How Long Are Drug Rehab Programs Supposed To Last?

It’s quite common for addiction sufferers to avoid getting help when it’s easier for them to just keep using drugs or alcohol. Most of them have very little motivation to get help until they hit what the addiction treatment community refers to as “rock bottom.” By then, the adduction sufferer’s choices become limited to continuing on the path of destruction or reporting to rehab.

One of the things we hear about from a lot of prospective clients is their concerns over how much time they will need to devote to treatment. When they hear the truth, they begin to understand how important and difficult the addiction treatment process can be. Yes, the time requirement can serve to deter some clients. However, most of them eventually come around when they realize there aren’t any alternatives if they want to arrest their addiction.

So, how long are drug rehab programs supposed to last? The short and quick answer is as long as it takes to produce a recovery. Since that really doesn’t give you much clarification, we will attempt to give you a better idea based on the actual time you would need to spend in treatment.

Before we try to get into numbers, you need to understand there are several factors that will play a role in determining how long your treatment will last. We’ll assume we are talking about residential (inpatient) treatment for the purposes of this article. The factors we would consider if we were to try to estimate how long your treatment would last include the following:

  • The depth (time spent) caught up in your addiction
  • The actual substance or substances you have been abusing
  • The amount you use each time and over an entire day
  • The frequency of your substance abuse
  • Other extenuating circumstances that warrant consideration (mental health issues, finances, health issues)

After taking all of these factors under advisement, we could give you an estimate. However, it would only be an estimate based on the assumption you worked hard and made good, consistent progress.

How Long for a Standard Addiction Treatment Program

For purposes of this discussion, we want to break treatment into two components, detox, and therapy.

If you were to enter rehab with a significant addiction to alcohol or drugs like heroin, prescription painkillers, or meth, we would highly recommend you go through a medical detox program. Assuming things went well, you could assume it will take about one week for you to safely clear your withdrawal symptoms and diminish your cravings.

After detox, your treatment would involve therapy. For the most part, you can assume that you would need to spend a minimum of 30 days in therapy. We consider that kind of a baseline timeframe. From there, you might have to stay a bit longer in treatment if there are a lot of underlying issues with which you need to deal. If that were the case, you might have to stay in rehab for upwards of 90 days.

Again, the focus has to be on your willingness to do what is necessary to arrest your addiction. That includes your willingness to work hard with your therapists and keep making progress.

If you were to enter rehab with a significant addiction to drugs like heroin or fentanyl, the stakes might rise a bit. First, the detox process would likely include a tapering program. That might require a time commitment of up to three or four weeks. As for therapy, there would almost certainly be a lot of issues you would need to work through. That could take as long as 180 days from beginning to end.

Even after finishing a residential treatment program, you might need a little extra aftercare. It wouldn’t hurt for you to continue with outpatient counseling to help you stay on the path of recovery. The bottom line is you do have some control over how long treatment takes based on the efforts you put forward.

We hope this information gives you the insight you need. What we encourage you to do is not focus on the time it will take to recover. Your primary concern should be directed at you getting whatever help you need so you can get back to living a normal life. When you are ready to seek help, we want you to call us first at 833-364-0736. We’ll use that opportunity to tell you about our facility and addiction treatment services.