How Long Does Rehab Last?

Substance Use Disorder Treatment: How Long Does Rehab Last?

If you are seeking treatment for substance use disorder, then you’ll surely have many questions about treatment. One of the common questions is “how long does rehab last?” Since substance use disorder treatment can require a person to take extended leave from work, school, or other obligations, it’s a valid question. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most addicted people require a minimum of three months of consecutive treatment to be able to reap the full benefits of professional care. 

In this article, we will examine the average treatment length of programs at drug rehabilitation centers, what the benefits of the different programs are, and explore how effective rehab is.

Does Drug Rehab Work?

Before we examine the required treatment time needed for addiction, we will first answer an important question “does drug rehab work?” According to NIDA and various institutes that study addiction and recovery, the answer is “yes”. However, for rehab to effective, it must provide more than just addiction education; it must provide (where needed):

  • Behavioral counseling
  • Medication to assist with detox and addiction management
  • Co-occurring treatment options to deal with the common co-occurrence of addiction with another mental disorder
  • Long-term follow-up and maintenance to prevent relapse

Treatment Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

There is no way to fully answer “how long does rehab last?” because individual attention is required in each case, and a customized treatment plan must be made. How long does rehab take from this standpoint is impossible to determine exactly. Furthermore, as treatment progresses, some people may respond exceptionally well to their treatment plan while others may require their treatment plan to be adjusted.

The best way to determine how long does rehab last is to be evaluated by an addiction specialist during intake into a treatment program. Once the assessment is completed, it will be easier to answer the question “how long does rehab take?”

Without a professional assessment, in order to answer the question “how long does rehab last?” we must explore the types of treatment programs available – 30- and 60-day, and aftercare programs – and to keep in mind that at least 90 days is required for most addicted individuals, according to NIDA. Of course, the 90 days can be achieved with a combination or rehab and aftercare programs. One may also use an inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare program to ensure that enough time is spent on treatment.

30-Day Treatment Programs

At drug rehabilitation centers such as WhiteSands, one of the treatment options is a 30-day program. It is one of the best ways to start treatment because it can provide you, and your addiction specialist, with insight into your recovery and what will be required.

A 30-day program can help a person to deal with withdrawal symptoms and provide them with the therapy that’s needed for treatment to be effective. From there, the person may carry on at the rehab, or turn to aftercare services for further care.

60-Day Treatment Programs

While a 60-day treatment program provides the same types of treatment programs as a 30-day program, it can provide a more conclusive treatment plan because there’s more time to work through all of the issues and ultimately prepare the person to leave rehab and not relapse. Of course, this is ideal for people with a more severe addiction, or those have relapsed before or fear that they might relapse.

Extended Care

For most people in recovery, after finishing a 30- or 60- day program, their treatment can be followed by aftercare services such as a sober living home, follow-up therapy, or support groups. For others, they may require a longer stay at rehab. Some programs can last for more than six months if there is a need.

Generally speaking, no matter the length of the stay in rehab, follow-up care is essential to recovery; whether through follow-up therapy, sober living environments, or support groups.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.