When you’re considering rehab, it’s easy to be concerned about disrupting your life or possibly losing your job. The good news is that drug and alcohol treatment are viewed more favorably, and more employers see the need for rehab as a health issue. The length of your treatment should depend on your life circumstances and severity of your problem and nothing else.
Here’s an overview of the typical lengths of inpatient rehab, and the reasons behind them.
The Goals of Inpatient Rehab
Drug and alcohol treatment has three primary goals:
- To cleanse your body of drugs or alcohol
- To identify the reasons behind your dependence on drugs or alcohol
- To provide you with the tools and support necessary to manage your life while remaining clean and sober
The reason that inpatient treatment is so successful is that it allows users to step back from the problem and view their life with a more objective eye. It also provides the necessary medical and therapeutic support most substance abusers need in the earliest stages of their recovery. Since most treatment facilities accept private or public health care coverage, and insurance companies are required to cover at least part of the cost, treatment at a residential facility is more accessible and comprehensive than ever before.
Your Drug or Alcohol Treatment Timeline
No matter if you choose a 28-day, 60-day, 90-day program, or extended care, the steps toward recovery are basically the same. It begins by reaching out to a facility that accepts your insurance and going through intake and assessment. The total length and components of your treatment will be decided after your initial assessment between you and your primary case manager.
Stage One: Detox
This is the part of treatment that is most closely supervised by medical professionals. Physical and psychological withdrawal can have very serious, even life-threatening, consequences. The first phase of recovery can last anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the substances you’re using and the length of your dependency.
Stage Two: Medical and psychological treatment
The second stage of treatment is the most painful for some. The medical part is meant to attend to any health issues that are related to your substance use. The psychological component is what can be painful. Here, you’ll have to honestly face your demons and come to terms with your past, present, and future.
During this phase, you;’ll receive guidance to help with identifying triggers that cause or contribute to your drinking or drug use, dealing with past trauma, and diagnosing or treating any mental health problems like depression, PTSD, or bi-polar disorder. Most facilities use a combination of one-on-one sessions and group therapy. All counseling, whether private or group, is designed to provide you with a safe space to work out your issues, receive support from others who know your struggle, and provide you with effective tools and coping skills. This phase can last for any length of time from a few weeks to years, and will usually be continued once you’re discharged from the residential facility.
Stage Three: Transition
The transition phase allows you the time to put your new coping skills into action and learn how to live without leaning on drugs or alcohol. The transition can take place all at once, where you’re release and return to your old life with a new outlook, or it can be gradual, with a stay in sober living house until you’re ready to live on your own. This step-down transition is meant to provide additional support for those on medical maintenance programs, who have long-term addictions or relapses, or those with an unstable home environment. This phase can last for up to six months.
Stage Four: Maintenance
The final phase is also called after care, and it’s usually thought of as only belonging to those with severe opioid addictions or others who require medical maintenance and supervision to prevent relapse. Normally, this is a combination of daily methadone or suboxone and counseling or drug education classes. That is part of the maintenance process.
However, others who have undergone inpatient treatment also receive maintenance services in the form of counseling sessions, group support, and periodic reassessments to ensure that they’re progressing as hoped. Your options and timeline for after care will be discussed shortly before your release from an inpatient facility or the end of your IOP program.
What’s the Best Length of Time for Inpatient Treatment?
Although there is no “typical” when it comes to treatment, most rehabilitation specialists feel that a 90-day program has the highest rate of success. This is especially true for those with long-term or severe dependencies as well as those who have been through rehab before and relapsed. The reasons for such a length are several.
- It allows the body time to properly detoxify from dependency
- There’s 24/7 medical support to assists with underlying health problems that accompany substance use
- It allows the resident time and access to mental health services to work on issues related to or stemming from their substance abuse
- It removes you from potentially toxic environments that may be contributing to the problem
It allows time and distance away from everyday stressors so you can focus on getting clean
How Long is the Average Stay at an Inpatient Treatment Center?
Though treatment should be based on the results of individual assessment at intake, the average stay at an inpatient facility is 30 days. That provides enough time for mild or recent drug dependency to cease and new, healthier habits to take root. That doesn’t mean your treatment ends once you leave the facility. Depending on your situation and needs, you might:
- Transition to a halfway house
- Enter into an intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Continue on with a 12-step or other informal or group program
- Begin a medically supervised maintenance program
If you’re ready to take that first step toward sober living, we’re here to discuss your treatment options. Call 888-380-0342 today. Counselors are standing by 24/7 to get you the help you’re looking for.