How Long is Rehab?
If you are thinking of getting treatment for a substance use disorder you may be wondering how long you will need to spend in rehab. The answer is different for everyone as each person’s addiction and recovery are unique. There are many factors that affect recovery, such as which drug you are using, how long you have been using it, and personal factors such as age and physical and mental health.
If you are ready to seek alcohol or drug addiction treatment, it can be difficult to navigate different options, we hope to help you with this. We will talk about different factors that affect rehab length and general timelines for different substances. We will also discuss the options that are typically available at treatment centers in terms of short- and long-term treatment and the benefits of each one.
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Substance abuse and addiction can affect anyone. The National Institute on Drug abuse defines addiction as a compulsive need to take the substance to which you are addicted. It is a disease so you should not blame yourself for developing an addiction. A misplaced sense of shame is sometimes a major factor in stopping people from seeking treatment.
Your brain is good at adapting to change so that it can maintain balance. When you take a substance consistently it will adapt to this so that if you stop taking it you disturb the new balance. At this point, you experience withdrawal symptoms which can be unpleasant and even dangerous for some substances.
Recovering from drug abuse requires you to detox, allowing the toxic substances to leave your body. It also requires you to deal with the reasons that you started taking the substance because without this it is likely that you will relapse. We will talk about this recovery process.
What Affects the Length of Rehab?
There are many factors that affect how long rehab takes. These include:
- The kind of substance abuse treatment programs you enroll in
- Cost – rehab can be very expensive, however, insurance may cover all or at least part of it. Many rehab centers such as Ebb Tide are covered by Medicaid
- Which substance you are using, how long you have been using it, and the severity of your addiction
- Personal factors such as age, weight, metabolism, and mental and physical health
- Life situations such as whether you have a job, children, and other responsibilities
The Detox Process
The first step to substance abuse recovery is detoxing. It is at this point that you experience withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the substance you are using this process can be dangerous. This is typically the time when you are most likely to benefit from professional addiction treatment and intensive medical care.
The detox process differs depending on which drug you are taking. We will discuss some common substances and general timelines for detox. Of course, it is important to remember that there are other factors that affect the length of detox, so these are just rough timelines.
Withdrawal symptoms will tend to start within six to twelve hours and will peak in about two to three days. They normally improve after three days and disappear by about day four to seven. Detoxing from alcohol without support can be dangerous and even fatal so it is not recommended to do this from home.
The length of detox from benzodiazepines depends on whether you are taking short- or long-acting benzodiazepines. Symptoms will typically start within one to four days, but it may take as long as a week. Over the next couple of days, symptoms will peak and will gradually dissipate by days ten to fourteen. For long-acting benzodiazepines, symptoms of detox may take two to eight weeks. Like with alcohol, detoxing from benzodiazepines can be dangerous.
Symptoms of heroin withdrawal will start within six to twelve hours, peak by days two to three, and tend to dissipate by days five to ten. While symptoms are not a direct risk to life, there can be complications, so it is recommended to get medical help.
Cocaine is a short-acting drug so you will usually begin to experience withdrawal symptoms within a few hours. You will experience the most intense symptoms within the first week. You will experience less intense symptoms following this which can last for ten weeks or more.
Symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal usually begin within twenty-four hours, peak by days two to five, and will decrease after one or two weeks.
If you experience symptoms for longer than is normal, this is known as protracted withdrawal. Some people will continue to experience psychological symptoms such as cravings or anxiety for six months or even years after detox. If you experience this you can get additional support to help you manage.
Detoxing is only the start of the recovery process. There are reasons that you started taking substances that will not improve when you are sober unless you work on them. Following detox, it is important to continue getting drug addiction treatment.
You may see a therapist to help you understand why you start taking substances and what triggers you to take them. You may join support groups so that you can learn from peers and support each other through the process. We will discuss the options for detox as well as the treatment that follows this.
What Options are Available?
