How Long Does Rehab Last for Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

October 6, 2021

Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse. As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities. Many, though not all, self-help support groups use the 12-step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • It is rare for the illness to have a negative impact on the life of the addict alone; family members will almost certainly feel the adverse effects as well.
  • Insufficient experience or skill deficits are other common hurdles.
  • This will then enable us to match you to the most suitable rehab provider in your area, where you will get the full support that you need to finally beat your addiction.
  • Day programs are the most rigorous form of outpatient care and are still conducted in a mostly residential setting.
  • An inpatient rehab time varies for the 30,60, and 90-day programs depending on the individual’s stressors, response to treatment, physical and mental factors, health status, symptoms, and family influence.

People in outpatient programs spend 5-7 days a week in an outpatient facility for therapy and counseling but are allowed to return home at the end of the day. This is a good option for people who want to live independently eventually but still need the structured care of an in-patient treatment facility. The 12-Step recovery program was founded by Alcoholics Anonymous and has since become the standard for addiction recovery. The program is centered around the 12 Steps of Recovery and focuses on a spiritual approach to achieving sobriety.

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

Saying a mantra, substituting thoughts of recovery goals, praying, reading something recovery-related, reaching out to someone supportive—all are useful tactics. Communicate – Addiction is an illness that has the power to isolate you that is why constant communication with supportive family and friends is important and will help you stay motivated and focused. Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction. The self-help support group message is that addiction is an ongoing disorder with a danger of relapse.

how long does it take to recover from drug addiction

Even though shorter addiction treatment periods are more convenient, long-term drug rehabs are best for those who have experienced numerous relapses after short-term programs. The goal of these programs is to How to Stop Drinking Out of Boredom help patients recognize and alter their cognitive behavior and lead to long-term sobriety. Outpatient programs take longer to complete because they allow patients the flexibility to come from their own homes.

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Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again. It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs. It may help to get an independent perspective from someone you trust and who knows you well.

  • After the days program, it is pertinent to solidify one’s resolve to maintain sobriety by entering an additional structured program called extended care.
  • Because of this constant monitoring, people use the slogan, “Recovery for Life,” to signify that recovery is a life-long process, and not something that is accomplished in a 30-day treatment stay.
  • Stay in touch with trained professionals who will provide you with comprehensive treatment options.
  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic, these groups that were often out of reach to many are now available online around the clock through video meetings.
  • On average, a detox program can run anywhere from two weeks to a month in length.
  • Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.

Unfortunately, a desire to change is something that many addicts struggle with. Take it one day at a time – Never take your recovery as a destination you have to reach but as a process that is continuous. Even after you’ve completed initial treatment, ongoing treatment and support can help prevent a relapse.


Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you. If you were addicted to a prescription drug, such as an opioid painkiller, you may need to talk to your doctor about finding alternate ways to manage pain. Regardless of the drug you experienced problems with, it’s important to stay away from prescription drugs with the potential for abuse or use only when necessary and with extreme caution. Drugs with a high abuse potential include painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medication. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery.

Although there’s no cure for drug addiction, treatment options can help you overcome an addiction and stay drug-free. Your treatment depends on the drug used and any related medical or mental health disorders you may have. Many people attend one rehab program and then consider themselves cured afterward. 30-Day treatment programs are popular options for people receiving treatment for the first time or are not sure what level of treatment they need.

What are the principles of effective treatment?

A good relapse prevention plan specifies a person’s triggers for drug use, lists several coping skills to deploy, and lists people to call on for immediate support, along with their contact information. The best way to handle a relapse is to take quick action to seek help, whether it’s intensifying support from family, friends, and peers or entering a treatment program. One advantage of mutual support groups is that there is likely someone to call on in such an emergency who has experienced a relapse and knows exactly how to help. In addition, immediately attending or resuming group meetings and discussing the relapse can yield much advice on how to continue recovery without succumbing to the counterproductive feeling of shame or self-pity.