How Long is Drug Rehab?

By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: March 19, 2021

The question “How long is drug rehab?” is something that many people wonder about. Unfortunately, there isn’t one simple or quick answer to this question. Most drug treatment programs are at least 28 days in length and extend to 90 days or longer. There are many factors associated with how long an individual’s treatment will be, including the type of substance abused, how long they used that substance, and whether there are co-occurring disorders that need treatment at the same time. Individual needs can make treatment successful after shorter periods for some, while others need more intensive and longer rehabilitation to overcome addiction.

Different types of rehab programs also influence duration. Inpatient rehab is more intensive and occurs over a shorter period of time, while outpatient treatment involves fewer hours of therapy each week over a longer duration. While all of these factors influence the answer to that question of, “How long is drug rehab?,” there are typical program durations. Those are:

  • 28 to 30 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days
  • 91 to 120 days
  • Beyond 120 days, for long term treatment

Expert-Recommended Answers to the Question “How Long is Drug Rehab?”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) stance on program duration is related to their assertion that, “research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.” NIDA further states that, “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.” 1 While many patients want to get in and out of treatment as quickly as possible, ensuring enough treatment is received is the key to rehab being worthwhile. It is far less stressful and costly to go into a rehab program once for a longer period, than to have to return more than once for additional treatment after relapse. According to NIDA, addiction changes brain function, affecting:

  • Parts of the brain related to motivation and reward
  • Part of the brain key to memory and learning
  • Area of the brain responsible for behavioral control

So for you or the one you love entering rehab, the question should not be, “How long is drug rehab?” but instead, “How long should I stay for the best chance of gaining lifelong recovery?”

I say, the longer the better. Entering treatment, I wanted nothing more than to do the time and get out to the freedom of the outside world. Then I started to eat right, sleep well, and develop true friendships for the first time. I decided to give it a chance and not try to rush the process. My mind body and spirit needed the appropriate time to heal. For some that can be a quicker process while for others a little more time is needed. So again, one’s attitude entering treatment should be how long can I stay to learn the tools needed for lifelong recovery.

Lakeview Health Treats Addiction for the Long Term

In Jacksonville, Florida, Lakeview Health provides dual diagnosis residential rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol as part of a care continuum starting at medically supervised detoxification and running through rehab, into aftercare. This 12-step based program is designed to fully heal patients from their years of drug or alcohol abuse while helping families to improve their relationships and come together in recovery as a unit. Contact Lakeview Health now for more information about program duration and rehabilitation designed to treat the individual for healthiest recovery from detox through lifelong sobriety.