The question, “How long does drug rehab take?” is a bit like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” There isn’t one answer that is correct in every instance. Determining the best course of treatment is a highly individualized process.

Research does reveal that good outcomes for people living with an addiction occur when they are able to take the time they need to heal. The longer they stay in a rehab facility, the higher the likelihood of achieving long-term sobriety.

Factors Influencing Length of Drug Rehab Treatment

A number of factors influence how long a person spends in a drug treatment program. Each person admitted to a residential facility is unique, with their own history of drug use and individual goals for their recovery.

A long-term drug rehab program of 90 days (or more) is the “gold standard” in treatment; however, short-term treatment programs of 30-90 days offer benefits to participants. A client may decide on a short-term program due to work or family obligations. This type of program may also be a better fit for financial reasons.

Advantages of Long-term Drug Rehab Treatment

Why would someone seeking help for a drug addiction issue choose to stay in treatment for 90 days (or even longer)? Here are some reasons why a long-term program can be helpful in many instances.

  • Appropriate Treatment Response to Disease of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease that takes time to develop. An effective treatment program will also take time, since it involves having a client take on a new, drug-free lifestyle.

  • Clients Have Time to Get to Root of Addiction

Addictions develop for a reason. A long-term drug rehab treatment program gives clients time to explore the root of their addiction during individual and group therapy sessions.

  • Clients Learn About Healthy Living

It isn’t enough to get someone to stop using their drug of choice. Long-term drug rehab also introduces clients to elements of healthy living, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Someone who has been using drugs may have neglected these keys to good health.

The inpatient treatment program stresses a regular routine that also includes getting adequate rest. Sleep is important for managing stress, coping with cravings, and having enough energy to get through the day.

  • Allows Clients to Focus Full Attention on Healing

Checking into a residential program for 90 days allows clients to focus their undivided attention on getting well. They are away from the distractions of their usual surroundings, which include places where they are used to buying and using drugs. Clients may find it easier to stay motivated when their entire focus is on living a drug-free lifestyle.

Rehab Is Not the End of Drug Treatment

The end of a 90-day drug rehab program is not the end of treatment. Once clients leave the residential portion of their drug treatment, they are still in recovery. Transitional care options at this point vary, depending on each client’s needs and goals.

  • Some clients may continue with outpatient therapy
  • Others decide to extend their stay in the inpatient drug rehab program.
  • Another option is to move into a sober living house, where a person in recovery can have more independence while still retaining a certain level of structure and support

Drug Rehab Is An Individual Decision

Each client is unique when determining the length of time they should be spending in drug rehab. Time is on the side of the person seeking help in this situation. The more time they can spend in a drug rehab program, the better. More time devoted to treatment means a person has more time to develop strategies to deal with cravings and other stressors.

By Jodee Redmond

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