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Staying in Rehab for Drugs

One of the biggest hurdles for people with a substance use disorder is the fact that they don’t know enough about the treatment process to go to rehab confidently.

Navigation: How Long Do You Stay in Rehab for Drugs, What is the Drug Rehab Process Like?, Drug Addiction Treatment Duration Depends on Severity of Drug Abuse, Other Factors that Determine Duration of Drug Treatment, What Are the Benefits of a 30-Day Drug Rehab Program?,What Are the Benefits of a 60-Day Drug Rehab Program?, What Are the Benefits of a 90-Day Drug Rehab Program?, Inpatient Treatment vs. Outpatient Treatment: Which is Better?, Rehab Is Your Best Chance


Many people struggle with an addiction, but not everyone receives substance abuse treatment. One of the biggest hurdles for people with a substance use disorder is the fact that they don’t know enough about the treatment process to go to rehab confidently. They are intimidated by the thought of getting treatment for their addiction.

Education can go a long way in fighting the stigma surrounding addiction and encouraging those who have this condition to seek treatment.

One common question among those looking for drug and alcohol rehab programs is: “how long am I going to stay in rehab?”

To put it simply, there is no one answer to this question. Addiction is a unique experience for most people, and each individual will have their own symptoms, co-occurring disorders, triggers, underlying health problems, and of course, treatment needs. There are inpatient and outpatient programs that cater to a wide range of patients, but the length of stay will be determined by the person’s exact condition and circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for addiction treatment.

Even rehab centers may use different approaches for the treatment of drug or alcohol addiction. With that out of the way, we can talk about the general length of most treatment programs. The three most common programs are: 30-day programs, 60-day programs, and 90-day programs. We will talk about these different programs later on.

It is important to note that some rehab programs may be shorter or longer, depending on the patient’s condition and progress. There are even long-term living programs like halfway houses and sober living facilities.

To make the right choice, you need to get the recommendation of a healthcare provider after going through an assessment of your addiction. They can help you decide on the rehab program that will give you the highest chance of long-term success.


How Long Do You Stay in Rehab for Drugs

The length of time a person stays in drug rehab can vary depending on several factors such as the severity of their addiction, the type of substance abused, the patient’s health condition, their progress in the treatment program, and the existence of a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Typically, drug rehabilitation programs can range from 28 days to several months. Short-term programs, such as detoxification or residential programs, often last around 28 to 30 days. These programs are designed to help individuals through the initial stages of withdrawal and provide a strong foundation for recovery.

But because addiction is a complex issue, longer durations of treatment are often recommended for better outcomes. Inpatient rehab is generally longer than outpatient rehab programs.

Extended or long-term rehab programs can last anywhere from 60 days to six months or even longer. These programs provide more comprehensive treatment, including individual and group therapy, education about addiction and coping skills, and ongoing support to help individuals maintain their recovery.

Ultimately, the length of time spent in rehab should be determined through a thorough assessment by healthcare professionals. Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey, and patients shouldn’t rush through it. They need to take their time to process their emotions, learn all about their triggers, and develop healthy coping mechanisms that will protect them even years after leaving the rehab facility.


What is the Drug Rehab Process Like?

Understanding the entire drug rehab process should ease most of the fear people have regarding addiction treatment.

The drug rehab process typically involves a combination of medical, psychological, and social interventions aimed at helping individuals overcome their substance abuse and addiction. Specific programs may vary in their approach, but here is a general outline of what the process usually involves:

Assessment: The first step is a comprehensive assessment by healthcare professionals to evaluate the patient’s addiction history, physical and mental health, and any co-occurring disorders. This assessment helps determine the appropriate treatment approach and develop an individualized plan.

The best treatment programs always use a personalized approach when dealing with addiction because everyone experiences this condition differently.

