Most people don't understand drug addiction treatment centres at all. there is a difference between a detox, a 28 day rehab and a Therapeutic Community. Often people who don't know, like the sound of a five or seven day detox "stint" but don't realise that this is NOT treatment. This is basically just "time out" from drinking or using that gives an individual's body and mind time to clear some of the chemicals from their body.
Yes, a person might feel better after this short amount of time but will they return to their prior patterns of chemical use? Highly likely. Detox is just the first step in a process. It has taken the chemically dependent person years to develop their current maladaptive patters and behaviours and more than likely it will take a minimum of 28 days to start the undoing of them.
Ben D Gardner wrote a relevant article recently in the Health Behaviour Research Centre Blog stating in regard to recent studies on how long it actually takes to change behaviour:
"Interestingly, however, there were quite large differences between individuals in how quickly automaticity reached its peak, although everyone repeated their chosen behaviour daily: for one person it took just 18 days, and another did not get there in the 84 days, but was forecast to do so after as long as 254 days."
More success will be gained if a client decides to do a mid-term treatment episode such as The Buttery, Mirakai on the Gold Coast or the WHO'S chain of therapeutic communities in N.S.W. and Queensland.
Why are they so successful? Because they spend a significant amount of time initially focussing on the client to develop strategies too stay clean in the first three months and then go deeper for the next three to four months. During this period they address the underlying issues of why people use drugs and then they have a one to two months transition period of the client back into society in a safe and supported way. Support is the key word here. When individuals have enough support and a secure base populated with others who are facing the same challenges as themselves they have the best chance to succeed art staying clean and sober.