Addiction treatment programs will tend to offer a range of treatment options. You may also be able to move between different programs depending on how the recovery process is going. For example, you may start by needing very intensive care but move to a less intense program later, or vice versa. There are two main types of treatment, inpatient and outpatient treatment.
With inpatient treatment, you will go to a treatment facility where you will stay overnight for the length of the program. This will allow twenty-four-hour monitoring of your withdrawal symptoms so that you can be as comfortable as possible. You may then continue your inpatient treatment at the center for a longer period, receiving psychological and medical support and staying in an environment that supports sober living.
With an outpatient program, you will undergo treatment from home. This allows you to continue work or other family or educational responsibilities while you undergo detox. You will still receive medical support but will only go to the treatment facility for parts of the day. People usually go for six to twenty hours per week. On average, outpatient treatment lasts about ninety days, but you may also want to continue it for years or even indefinitely.
You can usually change between these programs. For example, you may undergo detox at a treatment center and then continue treatment from home. You may also find that you are struggling from home and wish to continue at the treatment facility.
Short-term programs are a great way to start your recovery as it is a less daunting commitment. These programs can include five to six-day detox as well as longer programs such as a thirty-day program. A thirty-day program gives you time to detox and starts to work on your mental and physical health. It is likely that short-term programs are covered by your health insurance.
Long-term programs include sixty- and ninety-day programs. With more time you can work on more complex aspects of your drug abuse and addiction. You can go into depth about the reasons that you started taking substances and even work on family dynamics and triggers. With a longer program, you will have time to consolidate new healthy habits such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Ninety-day programs may seem intimidating, but you may move on to one after you have taken part in a short-term program, and it feels more manageable. These programs give you the best chance of recovery as they allow you to adjust to life without drugs or alcohol. You can strengthen life skills and benefit from support groups where you can learn from peers. These longer programs are recommended for people with severe addictions.
Some long-term programs even include the family in the process if wanted. It is not as common for health insurance to cover long-term treatment. But some centers will offer payment plans to make it easier.
Extended Care Program
Extended care programs can last for six months and even years. They include sober living houses and halfway houses. These may suit people who are ready to start living in the outside world but need some support and structure. You will be monitored but can work, go to school, and do other activities to help stabilize your recovery. You will also be living with people who are going through a similar experience and will therefore benefit from peer learning.
Some people will continue getting support for the rest of their lives as it helps them to stay grounded in their sobriety. Many people find that therapy and support groups continue to benefit them.
It is important to remember that your recovery is unique to you and your needs may change with time. Luckily there are many treatment options available so that you can find a program that works for you.
Reasons to Take Part in Longer Rehab Programs
Evidence suggests that you are more likely to remain sober if you take part in long-term programs. They allow you to learn important life skills and fully immerse in the recovery process. It can take your brain a long time to adapt to not having substances, so long-term programs also allow your brain to recover.
In long-term treatment, you will have more time to rebuild relationships or to accept that you need to let some go. You will have more time with professionals and peers to help you understand your substance use and work on the reasons that you were taking as well as triggers that could cause you to start taking it again. You will also have the opportunity to create new healthy habits in a safe environment that you can then take into the outside world when you leave. The longer you have with these healthy habits the more solidified they will become.
Addiction Treatment at Ebb Tide
At Ebb Tide, we have a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program to suit you. We understand that the treatment process looks different for everyone, so we offer a range of options so that we can create a program that works for you.
Our rehab program options include:
- Medically supervised detox
- Therapies: cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance, and commitment therapy
- Focus on health and wellness: nutritious meals, gym workouts, yoga, swimming, volleyball, and more
- Life skills: helping you return to work or start a new career, learning to stand on your own two feet
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Partial hospitalization
We will work with you to discern how long rehab might take, as well as what kind of drug abuse treatment program suits you best.
Please contact us today and we can work out an alcohol or drug rehab program that suits your needs. You can visit our website or call us at 561-508-8330.