How Long is Rehab?

Nechama Reis
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Jefferey A. Berman MD, DFASAM
Last Updated
July 28, 2022

Part of the complete guide to understanding addiction

Table of Contents
  1. How Long is Rehab?
  2. Rehab Factors to Consider
  3. What is the First Step to Recovery?
  4. Options for Treatment
  5. How Long is Inpatient Rehab
  6. 30 Day Rehab Programs
  7. 60 Day Rehab Programs
  8. 90 Day Rehab Programs
  9. How Long Is Rehab for Alcohol?
  10. How Long Is Drug Rehab?
  11. Recovery Process
  12. Sources

How Long is Rehab?

An estimated 21.7 million Americans needed treatment for substance addiction in 2015 [1]. Out of those 21.7 million, only approximately 2.5 million received treatment. 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. Of course, those who do get treated are always better off than those who remain untreated. The most common intervention for an addiction is a rehabilitation program. In rehab, a combination of physical and psychological interventions is used to help patients recover. 

Many patients enter rehab hoping to get out as quickly as possible and reenter life on the outside. While rehab may only take thirty days for some, for others, it’s a long process. Research has shown that the best results are often seen with those who stay in treatment longer [2]. A rehab program will create a customized plan for each patient to tailor to their needs.

See as well: FAQ’s: The dangers of leaving drug and alcohol rehab early, and what we can do to prevent it.

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Rehab Factors to Consider

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 what help is needed.

A specialist will take into consideration factors such as.

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

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What is the First Step to Recovery?

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 with the patient. This can help ease the process and prepare the patient. Once a plan is determined, a patient will enter the detox stage of recovery. 


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 for functioning. Therefore, while detoxing, the body will usually enter withdrawal, which can cause a range of challenging symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms typically persist for a few days, but in some, for a few months.  Factors such as the substance used, frequency, and the duration of the addiction can all affect the severity and length of withdrawal symptoms. To safely manage withdrawal symptoms, it is best to detox in an inpatient facility or hospital. Medications may be prescribed to ease withdrawal symptoms or taper off slowly to avoid fatal symptoms [3]. Once acute withdrawal symptoms subside, recovery begins.

The detox stage of rehab is about 7 days long on average.


After detox, a patient will choose the program that suits their needs best. Once a patient makes it through the complex detox process, recovery begins.  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. The timeframe for recovery will depend on a patient’s individual needs. Read on to understand the typical lengths of stay for common treatment forms.

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Options for Treatment

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How Long is Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab requires a stay at a facility. These 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.

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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 hours 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.

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60 Day Rehab Programs

Sixty day 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 on the road to recovery.

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90 Day Rehab Programs

A ninety day 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 program, the more extended period allows the patient more time to recover. This can lead to a higher chance of success when they leave rehab.

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How Long Is Rehab for Alcohol?

The average length of time for an alcohol treatment program is thirty days. However, there is no general rule for how long treatment 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). However there is no guaranteed timeline. [5]

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Recovery Process

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 will lead successful lives. It’s never the wrong time to start finding your way home! Caring admissions professionals are standing by waiting to help you lead the life you truly deserve. Contact us today!

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