Residential Treatment: Short or Long Term?

Published on March 2nd, 2014

Are you interested in seeking substance abuse treatment? If so, it can be a challenge to decide what will work best for you.

One of the biggest questions you have to answer is this: are you going to opt for short term treatment or long term treatment? There are pros and cons of both, with the obvious difference between the length of time you remain in treatment.

A report published by SAMHSA – Treatment Episode Data Set 2005: Treatment Outcomes among Clients Discharged from Residential Substance Abuse Treatment –took a closer look at the characteristics of clients who have received treatment at an in-patient facility.

The report compares patients in short term treatment (30 days or less) against those who checked into long term treatment (more than 30 days). This includes people of varying education levels, as well as those who reported primary drug or alcohol abuse.

The Findings

The study turned up a variety of data, with some of the most important points as follows:

  • Patients discharged from short term treatment were more likely to complete treatment than those who were previously discharged from long term treatment
  • Short term patients with primary alcohol abuse had a completion rate of 66 percent
  • Short term patients with stimulant abuse had the lowest completion rate at 46 percent
  • Long term patients with primary alcohol abuse had a completion rate of 46 percent
  • Long term patients reporting cocaine abuse had a completion rate of 33 percent
  • Long term patients reporting opiate abuse had a completion rate of 35 percent

Reasons for Discharge from Residential Treatment

The reason for being discharged from a residential treatment program differs greatly when comparing short term and long term patients.

Short Term

  • 57 percent completed treatment
  • 17 percent transferred
  • 15 percent dropped out
  • 7 percent terminated by the facility
  • 4 percent fell into another category

Long Term

  • 38 percent completed treatment
  • 31 percent dropped out
  • 13 percent transferred
  • 9 percent terminated by the facility
  • 9 percent fell into another category

These stats should help you better understand how people respond to both short term and long term addiction treatment. Both types of treatment are available, so knowing the pros and cons will put you on the right path to recovery.

PSA brought to you by QuitAlcohol.com
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