How Long Does Treatment Take?

Treatment should take as long as is necessary for the addicted individual to be able to build a safe and effective recovery. This can be a different length for every individual, and although there are specific lengths used by most rehab programs, it is important for the patient to receive help catered to their individual situation. Call 800-654-0987 now if you are still looking for a rehab center or if you have questions about addiction and recovery.

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General Treatment Lengths

While every individual patient should receive a treatment program that takes their needs into account, there are common treatment lengths to which most rehab programs adhere. These often include program lengths of

How Long Does Treatment Take

Treatment programs should last for at least 90 days in order to be effective.

  • 30 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days
  • 6 months or longer

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Generally, 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.” 30- and 60-day programs still exist, however, because certain patients feel that these are more fitting to their situations, budgets, etc. Most rehab programs will allow patients to consider their options and needs before starting recovery and will ensure that their requirements can be matched with one of the program’s offered treatment lengths.

Why Is Longer Treatment Better?

It is a widespread belief that, in general, the longer a person stays in addiction treatment, the better their outcome will be. Certain programs require long-term care, like methadone maintenance, which lasts at least a year before the patient and their doctor begin to discuss the need for further maintenance or the possibility of medically-assisted withdrawal. Most treatment programs, though, will advise patients to consider longer-term care.

  • Longer programs can be better because patients are often able to create real change as a result of this type of care. Shorter programs aren’t usually able to leave the impression longer ones can, especially on those who have been abusing drugs for many months or years.
  • People are often able to become more stable in their recoveries before being on their own if they attend longer treatment programs. They will be more familiar with their new skills and behaviors, and this will help them continue these more beneficial actions into the future.
  • According to the NIDA, “Successful outcomes often depended on a person’s staying in treatment long enough to reap its full benefits.” Short-term treatment programs will not usually be as successful as long-term ones, nor will be a partially finished program verses a fully attended one.
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Extended Care

Treatment Is a Process

It is also very important to remember the fact that treatment is a process, not a one-and-done procedure. According to the NIDA, “Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives,” which means that, even if you attend one rehab program that lasts 90 days, you may need to attend another down the road.

This is not meant to suggest that a person will always be in treatment but more that care should be revisited as necessary. There are many different options for this type of ongoing or periodic care for addiction and recovery after an initial treatment program has ended, such as

  • Outpatient care that can be attended once you finish an inpatient program
  • Booster sessions arranged with your rehab center so you can return for an evaluation periodically
  • Support group meetings that allow you to continue practicing the lessons learned in rehab and to build a stronger support system

How Long Will My Treatment Take?

It is difficult to determine for certain how long any one individual’s treatment program will last, especially without details about their substance abuse history, physical and mental health, social support network, etc. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider all of these variables and to ask yourself if the standard 90-day rehab length might be best for you or if you might require a shorter or longer program based on your needs.

If you still need help, we can assist you in finding the best rehab center for your needs and discuss treatment lengths, insurance eligibility, and many other important aspects of rehab and recovery. Call 800-654-0987 today; our recovery advisors are standing by.

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