Rehab is a unique experience for each person and the length of time needed for recovery varies from person to person. The cumulation of factors that contribute to the development of addiction can impact the amount of time a person needs to successfully achieve sobriety. History of substance abuse, biological differences, and other factors all contribute to the unique development of addiction. Because everyone has different experiences and history, no one approach to recovery is guaranteed to work for everyone. Everyone’s journey in treatment is different, meaning that the types of therapies that are most effective and the duration of treatment will inevitably vary.

The Length of Rehab: How Long Does Rehab Take?

The amount of time someone has to spend in treatment is dependent on a number of factors. The severity of the addiction, types of substances used, presence of co-occurring disorders, and ability to pay for treatment costs can all affect the type of treatment used. While many people may like the idea of completing treatment and returning to everyday life as soon as possible, longer stays in rehab tend to produce the best results.

While the length of stay in treatment does not guarantee sobriety, it does improve recovery outcomes. Any amount of time spent in treatment is valuable, but transitioning through multiple phases of addiction treatment can help more fully address the underlying causes of addiction. Detox, treatment, and aftercare are all vital components of recovery and individual differences can influence how long each phase lasts.


On average, detox may last anywhere between 7 to 10 days, but in some severe cases, a person may undergo detox for several weeks. Withdrawal symptoms play a significant role in the duration of stay in detox. While some withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, others can be life-threatening. Close monitoring from trained medical staff make sure the process is as comfortable as possible and any potential issues are addressed immediately.


Treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to a year or longer depending on the severity of the addiction. Co-occurring disorders and addiction to specific substances can cause treatment to last longer. Outpatient, inpatient, residential treatment, and hospital residential treatment are just some of the many treatment options available. Each person’s recovery plan should be unique and evolve over time to meet their changing needs. Depending on how a person progresses through recovery, the length of stay may fluctuate as well.


Following treatment, it is recommended that clients continue their recovery through aftercare services. Aftercare can last a long as a person needs. They may utilize a combination of group therapy, individual counseling, medication, and self-help groups to support clients continuing their journey in strengthening their sobriety.

Determining your Length of Stay

Sobriety is easier to achieve for some people than it is for others. Some may not need as much assistance as others in managing cravings or triggers. Everyone’s experience with addiction is unique and the length of time needed in recovery will vary based off of those differences. This does not mean that some people are stronger or better equipped to handle recovery, but it does mean that a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery is ineffective.

Speaking to a specialist and working through your specific experiences can help you determine the length of stay that best suits you. Depending on the severity of your addiction and other factors, a treatment specialist can make a recommendation and outline a treatment plan for you. Over time, your treatment plan will evolve as your needs change, but having a general idea of how recovery will look can help you better understand your own journey.

Those who stay in drug and alcohol treatment longer tend to have better outcomes. While some people can be successful with shorter stays, having more time dedicated to your recovery and developing healthy coping mechanisms can help you manage your sobriety independently in the future. In addition, longer stays in treatment provide you more time away from enabling peers and environments that may lead to relapse.

Regardless of the amount of time in treatment, you will inevitably face triggers, temptation, cravings, and negative influences at some point in the future. Spending time in recovery learning healthy ways to cope with potential pitfalls will help you protect your sobriety confidently in the future.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 888.855.6877 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.


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