“How long should I expect to be in drug and alcohol rehab?”
The answer varies from client to client. Research has shown that the length of time in alcohol and drug rehab treatment is directly correlated with better outcomes of maintaining sobriety. 90 day residential or outpatient drug rehabs are suggested as the minimum length of time. However, withdrawing from heavy narcotics with the use of Methadone treatment should continue for at least 12 months.
How Long Does Rehab Take?
Detox, the first phase of drug rehab, can last as little as two to three days. This procedure cleanses the body of drugs and alcohol and should be overseen and managed by medical professionals or nurse as the withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. The substance used will determine the length of the detoxification process; alcohol can last a few days where heroin or meth can require a week. Generally, the length of stay in a drug rehab varies from person to person taking as long as it takes to gain balance and a foundation in recovery.
Short-term residency programs usually have a set amount of time- 30, 60, or 90 days. After this time, patients are encouraged to discharge and usually recommended to an outpatient drug rehab program and/or sober living environment. For many, insurance coverage determines a patient’s length of stay. For a drug rehab to be as successful as possible, it is recommended to receive support for 3-6 months in a structured, drug-free environment.
Long-term Drug Rehab Programs
Long-term drug rehab programs can last anywhere from nine months to a year. These programs are recommended for those who have gone in and out of jail on drug charges, struggle with keeping a job or house, are in danger of becoming homeless or re-incarcerated, or chronic relapsers.
Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various speeds, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate lengths of treatment. Many people who enter treatment drop out before receiving all the benefits that treatment can provide. Successful outcomes may require more than one treatment experience. Many addicted individuals have multiple episodes of treatment, often with a cumulative impact.
Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited or no effectiveness, and treatments lasting significantly longer often are indicated. While over a year of treatment can be detrimental to some clients who start to see themselves as permanently sick with their addiction.