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How Long Does Rehab Treatment Usually Take?

Anyone who has attempted to enter a rehabilitation facility for their addiction or substance use disorder knows that the length of time spent in treatment varies. Every time you try to re-enter rehab treatment, you might need a different amount of time to complete the process. Everyone is different and will need personalized care — and they deserve that level of care.

If you or a loved one are trying to learn more about the rehab treatment process and its timeline, know that you will never find an exact length but rather a timeframe. As you go through the process, your timeframe can change as your recovery process unfolds. But we’re here to help you learn the ins and outs so that you can start your journey with peace of mind.

Learn more about addiction treatment and how long you might be in their programs to see positive changes and start your comeback story.

What Prompts Addiction Treatment?

If you are beginning to look into addiction treatment programs, it’s likely because you have realized that you need help. Substance use disorder can affect anyone, but everyone deserves help.

It can be a lot of work to admit that you have an issue that needs external help. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you could enter into different treatment programs. Not all programs are run the same way or treat the same addictions, so research can support you as you choose.

Overall, what most people find beneficial from a rehab program is that the care is personalized to them. The professionals you work with will determine the right process for you. Once you learn what kinds of treatment you’d benefit from, you can get to the core of your addiction and begin to process and heal.

The Process of Rehab

There are multiple phases you will go through during your recovery. There are many treatment options depending on the kind of treatment you are looking for, both in-person and online.

The first step at any rehab treatment center is to undergo an intake session where you share with a doctor your concerns with addiction, your physical and mental health history, and what you are seeking from recovery.

A team of addiction professionals works together to create a unique treatment plan catered to your needs. The great thing about specialized plans is their flexibility and how they change as your needs change.


For people who struggle with severe substance use issues, trying to quit cold turkey can be dangerous. It’s often recommended that if you are dependent on drugs or alcohol, you should undergo the detoxification process with the help of medical professionals.

This is because you can experience withdrawals that could induce nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and other side effects. Without the proper care, you could put yourself at a higher risk of hurting yourself or becoming ill.

During this time, you might receive medication that can help with the withdrawal symptoms. Some medications can help wean you off substances over time to avoid putting your body into shock.

Treatment Options

After detoxing, you will have a few different options for treatment. Many places will offer inpatient and outpatient services, group and individual therapy, and sober living situations.

Inpatient services are best for people who need around-the-clock care to succeed. This can last two weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the addiction. You stay at the treatment center the entire time and it is structured so you can stay on track in your recovery process.

Outpatient programs are for people who may need to stay committed to their real-world responsibilities but still need a place to get treatment. You can attend therapy sessions and join group meetings. You usually have a set time you need to be at the center, but you always go home at the end of the day.


Once you have undergone treatment, you should come out with the tools to keep fighting your addiction. You may still attend weekly group meetings at the center you stayed or seek out sober groups to join. Aftercare is just as important as treatment because maintaining all the things you learned about coping and staying strong is essential.

Finding a sense of community is an essential part of recovery. You can join sober groups online and use apps that connect you with sober individuals. You can attend AA meetings in person and find an accountability buddy.

We believe connection and community are key to thriving after addiction. You can heal with the support and care of empathetic and understanding community members who understand the struggle.

Determining the Length of Treatment

The length of rehab treatment varies from person to person. People with more severe addictions could be in and out of treatment centers for years. It might take someone a full nine months of undergoing both inpatient and outpatient services to feel confident out in the real world. Or it could take someone two weeks to get back on track. However long it takes, you are worth it, and you can do it.

You simply never know what the journey is going to look like. You may get a baseline at your intake session, but how things progress can be up in the air. It takes time, patience, and grace to heal.

Just know that no matter how much time you spend, the benefits of seeking treatment are immeasurable. Your life will change before your eyes as you become a healthier and more mindful individual. Remember, this is your comeback story.

Benefits of Long-Term Treatment

Prolonged stays at treatment facilities have proven to be the most useful for addiction recovery. It’s possible to find yourself back in treatment without the patience it takes to fully see it through. We know it is hard to be away from your normal routine but think of it as your cocoon.

It takes a long time to rewire your brain, and you’ll need to teach it how to respond to life’s ups and downs. The long-term treatment provides continued care and support when you may feel alone or misunderstood in your addiction.

It provides you with a place to put all of your efforts into improving yourself with no threat of relapsing. Not only are you unable to get a hold of substances while in rehab, but you are taught how to best respond to them so you can continue with your sobriety when you leave the facility.


Long-term treatment provides people with the structure they might not get outside the center. There are built-in times to eat during the day, wake up and go to sleep, get medication, go to therapy, have free time, and everything in between. People that struggle with addiction can truly thrive in structured and safe spaces.

There is a general lack of structure in the life of someone addicted to substances, so this time allows them to get into the habit of following a specific structure to support their health and well-being. This can help you to become more reliable and predictable so that nothing surprises you during the day.


Going through addiction treatment alone can be challenging and isolating. You don’t want to feel like it’s you against the world, but that is how addiction can make you feel.

With rehab treatment centers, you gain access to a community of other individuals who are going through similar struggles. You can learn coping skills from other patients, feel seen through shared experiences, and find people looking for support themselves.


Another benefit of long-term treatment is that there is a lot of education goes on during treatment. You may be taught breathing exercises to do when you feel stressed out. You learn from other patients their own paths to recovery.

Treatment centers provide you with valuable lessons to bring home with you when you leave. The goal is to prepare you to go back into the real world, where you have access to substances but can learn to avoid them.

Seeking Help With Sober Sidekick

There are many ways to seek community, guidance, and assistance for your addiction. For those that enjoy anonymity and staying close to home, joining an app-based community like Sober Sidekick gives you access to resources for recovery from your phone.

You can chat with other sober individuals and support each other with true empathy. You can join AA meetings when you are feeling extra lost, gain access to medical professionals when times are really tough, and feel like a part of something larger than yourself. Even if you aren’t in treatment, it doesn’t mean you can’t get help from a community that accepts you.

Download Sober Sidekick on Android and iPhone today to get started on your path to recovery.


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