Updated on February 6, 2024
6 min read

How Long Does Rehab Last?

How Long Does Rehab Last?

Drug addiction treatment programs are typically available in 30, 60, and 90-day increments. 

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

  • Age
  • Medical history, including mental health issues
  • The severity of the addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), longer treatment programs reap a higher chance of success, recommending 90-day inpatient drug rehab.

What Does a Typical Day in a Treatment Center Look Like?

While no residential treatment facility is identical, each follows a structured framework to ensure success. Here’s what a typical day in an inpatient treatment facility might look like:


Patients start the day early with a nutritious meal and exercises to improve physical health, including yoga or meditation. These repetitive routines help establish healthy habits patients can implement after completing their treatment program.

Patients then attend individual therapy sessions or a group discussion with a treatment team.


After lunch, patients undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, group sharing, or family therapy. Some rehab centers invite speakers or workshop hosts (often previous patients far along the recovery process) to discuss their careers and experiences.

After they attend treatment for the day, patients are free to engage in sports or creative time, depending on the amenities at the rehab facility.


Patients have dinner and then attend a short group sharing session. While not all rehab centers mandate a bedtime, licensed medical professionals recommend having one to reinforce structure and discipline.


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How Long Does Inpatient Rehab Last?

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

Underlying mental health conditions also dictate how long rehab lasts. Examples include bipolar disorder and depression.

More extensive substance abuse treatment is necessary if other mental health disorders need attention alongside addiction. Addiction cannot be treated without addressing the root cause.

30-Day Rehab 

A 30-day rehab is a comprehensive treatment program. It focuses on recovering from the physical and emotional effects of addiction. 

30-day treatment programs are best for individuals who’ve experienced less than ten years of addiction. This length of treatment is often enough for withdrawal symptoms to pass.

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 inpatient treatment facility. 

The benefits of a 60-day 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

Talk with their doctor or therapist to determine how long your loved one should stay at a rehabilitation facility. They can assess your loved one’s situation and consider what they need to maintain sobriety.

90-Day Rehab 

A 90-day 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 three months will typically include 30 days in residential rehab, followed by 60 days in an outpatient setting. Some programs may be longer than six months to provide intensive care if necessary. 

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 typically treat more severe addiction problems and lay a solid foundation for a lasting recovery journey.

Long-term rehab programs' duration varies 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. Other factors may make it difficult for someone to stay in rehab for an extended period.

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How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last? 

Outpatient rehab programs can vary in duration, but most last 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 treatment typically involves attending a facility 1 to 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. Treatment includes: 

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication management

Outpatient treatment is usually recommended for people using drugs or alcohol moderately over time.

Some people may choose outpatient treatment 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

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.

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Other Factors That Determine Treatment Length 

The length of stay is dependent on several factors, including the following: 

  • The severity of the addiction
  • A person’s personal preferences
  • Insurance coverage, if applicable

How Long Does it Take to Cure Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

There is no set timeline for addiction recovery. Some individuals report significant improvement over just a few months, whereas others with severe addictions may take longer. 

In addition, someone who relapses may undergo the treatment process multiple times. Consistency is the “quickest” way to cure substance use disorder.

Continuing Care & Support After Rehab 

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

An aftercare program ensures long-term sobriety and improvement. It also helps them learn how to maintain sobriety without the constant pressure of rehab.

Continuing care and support help 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: 


Substance use disorder (SUD) may include drugs and alcohol but can also consist of over-the-counter medications. Many different forms of substance use treatment are available, but not all programs are appropriate for all people—some recover after a few days, while others may require a longer treatment program.

A rehab program may last 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or more than 120 days. Certain factors like age, medical history, and addiction severity determine how long a person should stay in rehab.

Rehab programs for drug and alcohol treatment may be in the form of inpatient or outpatient care. People in inpatient programs often undergo long-term treatment for relapse prevention.  However, the duration of a long-term rehab program will vary depending on the type of drug addiction requiring treatment.

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Updated on February 6, 2024

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