One of the biggest deciding factors when someone is thinking about taking part in drug rehab programs is the time involved. How long is drug rehab? If you pursue residential treatment, how long will you be away from your friends and family? Will you be able to continue working or do you need to take some time off?
These are all important questions and we will aim to answer them in this article. However, your primary concern should be completing your drug addiction treatment and taking control of your life once again, regardless to how long it takes.
It’s all about the end game!
What is the average time for drug rehab (How long is drug rehab)?
So, what is the average time for drug rehab programmes? Naturally, the time involved varies from individual to individual. It depends on the nature of your drug abuse, how long you have been suffering from drug addiction, and the level of treatment that you require (among other factors).
If you are to overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol, you must understand that it is a complex process that should not be rushed. Long term sobriety isn’t something that can be achieved via brief treatment – at least not for most people.
In any case, the average time for drug rehab programs is around 30-days.
What are the steps of rehabilitation?
There are 5-key steps to rehabilitation:
- Awareness and consideration: the first steps on the road to rehabilitation begins with you. Before you can pursue addiction treatment and rehabilitation seriously, first you must become self-aware of your substance abuse and have a desire to live a normal life with healthy habits. Once you realise this, you will be ready to move onto the next step of rehabilitation; seeking out the relevant treatment programs from a reputable rehab facility.
- Treatment exploration: the next and crucial step is to explore your treatment options. Treating substance abuse is handled on a case-by-case basis and as such, the treatment that you will be prescribed will depend largely on your individual circumstances. You will be greeted by a qualified admissions representative, such as a healthcare provider or therapist; they will then carry out various medical, psychological, and circumstantial assessments in order to identify the underlying issues causing your addiction and what treatments may be best suited to you.
- Early recovery/ detox: the next stage is early recovery. This is when you enter the rehab facility and begin your treatment – the type and duration of which will depend on the previous step, and indeed the level of help that you would like to receive. If your case requires detox, you will commence under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider. Otherwise, you will begin with your individual or group therapies and start working toward sobriety.
- Active recovery / maintenance: following that you will continue with your recovery and general maintenance. This is where you will either remain as a residential inpatient attending therapies, or as an outpatient. When you are approaching the end of your rehabilitation treatment, you will begin preparing for life after rehab.
- Aftercare: the final (and arguably most critical of all) step, is preparing for and receiving aftercare. Your rehab centre will put together a tailor-made aftercare plan that suits your requirements and ensures that you receive all of the care and support necessary to help your recovery, even after you have finished with your rehabilitation program. The fact is, rehabilitation for addicts is something that requires long term treatment and doesn’t simply end after a few weeks of group therapy. In order for you to successfully maintain sobriety, having the appropriate level of support is an essentiality.
How long does drug detox take?
Medically assisted drug detoxes under the care of medical professionals can be completed in as little as 7 to 10-days. Maintaining sobriety after the fact is a different story. Often, it is advised that you seek quality after care and advice from registered addiction counsellors which will result in longer treatment times.
Please note that attempting to detox from drug use is incredibly dangerous and should not be attempted by yourself. The withdrawal symptoms associated with many narcotics can be very painful and in some extreme cases, fatal.
As such, if you are serious about detoxing and clearing the drugs from your system, we strongly recommend that you do so with the appropriate medical assistance in a certified treatment facility.
How long is outpatient drug rehab?
When it comes to outpatient treatment, there really is no limit to how long you spend on it. Most courses vary from 30, 60 or 90-days, however, the frequency at which you attend can be customised to fit your unique situation.
For example: some outpatient services will allow you to attend weekly, bi-weekly, and even monthly support groups. This is something that you can pursue for as long as is necessary.
Ultimately, the length of outpatient drug rehab depends on you and what your definition of success is. It isn’t something that you should see as needing to complete or ‘get out of the way’.
Instead, your focus should remain solely fixed on taking back control, kicking your drug use, and living a sober life.
How long is inpatient drug rehab?
The length of inpatient rehab can vary anywhere between 28 and 90-days. The length at which you spend on your inpatient treatment will largely depend on your individual circumstances.
The more severe cases of drug abuse will typically require to be on the latter end of the 90-day treatment options, whereas those with milder cases may be able to complete their drug rehab programme in significantly less.
If you are concerned about being away from your family for too long, or having to take time off work, speak with your drug rehab facility. They can work with you to find the best possible solution to fit your circumstances.
How long is the average stay in drug rehab?
While drug addiction treatment options vary from 30-days through to 90-days, the average length of attendance tends to be around 28 to 35-days. Again, however long you take part in alcohol and drug rehab depends on you as an individual.
There are options to attend drug rehab for 7-days, 14-days, 21-days, and beyond. However, if you are to experience the greatest success as a recovering addict, it would be advised that you consider a longer treatment plan with quality aftercare and follow up treatment made available to you afterwards.
Do different types of drugs have differing rehab timelines?
Typically yes. That, and the rehab timelines will vary depending on the severity of the addiction, what drug they are addicted to, how long the individual has been abusing the drug in question, and their commitment to abstinence.
Depending on the drug being used, hospital residential treatment and detox may be required. Opiates and benzodiazepines for example, are incredibly dangerous to detox from. This isn’t something that should be done without the proper medical supervision and as such, patients will need to be hospitalised and prescribed with medication while these drugs are flushed out of their system.
These types of drugs have a significantly longer recovery time than Cocaine or Cannabis and will generally require rehabilitation afterwards. Often, a detox on its own is not enough to remain abstinent as there are certain behavioural health conditions and underlying mental health issues that may need to be addressed as well.
What other factors affect drug rehabilitation timelines?
While the average duration of drug rehab is around 30-days, there are so many different factors that may affect drug rehabilitation timelines:
- Individual commitment to the recovery process.
- The type of treatment plan provided by the treatment centre.
- Whether the patient’s drug abuse is fuelled by a mental health disorder or certain environmental factors.
- Whether the patient seeks residential rehab (inpatient treatment), or outpatient treatment.
- The drug being abused.
- The severity of the addiction.
- Whether the rehabilitation was court-ordered or voluntary.
- If drug detox issued by licensed medical professionals is included in the individual’s treatment plan.
As you can see, there are many different factors that can influence the overall duration of the rehabilitation process. Ultimately, you should speak with your chosen treatment centre and work with them to figure out a tailor-made drug and alcohol treatment that suits you as an individual.
How long is court-ordered drug rehab?
The duration of court-ordered drug rehab can vary significantly. This is something that can only be determined on a case by case basis. If you are having to seek out drug rehab as part of your conditions for probation, however long you need to attend will be made clear to you by the courts. If you are not certain, make sure you speak to the relevant authorities to ensure that you do not violate your probation.
Addiction recovery is possible
You can be free of substance use disorder. If you have been battling with drug addiction and you fear that you may never be able to live a normal life, know that you are wrong. There are so many people out there who have been where you are now, feeling as hopeless as you might feel, who have no successfully recovered.
The first step is to reach out to friends and family and tell them that you have a problem and that you need their support. Then, you can start looking for a quality rehab facility and work toward your lifelong recovery.