How Long is Rehab? Timelines and Treatment Options

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Although millions of people suffer from drug and alcohol addiction each year, only a small fraction of them receive addiction treatment. In 2021, only six percent of people experiencing substance use disorder in the US received treatment. This leaves 94% of individuals untreated [1]

Whether due to cost, time, or lack of resources, those who remain untreated continue to live a life negatively impacted by addiction. It takes commitment and strength to take the initiative and start the treatment process. 

The most common intervention for an addiction is a rehabilitation program. In rehab, a combination of physical and psychological interventions are used to help patients recover.

How Long Is Alcohol Rehab?

The average length of time for an alcohol treatment program is thirty days. However, there is no general rule for how long alcohol rehab will take. For some patients it may take longer and for others shorter.

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How Long Is Drug Rehab?

The average time for drug treatment is between 30-60 days (about two months). Similarly to alcohol rehab though, there is no guaranteed timeline for how long drug rehab will be.

What Is the Shortest Time You Can Stay In Rehab?

Many patients enter rehab hoping to get out as quickly as possible and reenter life on the outside. Leaving drug or alcohol rehab too early can bring about its own preventable dangers and problems for the addict. While rehab may only take thirty days for some, for others, it’s a longer process. Research has shown that the best results are often seen with those who stay in treatment longer. A rehab program will create a customized plan for each patient, tailored to their needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing How Long Your Rehab Should Be

When recovering from addiction, one size does not fit all. Every person’s recovery process looks different. For many, the first step is to speak with a professional or specialist in the medical field to determine how long your rehab should be.

A specialist will take into consideration factors such as:

  • Substance used
  • Duration of addiction
  • Level of care needed
  • Affordability


Together, you can make an informed decision on how long rehab should take for you. Remember, recovery is not a marathon. Going through the recovery process at an appropriate pace will increase your likelihood of achieving long-term sobriety beyond the sober living home

What Does the Rehab Process Look Like?

Upon intake, any rehab program will assess the patient’s recovery goals and needs. Once an assessment is done, a recovery plan will be determined together with the patient. This can help ease the process and prepare the patient. Once a plan is determined, a patient will enter the drug detox treatment stage of recovery. 


Detox for Alcohol and Drug Rehab

The detox stage of rehab is about seven days long. During detox, the body rids itself of the substance and readjusts to normal functioning. When an addiction is present, the body becomes dependent on the substance to be able to function. Therefore while detoxing, the body will usually enter withdrawal, which can cause a range of challenging symptoms. To safely manage withdrawal symptoms, it is best to detox in an inpatient facility or hospital. Medication-Assisted Treatment is generally used to ease withdrawal symptoms or taper off slowly to avoid fatal symptoms. Once acute withdrawal symptoms subside, recovery begins.


Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Once a patient completes the complex detox process, recovery begins. After detox, a patient will choose the program that suits their needs best. During the recovery stage, patients explore the reasons for their addiction and learn to manage it. There are many options for recovery programs that are tailored to a patient’s individual needs.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Options

There are various forms of treatment that one can choose from to recover from addiction. How long rehab will be will depend on which treatment program is best for the individual. Below are some commonly used treatment programs:

How Long is Inpatient Alcohol Rehab? How Long is Inpatient Drug Rehab?

Inpatient rehab requires a stay at a facility. Patients are provided with specialists who assist with learning to cope with life after addiction. Most insurance companies will cover a stay of 28 days in a facility, but many patients require more extended periods. The most commonly discussed lengths of stay are 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.

How Long is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab does not require you to stay in a facility all the time. Rather you attend rehab a few times a week and live at home for the rest of the time. Typically, outpatient rehab takes place over the span of six weeks. Nevertheless, the amount of time spent in outpatient rehab will vary based on the individual.

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Advantages of 30 Day Rehab Programs

In a short-term rehab program that is 30 days long, patients remain in the facility for the duration of the program. The program can be completed in either a hospital or an inpatient facility. There, patients are under 24-hour supervision and are provided with treatment for physical and psychological symptoms. This program is usually helpful for patients who need intensive rehab but can’t commit to a more extended period. In rehab, patients are provided with medication management, behavioral therapy, and a support network. This length program is usually considered too short to foster long term recovery and is only recommended when paired with a robust outpatient program.

Advantages of 60 Day Rehab Programs

Sixty-day rehab programs were created to bridge the gap between more extended programs and short-term programs. It is a good option for those who can’t take a three-month break but still want the benefits of a more comprehensive program. It will combine behavioral, psychological, and physical interventions like a thirty-day program. This length of stay will help a patient leave rehab firmly rooted on the road to recovery.

Advantages of 90 Day Rehab Programs

A ninety day rehab program provides patients with the most comprehensive rehab experience. According to the NIDA, treatment programs for 90 days (about three months) or longer have the highest success rate. These programs are used to treat those with moderate to severe addictions. While the therapies provided are the same as with a 30 day or 60 day rehab program, the more extended period allows the patient more time to recover fully. This can lead to a higher chance of success when they leave rehab.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Testimonials

As mentioned previously, different durations of time in rehab are ideal for different people. Below are a few testimonials on individuals' rehab experiences and how long their rehab was.

  • “Thank you Avenues Recovery (Lake Ariel) Staff for everything! 30 days is a short stay on the journey of recovery but, speaking from experience, the amount of treatment I received could not be duplicated by another treatment center.” 

  •  “I was broken in every way imaginable and after spending almost 4 months at Avenues, I left a new person. I was taught new things about addiction and recovery, and about myself and who I am.”

  • “I entered the 90 day Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center not knowing how to get sober by myself, nor how to cope with life. Avenues taught me ways to remain sober and deal with life on life's terms.”

  • “After completing my 28 days here I actually extended my treatment here because it was so good. Now that I have completed my program at the Avenue Recovery I am on to my next step in my recovery.”

  •  “Avenues of Maryland was a great choice for the beginning of my recovery. I knew I needed a place that was going to be longer than 30 days and Avenues offered a 60 day program which fit my needs perfectly.”


Drug Rehab Treatment at Avenues Recovery

While rehab is the first step toward recovery, recovery is a lifelong process. There are many challenges, and bumps along the road are to be expected. However, those who do put in the work to recover can carry on to lead successful lives with bright futures ahead of them. 

At Avenues Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment programs and resources to help you get back on track. Caring admissions professionals are standing by waiting to help you lead the life you truly deserve. Do it for yourself, do it for your future. Contact us today!



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