How Long Does Drug Rehab Take?

Drug rehab comes in many different forms and fulfills a range of different purposes. For someone who’s at the early stages of drug abuse, rehab becomes a means for avoiding addiction’s downward spiral. For long-term, chronic users, drug rehab acts as a treatment for addiction.

Likewise, determining how long drug rehab will last depends on a person’s individual condition and circumstances. More oftentimes than not, someone considering drug treatment has reached the “point of no return” as far as drug use and addiction goes.

Powerless to stop using at will, addicts turn to drug treatment to help them break addiction’s hold on their lives. Once addiction becomes an issue, time frames for drug rehab will likely be longer than expected if one hopes to have a successful outcome.

Drug Rehab Process

rehab and recovery

Rehab programs that are longer term are thought to be more effective.

Since different people progress through drug rehab at different rates, treatment lengths can vary considerably from person to person. Whenever addiction becomes a factor, it helps to keep in mind that addiction works as an all-encompassing condition with no “one-size fits all” approach to treatment.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a person’s chances of having a successful recovery greatly increase the longer he or she engages in drug treatment. Considering how addiction works in much the same way as any other chronic or disease-like condition, recovery entails an ongoing process designed to help addicts manage the “symptoms” of the disease.

In general, the severity of the addiction has a considerable impact on how long a person should remain in treatment. People affected by co-occurring medical and/or psychological problems also benefit from longer treatment periods.

Detox vs. Addiction Treatment

Detox treatment marks the first essential step in the drug recovery process. While detox treatment does help with breaking the body’s physical dependency on drugs, addiction treatment doesn’t really begin until a person starts working through his or her psychological dependency on drugs.

On average, a detox program can run anywhere from two weeks to a month in length. From there, addicts have a choice of entering a residential treatment program or an outpatient treatment program. Residential programs can run anywhere from one month to a year, whereas outpatient programs can continue on an indefinite basis.

For chronic or long-term users, it’s not uncommon for addicts to go from detox right into residential drug rehab followed by outpatient treatment. What’s most important is to ensure a person stays in treatment long enough to get a firm handle on his or her addiction problem.

Addiction’s Effects

While drug rehab programs may operate according to predetermined treatment terms that begin and end at a certain date, addiction can have long-term aftereffects on a person’s quality of life. In effect, addiction breeds its own mindset made up of certain thinking patterns, emotions and behaviors.

The addiction mindset results from the widespread brain chemical imbalances left behind by drug abuse. Ultimately, drug treatment provides recovering addicts with the tools needed to retrain this warped mindset and develop the behaviors, habits and lifestyle needed to maintain abstinence for the long term.