How Long is Rehab

Authored by Hugh Soames

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Dr Ruth Arenas

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How Long Will I Be at Rehab?


Stepping out on a limb and seeking out the care that you need is an exciting, but intimidating moment in time. Most people who have fallen into cycles of addiction have adapted to the patterns and habits of those addictions and have at times found comfort in them and the predictability.


At some point, those in these patterns realize how harmful they are — despite the temporary comfort and relief they may bring in the moment. When this realization occurs, these individuals often begin researching and thinking about how and where to get help. One of the questions often asked is just how long is rehab?


Addiction is an extremely powerful thing. Whether you have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it is incredibly difficult to overcome without support. To break free from the patterns of these addictions, these individuals need professional help.


The most beneficial method of treatment for someone attempting to overcome a pattern and cycle of addiction is often a rehabilitation program. These programs are often residential. This is partially why these types of programs are so helpful when overcoming addiction.


Addiction involves someone falling into harmful, but habitual patterns of consuming or using something that is harmful to them. That harmful substance becomes a regular occurrence in their home and their everyday life.


Rehab programs take addicted individuals out of their own space and their regular life schedule for a period of time and this period of time has historically been 28 days. Modern thinking however is that 28 days is not enough time to get straight.


This time away from their normal life habits also removes them from the parts of their life that may have triggered or caused them to go into patterns of addiction11.M. Inanlou, B. Bahmani, A. Farhoudian and F. Rafiee, Addiction Recovery: A Systematized Review – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 7, 2022, from


Sometimes, even normal, healthy parts of a home or a person’s life can draw them back into harmful patterns. Removing them from their normal life helps remove those triggers while they are learning how to overcome their harmful habits.

How Long does a Rehab Program Last?


The answer to this depends on several different factors. Some people may be curious about how long rehab programs last because money may be tight. People often also have family obligations or work requirements, so being aware of how long certain programs are and being able to choose one that fits them best can motivate people to officially begin the program.


Shorter programs are cheaper and longer programs are more expensive. Insurance may cover shorter programs, so some may only be able to take advantage of those. Programs are usually separated into three different category lengths:


  • 30 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days


Thirty-day programs are the ones most commonly frequented. They are beneficial, but longer programs like the 60 and 90 days ones have always been proven to be more beneficial. insurance may cover standard program lengths and 30 days is often considered a standard length of the program22.D. Breithaupt, Why health insurers should pay for addiction treatment: Treatment works and would lead to net societal benefits, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 7, 2022, from


60-day and 90-day programs are the most beneficial, but 30-day programs are a great place to start if that is what is available to you and what you have access to. If insurance covers 30 days and you want to complete a longer program, the initial 30 days may be covered by insurance and then the individual may only have to cover the cost of the following 30 or 60 days depending on the program length that they choose.

What does a thirty-day program offer?


Thirty-day programs are extremely beneficial even though they are shorter than other program lengths. Every program length will have a few basic components: detox, therapy, development of new habits and coping skills, and a setup for life after the program.


In a thirty-day program, much of your time will be spent in detoxification, but the program will complete all necessary components and do its best to set you up for success outside of the program. Some individuals may initially sign up for a thirty-day program and then add more time or come back for a second time to reaffirm their skills and coping mechanisms.

How do 60 Day Rehab Programs help addiction


While much of the thirty-day program will be spent in detox, a sixty-day program will offer more time for therapy and relearning or developing important life and coping skills that were lost during cycles of addiction. This program length is a happy medium between 30 and 90 days and is proven to be extremely beneficial.


Is a 90 Day Rehab Program Really Necessary?


There is not a formula for program length. Individuals need to choose what is best for them based on their individual addiction and needs. Someone who has a slightly less deeply ingrained addiction may bode extremely well after a 30-day stay.


Someone who has a more severe and longer-term addiction may need a 90-day program to fully overcome their patterns. It all depends on the individual and their specific needs. If someone is unsure of how long they may need, it is often said that a longer program or mid-length program usually makes the most headway with individuals.


No matter what program length you choose, your rehabilitation program will include all of the necessary components and steps necessary to help overcome your addiction. Longer programs will offer more focus on each individual component, but shorter programs will not skip over important pieces because of a shorter amount of time. Everything will be touched on during your program.

How Long is Extended Care?


For those that are looking for a little extra support after their time in a rehab program, extended care programs are offered. These are usually residential homes or apartment facilities where the individual lives on their own but is surrounded by those going through their own recovery as well. This offers support that may be necessary after a rehab program for some people and some extended care programs may offer therapy and professional assistance on site for those who need it.


No matter what program you find yourself in, you are making a monumental step for your health and your life. This decision will also help those who spend their life with you. It can be intimidating and confusing deciding which program to land on, but there is no need to worry. If you need more time, you can always add more or attend additional programs if you need them.


Previous: Searching for Rehab

Next: What is the Cost of Rehab?

  • 1
    1.M. Inanlou, B. Bahmani, A. Farhoudian and F. Rafiee, Addiction Recovery: A Systematized Review – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 7, 2022, from
  • 2
    2.D. Breithaupt, Why health insurers should pay for addiction treatment: Treatment works and would lead to net societal benefits, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved October 7, 2022, from
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