Medical detox: Drug detoxification, also known as medical detox, is for individuals with physical dependence on drugs or alcohol. The detox process is often the initial step that addresses the physical effects of substance abuse. During detox, the harmful substances are removed from the body by gradually lowering the person’s intake. Their withdrawal symptoms are carefully managed in a safe and supervised environment.

Medical professionals may administer medications to alleviate withdrawal discomfort and ensure the person’s safety.

Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment or residential rehab involves living at a treatment facility for a designated period, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months. This structured environment offers 24/7 support, medical care, counseling, and therapy. It provides a safe and drug-free space for individuals to focus on their recovery.

Free from their usual triggers, temptations, and distractions, patients can actively work on regaining their sobriety.

Therapy and Counseling: Various forms of therapy are integral parts of the rehab process. Individual counseling sessions allow individuals to explore the underlying causes of their addiction, develop coping mechanisms, and set recovery goals.

Group therapy brings together people with similar struggles to share experiences, offer support, and learn from one another. It is easier to learn from people understand exactly what you are going through.

Family therapy may also be included to address relationship dynamics and provide education and support for loved ones.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Some individuals may benefit from medication-assisted treatment, particularly for opioid or alcohol addiction. Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, when combined with counseling and therapy, can help manage cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and support long-term recovery.

Aftercare and Relapse Prevention: The treatment journey doesn’t end when you leave rehab. From this point onward you have to work on maintaining your sobriety through the techniques you learned in rehab. Still, you need to receive proper medical and social support throughout this process. This is what aftercare is for.

Successful rehab programs emphasize aftercare planning and relapse prevention strategies to minimize the risk of relapse. This may involve creating a relapse prevention plan, connecting individuals with support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), providing ongoing counseling or therapy, and offering resources for continued support and sobriety in the community.

Rehab centers may use different approaches and programs, but their goal will be the same: to address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction and help clients develop a healthier lifestyle.

Drug Addiction Treatment Duration Depends on Severity of Drug Abuse

One of the biggest factors contributing to the length of a person’s stay in rehab is the severity of their drug abuse. Healthcare providers and addiction experts will assess the severity of a person’s addiction based on the type of drug used, the duration of drug use, the frequency and quantity of drug use, and the person’s level of physical and psychological dependence on the drug.

For those with mild to moderate drug abuse, outpatient treatment programs may be appropriate. The duration of outpatient treatment may range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the progress and needs of the individual.

On the other hand, those with severe drug abuse or those who have a long history of addiction may require more intensive treatment in a residential or inpatient setting.

Residential treatment programs typically provide a structured environment where individuals receive 24-hour care, counseling, therapy, and support. The duration of residential treatment can range from a few weeks to several months, and in some cases, it may extend up to a year or more.

Of course, the duration of treatment is not solely determined by the severity of drug abuse. Other factors, such as the individual’s motivation, commitment to recovery, presence of co-occurring mental health disorders, and response to treatment, also influence the length of the treatment program.

Each person’s journey to recovery is unique, and treatment plans should be tailored to meet their specific needs and circumstances.

Other Factors that Determine Duration of Drug Treatment

In addition to individual factors such as the type and severity of addiction, there are several other factors that can influence the duration of drug addiction treatment. Here are some key factors to consider:

Treatment Setting: The setting in which treatment is provided can impact the duration of treatment. Inpatient or residential programs typically involve a more intensive and structured approach, often lasting for weeks or months. Outpatient programs, on the other hand, can vary in duration and may range from a few weeks to several months or even years, depending on the person’s progress and needs.

Treatment Approach: Different treatment approaches can have varying durations. For instance, short-term interventions like detoxification or stabilization may last a few days to a couple of weeks. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other evidence-based therapies may be conducted over several weeks or months, with the length of treatment depending on the individual’s progress and the treatment plan.

Co-occurring Disorders: If an addicted individual has co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the duration of treatment may be longer. It is important to address both substance use disorders and any underlying mental health issues simultaneously to achieve comprehensive recovery.

