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How Long is Drug and Alcohol Rehab Addiction Treatment? 

What is the Length of Treatment?

One of the first questions people ask about addiction treatment is how long it will last. Unfortunately, there is no simple justifiable answer to this question. It can last from a few weeks to months; in severe cases, it might even take years.


The length of recovery programs differs broadly depending on the severity of addiction, the type of drug, and the frequency of its use.

Different short-term and long-term addiction treatment programs all have unique characteristics. Long-term recovery plans usually provide more significant benefits than short-term plans. Still, you should consider a treatment plan that suits you better and provides you with your desired results.

Addiction treatment programs are mainly divided into:

Addiction Treatment Timelines

Length of Detox

Most professional addiction treatment starts with detox. It is a process by which your body eliminates the substance itself. Length of detox can be described as the amount of time it takes for the withdrawal symptoms to appear in a person and then subside.

The time it takes your body to detoxify the substance typically ranges from four to five days, but they vary depending on the following factors:

  1. Age

  2. The overall health of a person

  3. Type of substance used

  4. Amount of substance used 

  5. Duration of substance used


Rapid Detox

Rapid detox involves injecting a medication into the person when they are under anesthesia. It will allow the body to get rid of the abused substance. Doesn't that sound fascinating? Unfortunately, it is not as good as it sounds. There is no magic way of quickly turning into an un-addicted person. 

Rapid detox has several side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and anxiety, and it can even lead to death.


Rapid detox can be a shortcut to your addiction treatment, but it is unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Therefore, it is always advised that you opt for other alternatives with fewer mental and physical risks.


5-Day and 7-Day Detox Programs

Five and seven days detox programs take place under the supervision of medical professionals. It involves detoxification through medicine and constant monitoring.

These programs should not be regarded as treatment or as an alternative to inpatient treatment for those who can’t afford it.

Detox is just the first step of the addiction treatment regime; it’s not the end. There are many other interventions needed to recover from the addiction fully.

Length of Inpatient Recovery Programs


After completing detox, a person can move toward an inpatient treatment program. It requires the individual to live at the treatment facility. The benefit of an inpatient treatment program is that it provides a higher level of care with 24/7 support from the medical staff at the facility.


In these programs, patients initially undergo detox to fight the physical effects of addiction. Afterward, relapse prevention techniques are introduced. Each individual's recovery period can vary depending upon their health status, mental conditions, and response to treatment. 


Inpatient rehabilitation programs are mainly based on an individual’s specific needs and the pace of their recovery. Some of the popular inpatient treatment programs are:

  • 30-day programs 

  • 60-day programs

  • 90-day programs 


30-Day Program


The most appropriate way to start addiction treatment is through a 30-day program. It is easier to commit to a 30-day program, and it will help you decide whether you should opt for more extended treatment or not.

It consists of physical and mental care designed to heal individuals suffering from addictionThese 30 days will also allow the medical professionals to define further the course of treatment and aftercare that will be needed.


A 30-day program is the most cost-effective treatment plan and is usually covered by insurance.

60-Day Program


A 60-day program has the advantage of extra time. At this time, the body can completely detoxify the substance used. This program also provides therapy sessions to work on familial, behavioral, or circumstantial factors that could have led to the addictive pattern. Therapy sessions sometimes also involve family members and loved ones; in this way, they get to contribute to the recovery of their beloved ones.

In a 60-day program, an individual learns and adopts new habits to stay sober and avoid relapse. 60-day rehabilitation programs are mostly not covered by insurance, but the treatment center may offer different payment plans, including installments.

90-Day Program


At first, the 90-day program looks exhausting, but the longer you seek addiction treatment, the more likely you will stay sober. 90-day programs include detox, therapy sessions (individual and groups), assessment and evaluation, and after-care. This allows you to learn to resist temptations and identify potential triggers for relapse.

A 90-day treatment program is recommended for individuals with severe long-term addictions. These programs are often covered by insurance and may be costly.

Extended Care Programs


After a 90-day treatment program, people often undergo extended care programs to solidify their habits to maintain sobriety. Through these programs, you immerse yourself in a sober environment.

A sober living house, also known as a halfway house, offers a drug and alcohol-free environment focusing on peer-to-peer support to achieve individual goals of recovery. In this way, you can learn from the experiences of others and also help them through your own experiences.

Sober living houses monitor the daily activities of individuals but allow them to attend school or work and participate in activities that can contribute to productivity and sobriety.

Patients typically live in halfway houses for one to six months or a year. It allows them to adjust gradually to this new phase of their life.

An extended care program is just an additional way to help those individuals who are not yet ready to face the world and want to master the skills they have acquired to maintain sobriety.

Medically Reviewed:


Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Length of Outpatient Treatment Programs

In an outpatient addiction treatment program, an individual comes to the center, receives treatment, and returns to their home or work. These programs help you recognize and alter your behavior to achieve long-term sobriety.

Outpatient programs offer a lower level of care than inpatient rehabilitation programs; therefore, it may take longer to conclude.

A person with supportive family and friends who is emotionally and financially stable usually requires outpatient care for a shorter duration. However, a person with unsupportive relationships, financial instability, stress, and other mental and medical conditions often needs a more extended period of outpatient care.

Outpatient treatment programs can last from months to years and require six to twenty hours of treatment per week.


One way to shorten the duration of an outpatient addiction treatment program is to take treatments with continuity.

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Rolling Hills Recovery Center is dedicated to your success. We provide evidence-based treatments backed by science and holistic therapies that heal the mind, body, and spirit.

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Factors that Affect a Recovery Timeline


How long does addiction treatment last? The answer to this question is not universal. It varies for everyone. Physiological and environmental factors differ for each individual. Thereby the time it takes for a person to recover from substance abuse also differs.

The following factors affect the recovery period of a person:

  • Metabolism of an individual 

  • Age: young people have a fast metabolism 

  • Weight 

  • Duration of substance used

  • Type of substance used

Why Longer Rehab Durations are Preferred

Shorter duration rehab programs are cost-effective and more convenient, but more extended duration programs lead to long-lasting effects. People with severe addiction or those who have had several relapses after short-term treatments are especially advised to undergo longer-duration addiction treatment plans.

Following are five main reasons why people opt for more extended duration rehabilitation programs:

  1. Sufficient time to learn new skills to maintain sobriety and avoid relapse. 

  2. Allows the brain to adjust to the new changes in life.

  3. Patients have more time to interact with their counselors and peers.

  4. Allows individuals to build healthy relationships with family and friends.

  5. Help patients adjust to their recommended nutritional program to improve their health.

Incase of Relapse

Don’t let relapse hinder your progress or demotivate you; instead, seek regression as an opportunity to learn to adapt yourself to recovery better.

In case of relapse:

  • Consult a medical professional

  • Approach higher level of care 

  • Try to reduce stress

  • Bring lifestyle changes to support your treatment 

  • Join a support group


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Words of Advice

Addiction treatment programs sound pretty intimidating due to the commitment of time they demand, but they are essential in helping you stay sober. If you’re also suffering from addiction, seek help and choose a rehabilitation program that suits you best. Please don’t get scared of the duration of these programs; instead, focus on their ability to improve the overall quality of your life after recovery.

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What is the length of treatment?
Addiction treatment timelines
Length of outpatient treatment programs
Factors that affect a recovery timeline
Why longer rehab durations are preferred
Incase of relapse
Words of advice
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