How Long Does Rehab Take?

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image-05Rehab can take as little as a few weeks to as long as several months.  It’s all dependent upon the individual and how he or she progresses in the program.  In an ideal world, many recommend at least a 90 day inpatient rehab stay, however this isn’t always possible.  Between work, school, children and other responsibilities, many people are lucky if they can commit to a 30 day inpatient stay.  Often factors such as finances and insurance can play a role in length of stay as well.  

Most rehab programs ask for a minimal commitment of 30 days, though there are some that will provide just detoxification services, which are typically 5-7 days.  It’s important to note that these programs are not intensive therapy, but rather a medically managed withdrawal process.  While it’s important that detox be under medical supervision, the treatment that accompanies a residential stay is just as important and valuable as the detox itself.  We can work with you to determine length of stay and some programs will begin with a two week commitment, dependent upon circumstances.

Once a facility is selected and an initial time commitment determined, you or your loved one will enter treatment.  From here, the client will work with the treatment team to develop a treatment plan and this will direct the course of treatment.  Based on the treatment plan, the treatment facility will often make recommendations regarding length of stay a few weeks into the program.  A substance abuse program cannot force an individual to stay longer than they’re willing, but they can make suggestions based on each individual client’s particular needs.  

A typical stay is 28-30 days, though often longer is recommended.  The longer one spends in an inpatient treatment environment, the more likely they are to maintain the healthy lifestyle they developed while engaging in a treatment program.  Often, after an individual discharges from inpatient care, they continue with either outpatient or one-on-one counseling, along with support group meetings.  This can last for years, dependent upon the breadth of issues needing to be addressed.  Support group meetings often become part of a recovering addict’s daily life, and are important to them to maintain their sobriety.  The support found through 12-step and alternative approaches, including SMART Recovery, is often crucial in helping recovering addicts stay sober.  

Treatment is essentially a life-long process, however the amount of time one actually spends in an inpatient setting varies dependent upon his or her needs.  For more information and to discuss you or your loved one’s specific case, please call us today.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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