Social Support: The availability and quality of social support systems can impact the duration of treatment. Having a strong support network of family, friends, or support groups can contribute positively to the recovery process and may result in a shorter duration of treatment.

Motivation and Commitment: The person’s motivation and commitment to recovery play a significant role in determining the duration of treatment. Those who are highly motivated and actively engaged in their treatment are more likely to progress at a faster pace and complete treatment earlier.

Relapse Prevention: Learning and implementing relapse prevention strategies is crucial in maintaining long-term recovery. The duration of treatment may include a focus on relapse prevention techniques and ongoing support to reduce the risk of relapse.

Progress and Individual Needs: The pace of progress and individual needs can vary from person to person. Some individuals may require more time to address underlying issues, develop coping skills, or work through specific challenges. Treatment duration should be flexible and tailored to meet the individual’s needs.

Like we mentioned previously, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to addiction treatment. Treatment plans should be regularly evaluated and adjusted to ensure they continue to meet the patient’s changing needs throughout the recovery journey.

What Are the Benefits of a 30-Day Drug Rehab Program?

A 30-day program is a great way to get started in rehab. It is what most people usually set as an initial goal. This can serve as an excellent starting point that can help determine if a longer treatment program may be beneficial without feeling obligated to do so.

It’s easier to commit to a 30-day program than a 90-day program. This also means it is offered at a lower cost, meaning most insurance companies will cover it.

Just like other programs, a 30-day program offers a structured and intensive treatment plan. This structured approach provides patients with a clear path to recovery. It includes therapy sessions, group activities, and educational components that will help them understand their condition.

The daily routine helps individuals establish healthier habits and routines, which are crucial for long-term recovery.

Many 30-day rehab programs include a detoxification phase at the beginning. During a 30-day program, addicted individuals also receive intensive therapy sessions. Intensive therapy programs like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy, allow individuals to delve into the underlying causes of their addiction while developing healthier ways of thinking and behaving.

So just because it’s shorter than other programs doesn’t mean it is any less intensive or effective.

What Are the Benefits of a 60-Day Drug Rehab Program?

Aside from 30-day programs, 60-day programs are also considered quite common. The extended duration means extra support during the treatment process. Here, patients can take a deep dive into the feelings and situations that are contributing to their substance use disorder.

Compared to shorter rehab programs, a 60-day program provides more time for individuals to address their addiction and work on their recovery. This longer duration allows for a more comprehensive approach to treatment.

A 60-day program gives patients enough time to develop a sober network or support system. They will have the opportunity to connect with peers who are also in recovery. These connections can be valuable sources of support and encouragement both during and after rehab. Building a strong support network is crucial for sustained recovery.

Patients will develop better relapse prevention tools in a longer treatment program. Their behaviors and mood will become more stable. Even their medications can be adjusted to their ideal levels during that time period.

Many people entering drug rehab require a period of detoxification to rid their bodies of drugs or alcohol and stabilize physically. A 60-day program allows for an initial detox phase, followed by a more focused and intensive therapeutic treatment.

With a 60-day program, patients have more time to eliminate the substances from their body through medical detox.

The extended duration of a 60-day program even gives patients more opportunities for self-reflection and gaining a deeper understanding of their addiction and its underlying causes. This increased self-awareness can contribute to long-term recovery and help individuals make positive changes in their lives.

As the program nears its end, the 60-day duration allows for the development of a solid aftercare plan. This may include referrals to outpatient treatment, sober living homes, support groups, or other community resources. Planning for a successful transition back to daily life can significantly enhance the chances of maintaining sobriety.

The main drawback is that not a lot of insurance companies will cover the full 60-day program. That said, many rehab centers will offer payment plans to make smaller monthly payments over time.

What Are the Benefits of a 90-Day Drug Rehab Program?

90-day programs may seem intimidating at first, but recovering individuals should know that longer treatment programs tend to produce the best outcomes. Out of the three, 90-day programs have been shown to have the highest success rates. So if you are looking for a treatment program for a severe substance use disorder, a 90-day program can produce the most impact.

