Extended Care vs. Long Term Rehabilitation What’s the Difference Between Long Term Rehabilitation and Extended Care? Detox. Relapse. Inpatient and outpatient care. If you’re entering substance abuse treatment for the first time, the many terms thrown around to describe different types of treatment can seem intimidating maybe even a little scary. Breaking free from an issue with drugs is a deeply personal and difficult journey, and it’s important to feel comfortable about the process. Learning what exactly you’re signing up for can also help you to feel empowered about your own care. Generally speaking, long term rehab and extended care options are both forms of treatment that apply to those with more serious addiction issues. They may be especially good choices if your home or life environment is rife with temptations and triggers that could lead to relapse. Perhaps the two terms sound as if they’re describing very similar things. In fact, long term rehab and extended care are not the same and both forms of treatment may even apply to the same patient at different points in their recovery. For more detailed information on each treatment option, read on. Long Term Rehabilitation Long term rehabilitation programs are a type of inpatient treatment program, which means that you’ll live there 24/7 with monitoring and care from professionals. Generally speaking, you’ll be there for at least as long as it takes to detox and begin transitioning toward a drug-free life. Inpatient programs vary in length, often from one to three months (or from 30 to 90 days). Long term rehabilitation programs are inpatient programs that last longer, often for 180 days up to a year or more. The truth of the matter is, sober recovery requires a life-long commitment to a new lifestyle, and there are many obstacles, challenges, and temptations to relapse that are waiting for you as soon as you exit a treatment program. The advantage of long term rehab is that it gives you more time to become comfortable with the changes in your lifestyle. You may have more time to complete individual and group therapy, and many long term rehab programs also offer counseling specifically geared toward re-entering mainstream life. Extended Care Extended care refers to a variety of programs that can be completed following either an inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. Like long term rehab, these programs are geared toward those who feel their transition back to mainstream life may be more difficult because of factors such as the severity of their drug issues or the specifics of their home environment. Extended care can help to prevent relapse and ensure that recovery is successful and complete in the long term. Extended care is an umbrella term and may refer to many different programs and treatment options, both inpatient and outpatient. These include, but are not limited to, 12-step group meetings (and other after-care support groups), sober homes, halfway houses, and outpatient therapy. Navigating the many options for substance abuse treatment can be difficult, but help is available.