How Long Are Drug Rehab Programs?

by | Last updated Oct 26, 2020 at 10:20AM | Published on Oct 26, 2020 | Rehab Programs

How Long Are Drug Rehab Programs

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. 

Drug Rehab Programs Timeline

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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. 

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.

Medical Disclaimer: Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance abuse or mental health disorders sharing fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions and the treatment options available. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by our licensed medical professionals’ team. By no means, the information we provide is intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used in place of any advice received from your physician or another qualified healthcare provider. Visit our medical disclaimer page to learn more about our standards.

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