During a 90-day program, your sobriety and coping skills will be strengthened, allowing you to adapt to the sober life more effectively when you leave the rehab center. Recovering individuals can learn about relapse prevention techniques, stress management, healthy communication, and life skills that can support their long-term recovery. These skills are crucial for individuals to reintegrate into society and lead fulfilling lives after completing treatment.

A 90-day program allows for a more comprehensive approach to treatment. It provides ample time for detoxification, therapy, counseling, and skill-building sessions. The extended duration allows individuals to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of addiction in a more thorough manner.

Research has shown that longer durations of treatment correlate with higher success rates in achieving long-term sobriety. 90-day programs provide individuals with sufficient time to develop healthier habits, learn coping mechanisms, and work through underlying issues that may contribute to their addiction.

As you may know, relapse is a common obstacle in addiction recovery. By participating in a 90-day rehab program, individuals have more opportunities to develop and practice relapse prevention strategies. They can learn effective tools to manage cravings, identify triggers, and develop a support system that can be instrumental in maintaining sobriety.

90-day programs also help with psychological and emotional healing. Addiction often stems from underlying trauma. A longer rehab program allows patients to delve deeper into these issues and work towards emotional healing. They can receive therapy and counseling to address past traumas, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and build resilience.

If 60-day treatments help you build a strong sober network, a 90-day program will help you establish even stronger bonds with your peers. Building connections with other people who understand your struggles can provide encouragement and accountability that goes beyond the program’s duration.

Research suggests that it takes at least 66 days on average to form a new habit. A 90-day program allows individuals to establish and reinforce positive habits that support their recovery journey. By immersing themselves in a structured environment focused on sobriety, individuals can develop healthy routines and behaviors that lay the foundation for a drug-free lifestyle.

Remember that every individual’s journey and needs are unique. While a 90-day rehab program offers many benefits, the appropriate duration of treatment may vary depending on the person’s circumstances, the severity of their addiction, and their specific treatment goals. It’s crucial to consult with professionals to determine the most suitable treatment plan for individual needs.

Inpatient Treatment vs. Outpatient Treatment: Which is Better?

When it comes to addiction treatment, determining whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is better depends on various factors. Neither one is necessarily better than the other. It’s all about finding what’s right for you. In fact, both options have their advantages and may be more suitable for different individuals.

Inpatient addiction treatment provides 24/7 care and support in a structured environment, which can be beneficial for individuals with severe addiction or those who require a high level of medical and psychological support.

Residential rehab allows you to be fully immersed in the treatment program. Being away from the distractions and triggers of daily life can allow you to fully focus on your recovery.

Inpatient programs also allow for the development of a sober network, which we have discussed earlier. For patients who need round the clock care in a safe and supportive environment, this is obviously the better choice.

On the other hand, outpatient addiction treatment provides flexibility and control. Outpatient programs allow individuals to receive treatment while still maintaining their regular daily routines, such as work, school or family commitments. This allows them to keep up with their usual responsibilities while still receiving the care that they need for their addiction. However, this is only suitable for patients with mild to moderate addiction.

Outpatient treatment is generally less expensive compared to inpatient treatment since individuals do not require round-the-clock care and accommodation. They also do not have to pay for lodging, meals, etc.

Outpatient rehab programs or partial hospitalization programs are ideal for those who have a strong support system outside of rehab.

Another important benefit of outpatient rehab is that it lets patients practice the skills they learned during therapy in real-life situations, making the transition easier for them when the treatment program is over.

As you can see, both treatment options have their set of benefits. Sometimes a combination of both types of treatment may be recommended, with inpatient care for detoxification or initial stabilization, followed by outpatient treatment for ongoing support and relapse prevention. Some patients may even go from one type to another as they make progress in their sobriety. It’s all a matter of choosing the one that suits your needs and circumstances best.

Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.



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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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