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Updated on January 31, 2022

How Long Is Rehab?

How Long Do Most Rehab Programs Last?

If you or someone you know needs alcohol or drug abuse treatment, it’s important to find the right program.

There are many different addiction treatments available. Not all programs are appropriate for all people. But how do you know which rehab program is best? 

Some factors can affect how long a person should stay in rehab, such as: 

  • Age
  • Medical history
  • The severity of the addiction

How Long Does Inpatient Rehab Last?

The average length of inpatient rehab is 28 days. Typically, people stay in an inpatient program until they are stable enough to return home without the risk of relapse. 

Another factor that affects a person’s time in inpatient treatment is the presence of any underlying mental health conditions. Examples include bipolar disorder and depression.

If another mental health disorder needs attention alongside addiction, more extensive treatment is necessary. This is because addiction cannot be treated without addressing the root cause.

30-Day Rehab 

A 30-day rehab is a comprehensive program. It allows you to heal from the physical and emotional effects of addiction.

This is not an ideal length for everyone, but it's usually recommended for people who have been addicted for less than 10 years.

Benefits of completing rehab in 30 days include:

  • Achieving short-term sobriety
  • Developing self-awareness through therapy sessions
  • Learning how to live soberly

60-Day Rehab 

The average length of a rehabilitation program is 60 days. But they can range from 30 to 90 days. 

Timing will depend on any care needed after rehab, such as daycare or enrollment at an in-patient treatment facility. 

The benefits of a 60-day rehab program include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and professional medical advice 
  • Comprehensive inpatient rehab care that includes detox, therapy, and aftercare
  • Opportunities to adjust therapy programs as needed

If you're wondering how long your loved one should stay at a rehabilitation facility, talk with their doctor or therapist. They will be able to assess your loved one’s situation and consider what they need to maintain sobriety.

90-Day Rehab 

A 90-day rehab program is a typical duration for addiction rehabilitation. These programs usually consist of a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 6 months.

A program that lasts 3 months will typically include 30 days in residential rehab, followed by 60 days in an outpatient setting. If necessary, some programs may be longer than 6 months to provide intensive care. 

Benefits of a 90-day rehab program include:

  • More effective learning time
  • Longer time to “get away” from life’s stressors
  • Greater opportunity to immerse in detailed treatment sessions
  • Better outcomes for lifelong recovery

Long-Term Rehab (120+ Days) 

Long-term rehab programs are often made up of three phases: 

  1. Detox
  2. Residential treatment
  3. Aftercare

These programs are typically used to treat more severe addiction problems.

The duration of long-term rehab programs vary depending on the type of addiction that needs treatment. Longer durations are generally more effective because they:

  • Have better chances for success
  • Promote a productive routine and healthy lifestyle changes
  • Keep distractions away
  • Provide a higher level of support

Long-term programs can be costly and unaffordable for some people. Additionally, other factors may make it difficult for someone to stay in rehab for an extended period.

How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last? 

Outpatient rehab programs can vary in duration, but most last about a year. 

Several factors influence the length of outpatient treatment, including the person’s:

  • Addiction severity
  • Ability to manage their addiction in a sober-living environment
  • Response to treatment

Outpatient programs typically involve going to a facility for 1 to 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. Treatment includes: 

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication management

Outpatient programs are usually recommended for people who have been using drugs or alcohol moderately over time.

Some people may choose outpatient rehab because it: 

  • Allows them to attend school or work during the day while receiving treatment at night or on the weekends
  • Gives them the option to live at home while attending treatment rather than live in a sober living facility
  • Is less expensive

Don't Know Where to Start?

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  • Give you valuable guidance and resources
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Other Factors That Determine Treatment Length 

Treatment length is dependent on several factors, including the: 

  • Severity of the addiction
  • Person’s personal preferences
  • Insurance coverage, if applicable

How Long Does Detox Take?

Many people in alcohol or drug addiction treatment start with detox. Detox is the process of withdrawing from drugs and alcohol. 

Most rehabilitation programs offer detox services. They typically last about 3 to 7 days.

You can manage detox at home or in an inpatient facility. If somebody decides to detox at home, they may require medical supervision, support groups, and other resources.

It is generally not advisable to detox alone at home. Consult a medical professional for help.

Questions About Insurance?

Addiction specialists are available 24/7 to help you navigate costs, insurance, and payment options

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Continuing Care & Support After Rehab 

After completing rehab, many people choose to continue their treatment through outpatient programs and other support services. 

This type of continuing care and support provides the person with a way to stay sober and live a healthier lifestyle. It also helps them learn how to maintain sobriety without the constant pressure of rehab.

Continuing care and support helps people identify any underlying issues that may have contributed to their addiction. They might get into trouble picking up bad habits again if they don't get help addressing these underlying issues after rehab.

Common types of continuing care and support include: 

Summary 

  • Substance use disorder (SUD) may include drugs and alcohol but can include over-the-counter medications as well.
  • There are many different forms of substance use treatment available, but not all programs are appropriate for all people.
  • Certain factors determine how long a person should stay in rehab. These include their age, medical history, and addiction severity.
  • People stay in an inpatient program until they are stable enough to return home without the risk of relapse.
  • A rehab program may last for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or more than 120 days.
  • The duration of a long-term rehab program will vary depending on the type of drug addiction that needs treatment.
  • Rehab programs for drug and alcohol treatment may be in the form of inpatient or outpatient care.
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Resources

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  1. "Treatment and Recovery," National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
  2. "SAMHSA's Working Definition of Recovery," Mental Health Services Administration.
  3. "How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?," National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
  4. Laudet, A et al. "Pathways to Long-term Recovery: A Preliminary Investigation," J Psychoactive Drugs, 2002.
  5. "Drug Abuse and Addiction Research at Johns Hopkins Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences," Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  6. Brunette, M F et al. “A comparison of long-term and short-term residential treatment programs for dual diagnosis patients.” Psychiatric services vol. 52,4 : 526-8.

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