When enrolling in a rehab program for substance abuse, it’s only natural to wonder how long treatment will last. Addiction recovery does not finish by a deadline, however. That’s because every person’s journey to addiction and back is unique. Some individuals may quit cold turkey without rehab and never look back. Others might struggle with substance abuse for the rest of their lives.

Although the recovery journey is different for each person, there are some basic guidelines you can use to plan your time in treatment. Keep in mind that “time in treatment” doesn’t mean rehabilitation is complete. Addiction recovery, for most people, requires a lifelong commitment to treatment.


Standard Residential Programs

Residential rehab centers offer a variety of treatment options. The standard length of care is 30, 60 or 90 days, and according to the American Medical Association, 90-day stays are most likely to produce long-lasting sobriety. Some rehab centers also offer alternative programs. If you feel unready to leave rehab, some centers may even allow you to extend your stay. Others offer short-term stays so clients can recommit to sobriety over a long weekend or a couple of weeks.

Many insurance plans, but not all, cover a 30-day stay in residential care. If you have to detox from drugs or alcohol, you might have to spend as much as half of this time in detox. This doesn’t leave ample time for follow-up inpatient therapy and counseling. If you plan to stay in rehab for 30 days, choose a rehab center with aftercare programming. In aftercare, your rehab center will help you develop supportive resources so you can avoid relapsing.

A Lifetime Commitment to Ongoing Care

Once rehab and aftercare end, you should have a network of providers, friends and family who can help you stay on the path to sobriety. It is important to stay vigilant against cravings and temptation, which can strike years after active addiction. If you continue to participate in counseling and therapy, you can get the ongoing treatment you need while guarding against risk factors that increase the risk of relapse.

For more information on the top rehabs in the world, review our rankings for this year and call a counselor today.