Why Long Term Treatment Works

Addiction is a chronic condition. Once it develops, it doesn’t just go away overnight, even with proper treatment. That’s because making the decision to get sober involves changing some deep-seated behaviors, and it can be tricky to let go of old habits. We all want quick solutions to life’s problems, but like most things worth doing, recovery is a lifelong commitment that takes a substantial amount of time and effort to achieve.

For these reasons, long-term treatment is usually the best choice for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. While not everyone requires the exact same level of care, recovery programs that span months have been shown to result in better treatment outcomes than their short-term counterparts. Keep reading to learn more about long-term treatment, why it works and what you can expect from a lengthy recovery process.

What is Long-Term Treatment?

At Choice House, we know that recovery doesn’t happen at a specific moment in time. It’s a multi-faceted, intensive process that occurs gradually as you learn more about your addiction, improve your coping skills and examine the underlying factors that drive unhealthy behaviors. Since it’s not easy to completely change your lifestyle at the drop of a hat, we offer long-term treatment and a full continuum of care to help you achieve success.

Typically, long-term treatment takes place at an inpatient facility, where clients live on-site and away from the distractions, temptations and stressors of daily life. This gives you a chance to look at the root cause of your addiction and address any co-occurring issues such as trauma or mental illness. It also provides enough time to detox from the lasting effects of harmful substances, which can linger for days or even weeks after getting sober.

While inpatient care is often preferred, clients can also enroll in a long-term intensive outpatient program (IOP) and transition into a structured sober living environment. Whichever approach is right for you will depend on factors such as your flexibility, treatment needs, substance abuse history and mental health. During the admissions process, our team will perform a comprehensive evaluation to recommend the appropriate level of care.

Why Choose Long-Term Treatment?

Some rehabs offer a standard 30-day program, while others claim to help people get sober in just days or weeks. If these facilities can teach the same recovery skills in a shorter period of time, you might be wondering why long-term treatment is even needed.

It’s important to remember that recovery goes beyond abstinence from drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a powerful habit that requires a fundamental shift in your thinking, behavior and lifestyle to overcome. For the majority of people, it takes more than a month to break old habits and learn new ones, and even longer before making healthier choices starts to feel like second nature. It gets easier with practice, but short-term programs don’t give individuals enough time to enact deep, meaningful changes that will help them stay sober after rehab.

Long-term treatment provides a more comprehensive experience that adequately addresses the underlying factors that contribute to addiction. It gives clients an opportunity to develop their new recovery skills and get the most out of their therapy sessions, but it also helps them break the cycle of dependence and regain a sense of stability. Research shows that this greatly improves treatment outcomes and lowers the risk of relapse upon returning home. The results are even better when long-term care is combined with transitional support, allowing clients to step down into an IOP or sober living after completing an inpatient program.

What to Expect From Long-Term Treatment

Intake & Assessment

The first step on your road to recovery will be the intake and assessment process. You’ll meet with our clinical staff to determine the severity of your addiction and whether you have any underlying mental health issues. This helps us develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs and ensures that Choice House is the right facility for you.


Long-term treatment often includes detox, but some providers prefer that clients undergo this process first before enrolling in rehab. Our assessment team can determine if you need to detox prior to beginning treatment and recommend facilities in the area that can help.

Treatment Goals

Getting sober is an obvious goal of recovery, but some people have other things they want to work on as well. Maybe you want to repair your relationships, go back to school or improve your mental health. You’ll work closely with your therapist one-on-one to determine your treatment goals, how they can be achieved and what steps you need to take to make them happen.

Therapeutic Modalities

Once you’re enrolled in a treatment program, you’ll participate in a number of therapeutic modalities to help you achieve lasting sobriety. This often includes individual and group therapy, experiential therapies, mental health treatment, relapse prevention, holistic techniques and more. Choice House also utilizes adventure and outdoor therapy, helping clients further improve their health and form lasting connections with others.

What’s a Typical Day Like?

The goal of rehab is to reinforce a sense of normalcy and develop the skills necessary to maintain a sober lifestyle. To achieve that, days are highly structured and centered around each individual’s treatment plan. Depending on your needs and which stage of recovery you’re in, you can expect to participate in a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, therapy sessions, life skills classes, support groups, 12-step meetings and more. You’ll also have some free time to devote to yourself. Your daily schedule might look something like this:

  • Morning: Wake up, breakfast, gym and chores
  • Afternoon: Outdoor activities, therapy, group, lunch
  • Evening: Free time, 12-step meetings, dinner
  • Night: Assignment work, nightly routine, bed

The exact therapeutic modalities and activities may differ each day, but your schedule will be optimized to help you reach your goals. In the first and second phases of treatment, clients participate in more than 20 hours of therapy a week. During the third stage of treatment, they begin taking steps to integrate back into daily life. This can include finding work, drafting a relapse prevention plan and starting the transition into a lower level of care, such as an IOP or sober living environment.

Learn More

Recovery is much more than simply quitting drugs or alcohol — it means making healthier choices and committing to a sober, drug-free lifestyle. That’s why long-term treatment is more effective than short-term programs that promise a “quick fix.” It gives individuals an opportunity to shed old habits and achieve lasting recovery without relapse. Choice House in Boulder, Colorado, provides 90-day residential treatment, outpatient care and structured sober living environments to support clients throughout the entire recovery process. To learn more about our rehab facility and how we can help, contact or call us today at 303-578-4765.

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Questions About Treatment?

Choice House is your comprehensive guide to lasting sobriety and wellness. Reach out to us today to see how we can support you on your journey toward sustainable well-being.