How Long is Rehab – Rehab Length

Drug and alcohol addiction is a complex and multifaceted disease. It requires diligence and patience to treat it and to beat it. A commonly expressed concern among people when looking into addiction treatment is wondering how long is rehab. This is understandable given that this is likely to mean taking time away from their financial or familial obligations. But the answering this question is more complicated than it seems. Below we outline the major factors that affect addiction rehab length so that you or your loved one can can make the best decision when looking for a detox or rehab center.

Addiction, unlike many other diseases, has a personal component to its treatment. Recovery is often based on the decision to get well. The amount of time necessary to facilitate that can vary widely owing to three primary factors: the individual’s physical and mental needs, their substance of choice and their financial situation.

It is recommended that a prospective patient undergo full continuum of care that includes detox, PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program or Day Rehab), IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), OP (Outpatient) and Aftercare Programs. Below you will find a quick outline and general length of each part of the continuum of care.

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Addiction treatment program length:

  • Detox: 3 – 14 days
  • Residential: 7 – 14 days
  • PHP: 28 – 60 days
  • IOP: 30 days – 90 days
  • OP: 30 – 90 days
  • Aftercare: Ongoing

The most popular programs frequently cited by clinics are 28 – 30 days. It has become so prevalent, that it is a commonly believed expectation among people considering addiction treatment. It is important to remember that sobriety is a lifelong choice that often requires long term effort to maintain.

Average length of stay for rehabs:

  • Outpatient only
  • 28 – 30 day rehab program
  • 60 day rehab program
  • 90 day rehab program
  • Long-term rehab / long term recovery: 90 – 120 days of rehab

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Benefits of Outpatient only treatment

It is rarely recommended that an individual looking to recover from a substance dependency forgo inpatient treatment of some variety. But if this is the only option allowable by your situation it is a step in the right direction. This is bar none the least expensive option, as Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12 step programs are free to attend.

Benefits of a 28 – 30 day rehab program

A 30-day program can be sufficient in many cases to change habitual behavior. These are the most popular programs due to their shorter length and modest price. Also the most frequently covered by insurance. 

Benefits of a 60 day rehab program

60 day programs offer a greater opportunity for people struggling with recovery to live sober. They tend to offer the same benefits as a 30 day rehab, just geared for people at higher-risk of relapse.

Benefits of a 90 day rehab program

These programs are often tailored for at-risk people who may have previously relapsed. Most 90 day programs allow individuals to truly experience the full continuum of care. It allows them to get the most of each level of care and ensure that they are ready before moving on to the next step. 90 day rehab programs are the most recommended for individuals who would like to get the most out of treatment but have obligations that prevent them from enrolling in a long term program.

Benefits of a long term rehab program

For people who need to drastically change their situation in order to maintain their sobriety, these long-term residential options may be the best choice. Long term programs allow individuals to fully experience the full continuum of care in a very similar way as a 90 day program. The only difference is that in long term treatment individuals tend to continue with an outpatient program combined with support groups like alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous for an extended period of time which in csome cases may be as long as a year after leaving their PHP rehab center.

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Substance of choice & rehab length

This answer has several facets. The time and substance of abuse can drastically affect the Half-Life of the substance in the blood stream. For example, alcohol is predominantly cleansed from the system in about 72 hours, whereas a long term marijuana user may still have detectable traces in their system 45-60 days after their last use. But this doesn’t take into account the mental and physical effects of the drug which can take substantially longer to counteract.
Average Detox Time line

  • Alcohol detox Timeline: 3-7 days
  • Opiate detox time line: 5-7 days
  • Heroin detox timeline: 5-10 days
  • Benzo detox timeline: 10-45 days
  • Amphetamine detox timeline: 5-30 days

These are guidelines. There is no set rule for how long this can take, as detox and rehabilitation are so individualized that it is impossible to predict with any accuracy how long it will take for a person to get and stay clean. As a general rule: Longer is better. Rehab programs lasting more than 90 days have the best statistical outcomes.

How does mental and physical health affect the length of treatment?

Physical health & rehab length:

The physical component of addiction treatment refers not only to the damage done by the drug, or the amount of time required to purge it from the system. It also refers to the underlying conditions that drove the person to using in the beginning. This may mean finding a more appropriate long term pain management solution to alleviate the need for pain killers.

Mental health & rehab length:

When an individual suffers from a co-morbid psychological disorder or dual diagnosis of addiction along with a mental health disorder (ex: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD) the individual will need to address both issues simultaneously. In this case the underlying mental condition is likely contributing to the vulnerability of the individual to relapse. In most cases this will extend the timeline of recovery to ensure the individual receive adequate and proper treatment for both. 

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Financial situation & Addiction rehab length

No medical treatment is free. Rehabilitation and detox is no exception.

It is always suggested that individuals go to a private treatment facility whenever possible. Private treatment facilities usually offer more individualized care. The drawback is of course the price tag.

Health insurance typically covers some form of rehabilitation, but the length and type of treatment will vary from one policy to another. Some insurance companies will only cover 28 days of treatment where others may cover up to 90 days of treatment. It is important to know and understand your insurance benefits for rehab so that you can know what variety and length of treatment your health benefits will provide.

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What rehab length is best for me?

Statistically speaking, people who stay in treatment for more than 90 have a much lower chance of relapse. Sobriety and recover rely on not just the choice to get sober, but the daily choice to stay that way. It requires the ability to maintain your physical and emotional well-being without drugs or alcohol. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction and would like to get more information about treatment for your specific situation contact us today by call our toll free admissions line <a href=”tel:8779597271″>877-959-7271</a>. Our phones are staffed with professionals who have helped thousands overcome addiction. They can answer questions like how long is rehab for alcohol addiction? or how long is rehab for pill addiction? Our line is 100% private and judgement free. Call us today and start the recovery process.

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