While there is no one treatment program that is effective for every individual and, thus, no one particular length, there are still certain general rules that addicts should know and understand before attending a rehab program.
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.”
This means a person will definitely need to stay in treatment for 90 days to achieve positive results and that a longer period will generally be even more beneficial.
These statements are true because treatment effectiveness is linked with the ability to keep patients in the program. A person who only attends their program for a short period of time will not receive the benefits they need or expect, as addiction treatment and recovery take time.
This is the general timeline, but do not expect it to always be true. For example, methadone maintenance usually requires patients to stay in treatment for at least 12 months before they can begin to be weaned off the drug.
Addiction Treatment Timeline
Each case of addiction is different. People are different, their needs are different, and the severity of symptoms that are experienced as a result of addiction can vary greatly from one individual to the next. That said, generally treatment will require at least 90 days of counseling and therapy in order to evoke changed behaviors that are conducive to recovery.
For those who are heavily addicted or suffering from underlying psychological disorders, the treatment timeline can be extended to 12 months or longer in extenuating circumstances. Here’s a look at what a general treatment timeline may consist of:
- 7-10 days in detox.
- At least 30 days and preferably 90 days in residential treatment.
- 90 days of outpatient treatment and counseling.
- Ongoing follow up care.
For those suffering from difficult to treat addictions, especially addiction to certain prescription medications, a longer period of detox may be necessary in order to facility recovery.
If you or someone you love needs help, call 800-598-5053 to speak with a counselor who will assist you in finding the right type of treatment and support. There are many options to choose from including both residential and outpatient programs tailored to the unique needs of each patient.
Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all disease, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment method that will work for everyone.