across the nation and is still common today, despite this model never being based on research or even real medical evidence. Dr. David Lewis, an addiction expert who helped develop the first treatment programs used by the U.S. Air Force, suggests that the 30-day template was established more for convenience — no duty reassignments were needed for individuals who were away for less than a month. Other treatment centers began to follow suit with cookie-cutter programs and 28 to 30 days of inpatient care became the new benchmark.

Today, we know that more time is needed to build a strong foundation for lasting recovery. Relapse rates remain high with short-term programs, but longer durations are associated with better outcomes as people have a chance to peel back the layers and dig into the underlying issues that fuel their addiction, such as mental illness or trauma. Long-term programs can also provide more extensive, detailed treatment planning that addresses the full scope of a patient’s needs and prepares them for life after rehab.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that at least 3 months are needed to get sober and successfully maintain a healthy lifestyle. While 90 days might not be the new “magic number,” more is always better when it comes to addiction, as anything else increases the chance of relapse. That’s why 90-day programming is becoming the new standard of care at Choice House and a handful of other treatment centers across the nation.

benefits of long-term care

With a 90-day stay in rehab, individuals are more likely to achieve lasting success in recovery and gain the tools needed to build a healthy future outside of treatment. Extended programs are ideal for anyone with addiction issues, but are especially helpful for those with co-occurring mental health disorders, medical concerns, trauma, or a history of relapse. Other benefits of long-term care include:

more time to learn new recovery skills

Learning new coping skills is a hallmark of addiction treatment. Some of the things taught include conflict resolution, setting boundaries, recognizing triggers, and managing interpersonal relationships. But short-term stays don’t give individuals enough time to really utilize these tools and discover what works best for them. A 90-day program helps build and internalize healthier coping skills so they come more naturally once treatment has ended.

more time to change unhealthy habits

For most addicts, drug or alcohol use carries on for years and becomes integrated into their daily lives. That’s part of what makes it so hard to get sober. Long-term treatment programs provide an opportunity for the brain to “reset” and unlearn these bad habits while replacing them with newer, healthier ones.

more time to address a wider range of needs

Addiction often brings with it a number of complex issues, including social, financial, legal, mental and emotional problems. For recovery to last, it’s necessary to address all of this and more during the treatment process. Short-term care provides just enough time to scratch the surface of an individual’s drug or alcohol use, but doesn’t dig deeply into these underlying issues. 90-day programming gives individuals a chance to address a wider range of needs throughout the recovery process.

more time away from harmful influences

Sometimes, our lives are full of people, places or things that can encourage and reinforce addictive behavior. It’s hard to get sober without breaking free from these harmful influences, but a 90-day program allows people to do just that. During this time, they’ll have the chance to build a foundation for recovery, connect with others who share the same values, and decide how they want to live their lives.

continuing to live a sober lifestyle

If completing treatment is just the beginning of the recovery process, then what comes next? This is a common question for people getting ready to leave rehab. It’s hard to imagine this as a new beginning if you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, you won’t be left on your own after graduating from Choice House’s 90-day program — you’ll have the option to continue your treatment with outpatient care and a structured sober living environment.

community outpatient program

Outpatient care at Choice House provides individuals more freedom and opportunity to start applying what they’ve learned in treatment to their daily lives. It can be challenging to navigate a new sober lifestyle after rehab, but here, clients will find ongoing support and camaraderie that makes it a little easier. This level of care includes services such as individual and group therapy, case management, 12-step facilitation, relapse prevention and more.

transitional sober living

Most clients in our outpatient program are also part of our sober living community. Our private, comfortable homes are located in Boulder county near downtown Louisville, providing plenty of opportunities for shopping, recreation and outdoor activity. Comprehensive clinical care, case management and life skills development are also included, but the real benefit of sober living is becoming part of a community that will have your back and help further your recovery.

We also provide alumni support to help residents stay in touch and find support long after treatment. Our goal is to foster lasting relationships among clients so you’ll always have someone to turn to when things get rough. Some ways we help keep alumni connected include group meetings, outings and expeditions, special events, and volunteer opportunities.

enrolling in a 90-day recovery program

Choice House’s 90-day treatment program is ideal for men from all walks of life struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. We emphasize individualized care and utilize a number of evidence-based methods to establish lasting recovery, including a long-term treatment model, proven psychotherapies, experiential therapy, dual diagnosis care, trauma work and a unique outdoor component that deepens the healing process. To enroll, give us a call to connect with a member of our admissions team. You can also email us at hello@choicehouse.com.

If you or a loved one has a problem with substance abuse and needs help, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact or call us today at 303-578-4765 to learn more about our 90-day standard of care and how it can help end the cycle of addiction.

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