What Helps People Stay in Treatment?

The biggest predictor of success for those in drug and alcohol treatment is the length of stay in residential treatment. And the magic number is not the average 28 days. No, it’s 90 days or more, which is more than three times the average length of drug and alcohol treatment in the United States. If you have a loved one entering drug and alcohol treatment, encourage him or her to stay as long as possible.

If you’ve ever wondered what helps people stay in treatment, there are three primary influences: individual engagement, facility engagement, and intensive interventions.

Individual Engagement

No one can be forced into sobriety. Yes, they can be made to not use, but that doesn’t mean a person is in recovery. For full recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, the personal must be engaged in treatment and themselves.

Here are some of the most important aspects of engagement that keeps someone motivated in treatment and recovery.

  • Motivation for change
  • Support from family and friends
  • Pressure from the criminal justice system, CYS, work, etc.

Facility Engagement

If a person does not feel like they’re engaged at the drug and alcohol treatment center, chances are they’re not going to stay. To increase engagement at the facility, the following should be present.

  • Positive therapeutic relationships with staff
  • Cooperative treatment plan
  • Clear treatment expectations
  • Medicinal, psychiatric, and social services available

Intensive Interventions

Although no one can physically keep someone at a drug and alcohol treatment facility, they can intervene and try to dissuade the person from leaving and when there’s the possibility for intensive interventions, it’s more likely to keep a person in treatment. These interventions may call upon the patient’s counselor, support staff, family, friends, and maybe even coworkers or other professionals. These interventions allow the patient to see how many people care about him, and want him to succeed. It is also the place where incentives for change are given, as well as support for recovery and treatment.

Often families undermine a client staying in treatment. As clients progress through their recovery, they are often confronted with the need to change difficult aspects of their personality that is contributing to their addiction. As therapists push clients to change these cognative “thinking errors” some clients find this stressful and want to leave. When this happens they call their family to pick them up from treatment. Other clients experience withdrawal and stress and want to leave to use.  This is when families can have the biggest impact for helping a client stay in treatment. When a client calls to leave treatment families need to hold their boundaries and tell their loved one they will not pick them up or fly them home until they have completed the entire treatment program. Clients may beg, plead threaten and negotiate; however, families need to stay strong not facilitate helping the client home. We have had clients walk out of treatment and spend the night on the street or in a hotel, and then they realize they still need help and call us back to come back into treatment. Some clients leave and use, which helps them realize how much they dislike the addicted lifestyle. These clients regularly come back to treatment. Cold Creek is unique, because we usually let them back into the program if they are willing to commit to work the program and focus on their recovery. Bringing a client home undermines their recovery by bringing them back to friends familiar environments where they can easily use. This reinforces that there is no consequences for their actions and undermines the confidence they can gain through successfully completing something difficult on their own.

If you or someone you love is in need of drug and alcohol addiction treatment, learn what helps people stay in treatment. That way, you can give your support and get your loved one the help he or she needs.

The Cold Creek Lodge

If you’re looking for a top of the line, Utah addiction treatment center, The Cold Creek Lodge is it. Focused on individual needs, our mountain rehab takes a non-12-step approach to recovery and covers all the different levels of addiction treatment, meeting your needs no matter where you are on your recovery journey. With residential, outpatient, day treatment, and sober living treatment options, and a range of therapeutic approaches like CBT, DBT, EMDR, MI, equine therapy, and more, we give you everything you need to embrace sobriety and start living your life.

Contact us today to learn more about the Cold Creek Lodge and our approach to recovery.