How important are the first 30 days of recovery? As some old time members of AA will tell you, anyone can stay sober for a lifetime, but those first 30 days, man, those are a real accomplishment. It’s during this critical first four weeks period that addicts and alcoholics truly find out that recovery can be hard, but rewarding, work. So much transformation takes place during the early phases of recovery.
Inpatient treatment centers
A four week recovery regimen is one of the most frequently used for treatment of addiction. That’s because the first 30 days are one of the most rigorous and grueling of all phases of recovery. Why? Well, the first obvious reason is the one to two week physical detox period which can be so dangerous to addicts that they give up on recovery altogether. The physical symptoms of withdrawal are not only painful and frightening but without a treatment program can be impossible to get through. There are medical and non-medical detoxes, but those that go on for the entire four weeks realize that the physical withdrawal is just the first most challenging part of recovery.
Once an addict has undergone the detox process and finds themselves on the other side of addiction for the first time in a long while, then it’s a matter of finding a program that will work for them on a long-term basis. This means that the addict will get individual counseling, attend group meetings, and do a lot of self reflection in the first 30 days. Not every treatment type works for every addict so many one month long programs will throw out a lot of different tools for addicts to use to protect their sobriety. Group meetings, meditotion therapy, individual therapy, dual-diagnosis therapy, and journaling are all methods of recovery that are applied in these treatment centers.
Long-term recovery requires more
A 30 day recovery regimen is but the beginning of recovery and addicts or alcoholics who simply rely on those first 30 days will soon find themselves falling short on resources. Many addicts lose their job, family, and even home during active addiction. These treatment centers also are great for developing aftercare plans that allow addicts to have resources once they’re released from the program.
Aftercare plans tell the addict where to go after they have completed a 30 day program. They might need housing arrangements. They might want to go to a more long-term residential program that will help them live and breathe recovery during that difficult first year. They might need resources for food and community support as well. Those who are short on financial resources are definitely going to need a more complete aftercare plan than those who are being released to loving, caring families and solid financial arrangements.
Outpatient programs often take in these 30 day graduates and help them continue their recovery programs after they’ve left an inpatient detox facility. These outpatient programs encourage drug testing and accountability during the critical first year of recovery. Studies show that the better the aftercare plan, the better the chance that the addict or alcoholic will be able to sustain recovery over a long period of time.
Attending NA or AA meetings will always be a crucial part of most recovery plans. Few addicts and alcoholics don’t contribute at least part of their success to these vital programs that show addicts how to stay sober once they’ve made it through the tough first 30 days. The beautiful thing is that the first 30 days really is just the beginning of a fruitful time in an addict or alcoholic’s life. These difficult first days will often be fondly remembered later on as addicts work their way through a long-term plan of recovery. Most addicts and alcoholics truly believe that in order to stay well, they must work a program throughout their life.
The great thing is that working a program of recovery over a lifetime is not going to hurt anything, even if success stories have been had outside of these methods. As people grow within a solid recovery program, they often learn new things about themselves that they never would have discovered if addiction hadn’t forced them to take a good hard look at themselves. Once addicts have experienced some success, they are eager to share it with their fellow recovery brothers and sisters. One addict helping another is the heart of long-term recovery.