How Long Is Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

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How long is rehab? Your stay in rehab will depend upon a number of factors. Some programs last for an extended period of time depending on the kind of care you’re receiving. For example, rehab may begin in an inpatient care facility for a set term of a minimum of 60 or 90 days. Once through with this program, treatment can extend into outpatient care, which could last for several more months. Keep in mind that what might work for someone else may not be applicable to your specific situation and vice-versa. The timeline is adjustable and will follow your progress while in rehab.

How long is inpatient rehab? Despite how the length of your stay may vary, rehab requires a solid time commitment as you work towards your recovery. When it comes to how long inpatient rehab lasts, a proposed timeline may be initially set, but rehab is a day-to-day process where thoroughness matters over quickness. Like with any other kind of recovery, you have to consider how your body reacts to treatment and how quickly you build back your strength before advancing.Although there is a certain protocol with rehab, the pacing is personal. Each next step is dependent on how fully you complete the phase before. With that said, all rehab programs begin with detox, and the detox process itself can vary in length of time.

There are several factors to consider:

  • Amount of time you’ve suffered from addiction
  • Kind of drug(s) used
  • Age, gender, weight, general health
  • Frequency of drug or alcohol use
  • Family history of addiction

All of this is relevant because of the physical process and time it takes to eliminate drugs and/or alcohol from your system. It all has an effect on how long you’ll be in the detox stage. The first few days are the most difficult and symptoms may be more severe for some more than others, which can extend the time in detox. Are your withdrawal symptoms gradually becoming better or are they still painful after several days? The longer it takes the body to adjust physically, the longer before the next phase of treatment can begin.

In many cases, the detox period lasts for over a week, but there are certain situations which can cause this to be extended to several weeks or even months. Because of its intense nature, we always recommend that you receive detox treatment at a secure rehab facility where you can be medically monitored and given support.

So to answer the original question, how long does rehab last? It’s as long as your body needs to heal. You may think there’s a more exact answer, but it comes down to how you react to the different phases. It depends on your commitment to the rehab process. Healing doesn’t come with a “for certain” time period, but each step is a little bit closer to sobriety.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Before you ever enter a program, first you must face your addiction and make the decision to take positive action to change it. Next, is deciding where to receive treatment. Once admitted, detox is first, followed by rehabilitation and recovery. Then, you progress into life transition and sober living.

There are benchmarks and medical milestones to achieve that will advance you to the next stage of treatment. Confronting your addiction is the first, big step and sets the rest of the timeline into motion.

As you’ve probably determined by now, rehab is less about simply checking off all the boxes, but making sure the boxes are ready to be checked off. It’s not enough to simply go through the motions of rehab, but to understand how important each step is to the next.

How Relapse Affects the Rehab Timeline

Relapse can result in more time spent in rehab. One of the best reasons to seek treatment is to help with relapse prevention. You’ve possibly tried quitting your addiction before. It may have worked for an hour or two, possibly even a day or longer, but withdrawal symptoms can quickly make your addiction take over. That’s how addiction works. The cravings, temptation, and availability can be too hard to combat on your own without the right kind of resources and support to help you through. Let us help.

When you go through this cycle of relapse, it can wreak havoc on your body and do damage to your spirit. But there is hope and through rehab, you are given what you need to achieve success. You also will learn ways to cope with potential setbacks and learn how to transition back into society post-rehab.

Rehab is a full-on commitment to yourself and how you want to treat your body going forward. When you put forth such great effort for the health of your mind, body, and spirit, you want to avoid relapse however possible. The time you spend is rehab is time devoted to your recovery and determination to keep moving forward even if there are a few stumbles along the way.

How can you prevent relapse?

Of course, it may seem like avoiding relapse is easier said than done. We agree there is nothing “easy” about the rehab process, but there are ways you can avoid relapse from happening. First, take advantage of the resources available to you. This includes the medical professionals, counselors, and other treatment staff whose sole mission is to support your well-being as you go through the different stages of recovery. Even though the journey is yours to walk, it doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone.

Secondly, focus on your environment. Be committed to your rehab path. That means selecting treatment you’ll feel most comfortable with in a place where you feel secure. That’s why we offer a serene place in nature to create a soothing environment situated in a way that’s conducive to your healing. Some opt for in-patient care so they are not distracted by outside influences during their time in rehab. Others prefer outpatient care so they can continue treatment closer to home. Learn more about which is the best option for you.

Lastly, follow the steps of rehab. Each part fits together to work as a whole. When one part is missing, it can make you more vulnerable to setbacks. Find strength in learning something new each day that will play a part in your long-term sobriety.

Speak with a treatment specialist today to learn about how we can help you set your sobriety up for success.
(888) 325-1995

But what if I do relapse?

