How Long Is Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addiction?
In 2018, an estimated 3.7 million people received treatment for a substance use disorder.
The various treatment plans for each of those individuals varied as much as the nature of their disorders. But it's safe to say that nearly all of them wondered "how long is rehab?" before they decided to get help.
In-patient rehabilitation programs range in their length of stay. But rehab is more than that. If you're not sure of the process, you need to consider things like detox and aftercare as well.
When you're considering rehabilitation, it's common to wonder how long rehab for drugs and alcohol lasts. We'll give you a general idea in the guide below.
How Long Is Rehab?
Every addiction is as unique as the individual who suffers from it. That means that there is no black and white answer to "how long is rehab?" Care can last from a month to a lifetime.
With that said, research indicates that the longer the treatment is, the better the chance of achieving lasting sobriety. For most people, 3 months is the minimum amount of treatment required to reduce or stop drug or alcohol use. Learn more about the difference between Inpatient and Residential rehab.
But there are other things to consider when answering this question, including detox, lengthier programs, and aftercare.
Detox Is the First Step
The first step to rehab for alcohol or drugs is detox. It's during this time that drugs and alcohol can be flushed from the body so a person can engage in treatment while sober.
The average medical detox lasts between 7 and 10 days, with variations depending on the substance. While detox from alcohol can last between 3 to 14 days, detox from benzodiazepines can last anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. Obviously, the more serious the addiction is, the longer the detox will be.
Length of In-Patient Programs
When detox is complete, patients can enter an in-patient program like those at America's Rehab Campus. Although there's a lot more to it, this part of the rehabilitation process is what we think of as rehab.
The basic treatment programs for in-patient rehab ranges from 30-90 days. Many people start at 30 days and adjust according to their needs.
A 30-day program is just enough time to get the individual through withdrawal and begin a comprehensive program for their recovery. In this amount of time, patients can work with doctors and therapists on a course of treatment and aftercare. They can also start to implement relapse prevention techniques and work on any underlying issues that may contribute to the addiction.
30 days is also a number that's easy to digest. It gives the individual a chance to get their feet wet without the intimidation factor of a 90-day program.
The Importance of Aftercare
When a person develops a substance use disorder, their addiction changes their body chemistry and even the ways in which their brain works. To undo that damage takes a significant amount of time. For some people, it's a life-long process and that's especially true for people with drug or alcohol dependency co-occurring with mental illness.
That's why an aftercare program is so important to the rehabilitation process. Aftercare might involve medication, ongoing therapy, or regular attendance at Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous. For more severe substance use disorder, the individual might consider staying in a sober living facility or halfway house for some time.
More Personal Development
"How long is rehab?" is a common question asked by those who are considering treatment. And while wanting to get clean and get through the process fast is commendable, it's not quite how rehabilitation works. For many individuals struggling with substance use disorder, the process of staying clean is life-long.
And for more life-long personal development help, be sure to keep up with our blog.