How Long Should I Go to a Treatment Center?

The length of time you spend in rehab depends on the type of treatment you are getting. Drug treatment can range from a quick detox to long-term residential care.

Here’s a breakdown of how long each treatment takes.

• Detox only: 4 days
• Inpatient hospital: 10 to 16 days
• Inpatient residential: 30 to 90 days
• Outpatient treatment: 30 to 120 days


Some addicts only get medical detox, which is a way of going through withdrawal safely. Detox is a discreet, caring treatment that allows you to get physically free of a substance. It allows you to get clean without the drawbacks or medical complications of sudden withdrawal. You will receive medications for the withdrawal symptoms. Medical personnel will monitor you regularly to ensure you’re comfortable.

Detox is a necessary part of treatment. It is often the first step when you enter long-term treatment. Once your body no longer has the addictive substance, you can think clearly and begin healing. However, detox alone is not enough for most people. To stay sober, you must follow up with counseling and addiction treatment.

Hospital Inpatient Treatment

Many addicts go through detox after arriving at a hospital during a medical emergency. If you ended up at the hospital because of an overdose or another incident related to your drug use, you may end up in detox followed by a short inpatient stay. During this stay, you will be monitored for the long-term effects of withdrawal.

Once you are medically stable, you will receive counseling and behavior modification training from addiction counselors at the hospital. This type of inpatient care usually lasts about 16 days. The care and treatment you receive are based on the most up-to-date, proven treatments for substance abuse. The only problem is that 16 days is not enough for most people to achieve lasting recovery. To make the most of a hospital stay, it is best to follow up with outpatient or inpatient treatment.

Outpatient Treatment: 30 to 120 days

Although most of us think of inpatient residential treatment as the only option for drug treatment, outpatient treatment is another option. These programs are good for people who want help for their addictions but can’t leave their homes because of their jobs, schooling or family obligations. Outpatient is generally a viable choice for:

• People whose addictions are recent or not that severe
• Anyone who wants to keep their job or stay in school
• People with safe, supportive home environments

Inpatient residential treatment: 30 days

After going through detox, you may choose to enter a residential treatment program. Inpatient residential treatment is the most effective way to treat substance abuse. You are in a safe environment with no access to drugs or alcohol. You spend your time focused fully on your recovery while getting therapy and attending support groups.

For some people, a 30-day program is a good start. However, relapses are common after these short stays. This option is best if you are:

• Early in your addiction
• Under a court order to get treatment
• Unsure about rehab
• Unable to spend more than 30 days away from home

Inpatient Treatment: 60 to 90 Days

Long-term, residential treatment gives you the best chance of success. According to addiction experts, a 90-day stay is more likely to help people avoid relapses. Long-term care is right for you if you:

• Are serious about your recovery
• Have been addicted for a long time
• Have relapsed several times
• Have a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness

Follow-up after any residential treatment is critical. You should consider getting outpatient treatment or living in a sober home after leaving a 30-day or 90-day treatment program.

How Long Should You Go?

Your choice depends on your circumstances and your history of addiction. Any treatment is better than no treatment, and even a short stay in a residential treatment center can show you what it’s like to live free of drugs and alcohol. If your addiction is serious or you’ve already relapsed several times, it may be time for a longer stay in rehab.

Find the Right Treatment Center

If you’ve decided to get treatment, recovery is just a phone call away. Our counselors will take your calls 24-7 and help you find the right treatment center for your needs. Call us at 772-266-5320 today!

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