Keep in mind you aren’t the only one and you won’t be the last. Although it is a step backwards, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the opportunity to begin again. If you’ve experienced relapse before, think about why it happened. Did you have the support you needed? Were you in an environment that made you feel safe and secure? Were you going through a particularly difficult time?

By identifying what could possibly trigger the longing to use will help you handle it in the future. The temptation might still be there, but you’ll know what steps to take not give into it. This takes persistence, so if you relapse, keep pushing forward.

When does relapse usually occur?

Relapse can occur at any time. The first few months post-rehab can be especially challenging, which is why we set you up with a transition plan. Going from addiction to sobriety and then back into your previous world can be overwhelming.

We want to equip you with the resources you need to make healthy decisions and give you any guidance you need to feel successful on your own. Aftercare is important so you are better able to handle adjustments to the real world and find out how to live in it with your newfound sobriety.

How do I prevent relapse?

Take note of what you learned during rehab. The information you’re given and the tools you learn are crucial as you go into the next stage.

Also, try to reduce the amount of stress in your life. In rehab, you’ll learn to pinpoint your biggest stressors and how to eliminate or reduce them in your life. Turn to treatment when you need to. Rehab is a place where you go to get addiction treatment and recovery. But it doesn’t mean you will never need care after that.

Contact us if you have questions or concerns. We will equip you with information to stay connected with groups and organizations that will you stay on your sober path. The focus on relapse prevention is strong because it will have an impact on how long your stay in rehab will be and how successful you will be in your sobriety. You can also check out these helpful tips for staying sober.

Embracing Your Sobriety

A crucial part of rehab is learning life skills and planning for when you enter back into the world free of addiction. When addiction has been the biggest part of your life, this adjustment may be challenging. There will need to be new, positive choices to replace the old destructive ones. There are various activities available in rehab, including sports, games, and other ways that are a healthy way to spend your time. They help you busy your mind and keep you active. They also let you find your sense of passion for your life again. What is it that you like to do? What is it that you don’t like to do? It sounds like simple questions, but you may be surprised many struggle with those answers.

In order to be successful with your sobriety, you have to be proactive and nurture it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if you’re feeling like you want to use again. Asking for assistance isn’t weakness; it means you’re able to identify when you need to reach out for support. By honing the skills you’ve learned during this part of rehab, it will help you progress more smoothly.

These skills will involve how to cope with stressful situations and temptations, but there will also be classes that relate to day-to-day life that may have been neglected through addiction. Life skills and planning includes everything from meal planning to time management to preparing for job interviews. When skills aren’t used for a long time, they are often forgotten or become rusty. During this phase of treatment, you get to redevelop these skills so you can conquer them post-rehab.

Getting organized will also help you feel more in control. We can help you update your resume, create a monthly budget, and schedule doctor’s appointments. This will be beneficial when you are out of rehab and living your sober life.

Life After Rehab in Sober Living

When you’re in rehab, everything is created to help you succeed. That’s why we can connect you with a network to help with maintaining sobriety in sober living situations once you’re through with treatment. The people, the environment, the classes, the counseling – all of it works together to create the kind of support, education, and empowerment you need to maintain your sobriety. Because of this, you want to ensure that wherever you transition to next keeps that momentum going for you.

The last thing you want to do is to return to old habits or bad influences to undo all the work you just put in. Make your inner group smaller, if you have to, especially if it means the people you surround yourself with are supportive of your sobriety and have positive ways to improve your life.

That’s not to say there won’t be temptations wherever you go; it’s unrealistic to think that will never happen again. But you can set yourself up on the right path to success. Make it a point to attend regular AA or NA meetings and be proud of your milestones and accomplishments. Share your concerns and challenges and see that you’re not the only one you might feel that way.

Sober living isn’t technically part of your rehab treatment, but it is part of your aftercare. Maintaining your sobriety is an ongoing part of your life, which is why it’s difficult to pinpoint a hard stop to how long rehab will be for you. It’s less about the time and more about what you choose to do with it that matters when you’re here.

Whether you are considering rehab for yourself or a loved one please do not hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about our programs. Sobriety is achievable and within reach when you have the right support system in place.

Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.
(888) 325-1995


National Institute on Drug Abuse. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Revised Jan. 2017, Accessed April 17, 2016.

Alcohol Rehab Guide. Government Treatment for Alcoholism. Revised Aug, 2018, Accessed April 17, 2016.

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.Treatment Programs for Substance Use Problems. June 2015, Accessed April 18, 2016.

American Addiction Centers. How to Find A State-Funded Rehab Center. Revised Sep. 2018, Accessed 17, 2016.

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