While it might be impossible to determine the exact length of treatment for someone, there are some estimates. When deciding how long are drug rehab programs, you have to consider what will be part of the plan. Briefly, most rehab programs incorporate detox, therapy, and aftercare support to promote sober living after treatment. However, no two programs are exactly alike because addiction treatment to be effective; it needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
It’s important to realize that rehab is a unique journey that can’t be segmented into buckets. For someone with a severe drug or alcohol addiction, those with a co-occurring mental health disorder, or maybe a comorbidity struggle, extended rehab may be needed. What matters the most is that they seek help from a qualified addiction treatment center that offers comprehensive treatment plans.
Starts with Detox: 4 Days – 2 Weeks
Firstly, regardless of someone’s substance abuse problem, most people start their rehab journey in detox. The average stay in medical detox is between four to 10 days. However, some people might need longer if they experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Average time in detox for various drugs:
- Heroin: 4 to 10 days
- Methadone: 10 to 20 days
- Benzodiazepines: 2 to 8 weeks
Because withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, trigger cravings, and produce many psychological side effects, detox is recommended to prevent life-threatening consequences. It also provides the support patients need to undergo this difficult episode in their rehab process.
Moving to Residential Treatment: 16 – 28 Days
There are many timelines for drug rehab programs out there. Overall, long-term treatment programs are preferred over short-term ones. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use significantly and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.
However, to some people, the possibility of enrolling in a long-term rehab program is impossible. Those with responsibilities like work or family might not have the support they need to check into a rehab facility for more than a month.
Average time in inpatient treatment:
- Detox: 4 to 7 days
- Partial hospitalization: 16 days
- Short-term rehab: 28 to 30 days
Transitioning to Long-term Treatment: 60 – 90 Days
After detox, patients with severe substance use disorders move to the residential program to follow a specific treatment model. Part of this program will incorporate therapeutic techniques with proven evidence to help address addiction, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Multidimensional family therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Contingency management
- Motivational interviewing
As you can imagine, those with co-occurring mental health problems or comorbidity issues might need longer than 28 days to address their illness truthfully. Research also points out that those who complete more extended rehab programs are less likely to relapse. For example, of those choosing 90-day rehab programs, only 17% of people reported relapsing in the following year. That’s in comparison with 37% of those in treatment programs for fewer days.
Average time in long-term residential rehab:
- Detox: 5 to 10 days
- Partial hospitalization: 16 days
- Long-term residential treatment: 90 days
Continuum Care with Outpatient Treatment: 120 Days
To some, continuum care means attending 12-step meetings after leaving rehab. To others, it means transitioning into an outpatient treatment program. These rehab options provide a more flexible structure for people to continue assisting patients through their recovery journey. These programs incorporate many of the same therapies used during inpatient rehab, but patients don’t stay in a treatment facility.
Intensive outpatient programs are excellent choices for those who can’t afford to stay in rehab or have responsibilities they can’t delegate for an extended period of time. These programs are also helpful for co-occurring disorders that might need a more intensive treatment plan to treat both conditions simultaneously.
Average time in outpatient rehab:
- Intensive outpatient treatment: 88 days
- Outpatient treatment: 130 days
- Outpatient medication-assisted treatment: 200+ days
Aftercare Support: 130+ Days
Basically, addiction recovery is a lifelong journey for many people. Even after completing treatment, finding aftercare support is paramount to maintain sobriety. Many rehab centers offer aftercare programs that focus on life skills development, relapse prevention, group support, family therapy, and more. These programs are meant to provide a safe and structured place for recovering addicts to continue their recovery. But, sometimes, aftercare support means moving into a sober living facility or a halfway house to continue their journey.
Of course, not everyone will choose to enroll in an aftercare support program. Instead, they might just attend 12-step meetings like AA or NA. Others decide to continue individual therapy sessions independently.
Determining How Long Are Drug Rehab Programs
Overall, tailoring a treatment plan to a client’s strengths and significant areas of concern offers the best chance at success, which is our philosophy here at Lighthouse Recovery Institute. We begin each person’s journey by creating a treatment plan that will best meet their needs and help them reach their goals. Our assessment will let us know if a patient-centered therapy approach might be significantly favorable in someone’s treatment plan at the start of your substance abuse treatment.
Finding a Drug Rehab Near Me
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, seek help immediately. Lighthouse Recovery Institute is one of the best drug rehab centers in South Florida. We encourage you to reach out to our admissions office today to learn more about our treatment programs and embark on your recovery journey. We won’t let addiction get the best of you or your loved one; we’re in this battle together, and we’ll do anything we can to come out of it victorious.