The Timeline of Addiction Rehab: How Long Does it Last?


Drug rehab can be an overwhelming, isolating process. It’s important to remember that addiction treatment is not a one size fits all process—and, in fact, it can vary wildly depending on what type of addiction treatment you’re seeking and how you’re recovering. The timeline of drug rehab varies based on these factors and more.

What are the Goals of Addiction Treatment?

Treatment programmes have three primary goals in addiction treatment. The first is to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. The second is to help patients avoid using drugs, either altogether or at least minimally. And thirdly, treatment should teach people how to live a drug-free life and have healthier relationships.

Once you have gone through detox and completed a rehabilitation programme, you will likely attend group therapy or individual therapy. This type of therapy should teach you coping mechanisms to deal with stress without relying on drugs or alcohol. You will also learn how to identify high-risk situations, such as being around certain people or in certain places, that could lead to relapse. While all rehab programmes are different, they usually include a combination of these elements.

A good rehab programme will be able to help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. You should also have access to any resources you need when you finish your programme, such as a sober coach or support group. These services can help keep you on track and prevent relapse in your new life.

What Happens at Different Stages of Rehab?

The length of a person’s time in rehab varies based on an array of factors. The amount, frequency and intensity of a person’s drug use, along with his/her physical, mental and social health when entering rehab all play a role in determining how long he or she spends in treatment. 

Substance abuse treatment programmes, on average, last from 30 days to 90 days. Those who fail to maintain sobriety can enter a rehab programme for a second or third time, although relapse rates are high for multiple treatments. If a person’s drug use becomes an issue at work or in other areas of his or her life, rehabilitation may last longer. Most employers require employees to attend counseling for 30 days following treatment, but some companies extend these policies to 90 days.

If a person’s mental or physical health deteriorates while in rehab, his or her time in treatment may be extended. Similarly, if a person relapses and then agrees to return to rehab, treatment programmes can last longer. Furthermore, if a rehab programme offers additional services that aren’t directly related to substance abuse but that can improve an individual’s life, he or she may remain in treatment for a longer period. For example, some facilities offer holistic treatments that promote healthy lifestyles and encourage patients to adopt healthier habits outside of their drug abuse. 

The First 30 Days

Inpatient rehabs typically require full-time attendance during your first 30 days of treatment. This will be followed by some outpatient therapy, but you’ll likely be spending most evenings at home. To transition into life after drug rehab, you’ll need to get used to an entirely new lifestyle. As a whole, people who have undergone inpatient drug treatment tend to take at least a year before they become regular members of society once again. Of course, there are exceptions—but don’t expect everything to go back to normal immediately after rehab ends.

After your first 30 days in a residential rehab facility, you’ll spend most of your time attending outpatient therapy sessions. Though treatment will have started before you left rehab, outpatient therapy allows for more freedom and flexibility than an inpatient programme. Therapy sessions can vary from one day per week to several times a week. These sessions should focus on helping you develop healthier habits and coping mechanisms for when stress arises. Your therapist will meet with you to understand what triggers your drug use, identify reasons for using and learn how to cope without using drugs as a crutch. When looking at things from an emotional perspective, people need to be aware that drug treatment does not end once you walk out of rehab as everything is still fresh and new after leaving there.

The Second 30 Days

Following your initial 30 days in rehab, you’ll be encouraged to graduate and re-enter society. If you’re ready, you can probably begin to look for employment; if not, there are also additional treatments available that can help you adjust. Over time, check-ins with your doctor may occur less frequently—the success or failure of treatment depends on individual factors and needs.

During your second 30 days in rehab, you’ll explore living a sober life and learn to stay away from substances. You can also explore new skills that will prepare you for your return to society—things like interviewing, resume-writing, and socializing. You’ll build relationships with people who share your goals so you can feel supported as you navigate life without drugs or alcohol.

The Third 30 Days

The final 30 days in drug rehab allow your body and mind to continue adjusting to a new lifestyle. This can be a difficult time because while you may have grown accustomed to sobriety during your time in treatment, you’re surrounded by triggers and temptations that can lead you back into addiction. Be sure to continue therapy if recommended by your doctor so that you are prepared for life after rehab.

Beyond 90 Days 

If your loved one is still struggling with their addiction after 90 days of treatment, it might be time to consider moving them to an inpatient rehab center or a long-term programme. Inpatient programmes last anywhere from three months to a year, while long-term rehabs may last up to a year. Make sure you find out what type of rehab is right for your loved one before you decide on which facility to choose.

Aftercare is a vital part of your loved one’s treatment plan, and not only because it can help prevent relapse. Aftercare also helps recovering addicts learn how to cope with triggers and avoid stressors. Because being in an inpatient or residential rehab facility can be both stressful and jarring, aftercare helps bridge that gap between treatment and real life.

Freeman House Recovery – Your Luxury Rehab of Choice in South Africa 

If you are looking for a luxury rehab that provides extensive and comprehensive treatment, then Freeman House Recovery should be your number one choice. Freeman House offers a luxurious facility that allows for an intimate and personalized approach to addiction treatment. Contact us today!


The Timeline of Addiction Rehab: How Long Does it Last?

The Timeline of Addiction Rehab: How Long Does it Last?

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