How Long Does Rehab Take?

The time it takes to go through rehab treatment and recover from addiction is different for everyone. But there are certain rules about recovery and its timeline that apply to most situations.

What Is the General Timeline for Addiction Treatment?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.” This means most successful rehab centers will offer a program of at least 90 days to patients. However, there are facilities that provide shorter and longer programs, such as

  • 30 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days
  • 6 months
  • 1 year+

Most people need at least 90 days in a particular program for its effects to sink in. Depending on your needs, though, you may be in treatment for longer than this.

Everyone Is Different

Every patient requires an individualized approach to their specific treatment program, which includes the length of time the program will last. As stated by the NIDA, no one treatment is effective for every patient, so doctors have to discuss the needs of the individual and build a program based on these. Those who are suffering from additional issues beyond addiction, such as a co-occurring mental disorder or severe physical or psychological side effects of their substance abuse, may require a longer treatment program.

Longer Rehab Is Usually Necessary

Though it is stated that most effective rehab programs last at least 90 days, it is also important to recognize that attending longer treatment programs or multiple options is usually necessary to a safe and effective recovery.

The NIDA states, “Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.” This is because, even after professional treatment, one’s chances of relapsing back to substance abuse are similar to those associated with other chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes. Patients usually need continuous reinforcement in order to successfully avoid relapse and to safely navigate their recoveries.

Many rehab centers offer aftercare options to patients, which also prove the benefits of longer treatment. Some individuals leave inpatient care and go to an outpatient program while others may return for booster sessions or go to live in a sober home. These options prolong treatment and help keep patients on track in their recoveries, which can be necessary for many individuals.

How Long Will My Rehab Take?

It is difficult to determine how long any one person will need to be in treatment for a substance use disorder. Though most rehab programs last for the general times listed above, you may choose to attend rehab again after being in recovery for a while or you may choose to attend an aftercare program once you leave rehab. It is important to remember that these choices are often beneficial, and that, in most cases, longer-term care is the most effective option for recovery.