“How long is rehab” is a question with no easy answer.
Every addiction is unique with many variables impacting the optimal treatment time.
That said, it’s natural to start wondering “How long do most drug rehab programs last” if you are considering committing to recovery.
When you’re researching treatment centers, you will find programs categorized as follows:
Rather than focusing on how long are rehab programs, though, you should instead prioritize getting the type of treatment you feel will generate the strongest chance of sustained sobriety. Viewing treatment and recovery as an ongoing process instead of a time-limited event will help you to make the long-term changes required to move beyond addiction.
NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse), the most effective treatment for most addictions lasts for 90 days or more. The longer the program, the more positive the outcome.
The key takeaway is to view your recovery as an ongoing process that may not necessarily be linear instead of obsessing over how long is rehab for drugs.
Rehab Length of Stay
How long are drug rehab programs, then?
Well, the first choice you’ll face when choosing the right rehab program is to decide whether you require inpatient or outpatient treatment.
If you have a more severe addiction and you are at risk of severe withdrawal symptoms during detox, inpatient rehab, also known as residential rehab, might be the smoothest fit. Inpatient programs are also advisable for those with co-occurring mental health disorders and anyone with an unstable home environment.
Many treatment centers provide 30-day residential programs, while some also offer inpatient treatment that lasts for several months, in line with SAMHSA guidelines.
For milder addictions and for those unable to take a month or more away from personal and professional obligations, outpatient rehab can be equally effective as inpatient rehab.
In addition to traditional outpatient programs (OPs), you’ll also find more intensive forms of outpatient therapy, including:
Whether you opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment, you’ll have access to the same evidence-based therapies and holistic rehab. The core difference is that you remain at inpatient treatment for the duration of the program, while with outpatient treatment you return home or to a sober living community between therapy sessions.
Inpatient programs typically last 30 days, although treatment sometimes continues for 60 to 90 days or more.
Most outpatient programs last from 1 to 6 months at varying levels of intensity.
When it comes to the standard 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day rehab programs, each has its benefits and drawbacks.
30 Day Rehab
A 30-day rehab program makes the ideal starting point for ongoing sobriety.
Throughout a 30-day program, your treatment team can assess whether a month of treatment is enough for your needs, or whether you need to step down on the continuum of care to a less intensive level.
30-day treatment is enough to eliminate all physical withdrawal symptoms, as long as you remain abstinent for this month.
During month-long programs, your treatment team will also have time to create a comprehensive relapse prevention strategy.
60 Day Rehab
60-day drug and alcohol rehab programs provide you with more structure, support, and time commitment, ideal for more severe addictions.
Whether you engage with an inpatient or outpatient 60-day program, you’ll have time for an unhurried medical detox to create the firmest foundation for ongoing recovery without relapse.
With your system purged of toxins, a 60-day program allows you plenty of time to probe the specifics of your addiction, at the same time as addressing any co-occurring mental health conditions. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of addiction in general and your addiction in particular.
A two-month treatment program also gives you the time to start implementing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
As with 30-day rehab, you’ll either return to daily living or step down to a less intensive level on ASAM’s continuum of care.
90 Day Rehab
Treatment outcomes with 90-day rehab programs are generally more favorable than with 30-day or 60-day programs.
When it comes to 90-day inpatient rehab, most people cannot abdicate all responsibilities for three months or more. Additionally, these programs are costly and not typically covered by health insurance.
Accordingly, you’ll find plenty of 90-day drug and alcohol treatment programs delivered in an outpatient setting. The longer you can spend on detoxing and building a solid foundation for recovery, the less your chances of relapsing.
A three-month treatment program allows you to transition smoothly from treatment into daily living, with robust aftercare and relapse prevention plan in place.
How long is rehab for alcohol, then?
How Long is Alcohol Rehab
Alcohol use disorder is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe according to eleven criteria in DSM-5, the most current edition of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
How long alcohol rehab lasts is influenced mainly by the severity of your alcoholism (clinically known as alcohol use disorder).
Anyone suffering from severe alcohol use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition like depression, anxiety, or PTSD would likely benefit from extended dual diagnosis treatment.
Moderate alcohol use disorders often respond positively to spells of between 30 and 90 days in residential treatment. This allows for medical detox at the beginning of treatment to streamline the intensity of withdrawal and minimize cravings.
For those with mild alcohol use disorders, any of the following forms of short-term treatment work well:
- OP (outpatient program)
- IOP (intensive outpatient program)
- PHP (partial hospitalization program)
- Virtual IOP (remote intensive outpatient program)
All the best rehabs will create a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs, your finances, and your schedule, allowing you to unpack both the physical and psychological side of alcoholism.
How long do you go to rehab for drugs, then?
How Long is Drug Rehab
How long are drug rehab programs, then?
Well, just like with treatment for alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to a year, according to the severity of your drug addiction.
How long is rehab for drugs will depend largely on the substance in question. Severe meth, cocaine, or heroin addiction will usually call for a lengthier spell in treatment than mild marijuana use disorder or alcohol use disorder.
After drug detox and withdrawal, you’ll enter the core phase of treatment. Through an array of therapies like MAT (medication-assisted treatment), psychotherapy, and counseling, you’ll untangle what triggers you to use substances and develop healthier alternative coping mechanisms.
SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) reports the median length of drug rehab as follows:
- Drug detox: 4 days
- MAT detox for opioids: 5 days
- Residential treatment (hospital): 16 days
- Residential treatment (short-term): 27 days
- Intensive outpatient program: 88 days
- Residential treatment (long-term): 90 days
- Outpatient program: 130 days
- Outpatient MAT (opioids): 207 days
More severe substance use disorders normally require longer treatment times, especially in the event of co-occurring mental health conditions. All that counts is getting the right level of care for your needs. We can help you with that here at The District.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab at The District Recovery
At The District Recovery Community, we specialize in the outpatient treatment of alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, and co-occurring disorders. To minimize distractions during recovery, we offer gender-specific men’s rehab and women’s rehab.
We are happy to offer outpatient programs at all levels of intensity, from a standard outpatient program (OP) to a partial hospitalization program (PHP), the most intensive form of treatment outside of residential rehab.
You’ll have access to a variety of evidence-based therapies, including medication-assisted treatment, psychotherapy, and counseling. You can also enjoy holistic therapy for a whole-body approach to recovery.
If you are ready to move beyond addiction, let us guide you here at TDRC. Call admissions today at 844.287.8506.