How long do drug rehab programs last?
Research has shown that the length of time in drug rehab treatment is directly correlated with better outcomes of maintaining sobriety. 90 day residential or outpatient drug rehab are suggested as the minimum length of time. Methadone maintenance treatment should continue for at least 12 months, with some individuals continuing to benefit for over a year.
Detox, the initial phase of drug rehab, can last as little as three days. This procedure cleanses the body of drugs and alcohol and should be overseen and managed by medical professionals as the withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. The substance used will determine the length of the detoxification process; alcohol can last a few days where heroin or meth can require a week. Generally, the length of stay in a drug rehab varies from person to person taking as long as it takes to gain balance and a foundation in recovery.
Short-term residency programs usually have a set amount of time- 30, 60, or 90 days. After this time, patients are discharged, usually recommended to an outpatient drug rehab program and/or sober living environment. For many, insurance coverage determines a patient’s length of stay. For a drug rehab to be as successful as possible, it is recommended to receive support for 3-6 months in a structured, drug-free environment.
Long-term drug rehab programs can last anywhere from nine months to a year. These programs are recommended for those who have gone in and out of jail on drug charges, struggle with keeping a job or house, are in danger of becoming homeless or re-incarcerated, or chronic relapsers.
Many who enter drug rehab programs drop out before receiving all the benefits that treatment can provide.
12-step programs are worked a day at a time. However, long-term sobriety is the goal and suggests a daily reprieve. Attending meetings, working with a sponsor, and being of service will hopefully be a lifetime commitment.