A man considering a drug or alcohol addiction treatment center to finally find freedom from addiction.

How long should drug rehab last so the results “stick”? If you or a loved one begins a long-term program, how might that impact employment, family obligations—like caring for children—and home life after the rehab program is completed? What does long-term rehab mean, anyway?

These are important questions to ask as you consider what type of inpatient addiction rehab is right for you. The reality is, drug and alcohol dependence does not occur overnight. It might begin with casual use and can gradually escalate as a person’s tolerance increases and it takes more drugs or alcohol to achieve the same high. Eventually, it can impact the brain. Basically, your brain tells your body that it needs substances to feel good.

No one plans on getting addicted—and recovering from addiction is a process that usually takes a rehabilitation period of 90 days or longer, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

What About The Time Away From Home?

We know that the thought of extended stay rehab can be daunting. It can feel overwhelming, and some will resist addiction treatment because of the unknowns. What happens during those months? Why does it have to take so long to recover? What about your job, friends, family, life at home?

Stop. Breathe. And, consider the benefits of long-term rehab and why this model of drug and alcohol rehabilitation is an effective strategy for sustainable addiction recovery. If you want to live a sober life, getting there does not happen overnight.

Should you consider long-term rehab? What are the benefits? How does it work, and what outcomes can occur from a long-term program vs. outpatient therapy? Let’s answer some of those questions now.

Who Should Enroll?

You might think that rehab is for the “worst cases” and wonder if that’s the type of program you should pursue to break the addiction cycle. The fact is, drug and alcohol rehabilitation are proven strategies and you can achieve results that last. You’re creating a new, sober lifestyle and that takes time. A rehabilitation program might be a fit for you if:

  • You suffer from severe substance addiction.
  • You have been abusing substances for many years.
  • You have tried other detox or short-term rehab programs in the past with little success.
  • Relapses following treatment leave you struggling with addiction. It seems like nothing works.

If any of these situations describe how you feel, then a longer addiction treatment program is a viable option.

How Long Does Successful Recovery Take?

You can expect a program to last at least 90 days—and up to 6 to 12 months. Short-term rehabilitation usually lasts 30 days, with several of those first days dedicated to detox. The problem is, this leaves less time for reshaping behaviors and establishing a healthy, sober lifestyle.

No two long-term rehab experiences are exactly alike because every person enters rehabilitation with different underlying causes, including mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and experiencing trauma or tragedy. We’re different people on different journeys toward sobriety. And, one person might find success in addiction treatment that is 90 days long—while another person could require a year or longer for rehabilitation in order to transition into a healthy lifestyle. If you or someone close to you has wrestled with drug and alcohol problems for years, it will likely take more time to drop old, harmful habits and adopt new, positive, productive ones.

Rehabilitation centers provide the support and time to examine your life, repair broken relationships and then re-integrate into society with supports like employment assistance and ongoing therapy. The idea is that this is a long-term process—and a lifelong commitment.

What Happens During A Rehab Program?

During drug therapy, you’ll attend individual and group therapy, along with family therapy. You’ll experience recovery groups, and you’ll go through addiction education to understand what is happening with your mind and body—and how to create new, healthy habits. Relapse prevention helps secure new, positive behaviors, and 12-step meetings or faith-based rehab is also available. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan, as long-term programs are tailored to the individuals’ needs.

What Are The Benefits Of Longer Program?

Why enroll in a long-term rehabilitation center vs. a short-term rehab program? There are a number of benefits, including:

  • A Support Network. Your therapist team becomes an extension of your family while you are at rehab. They walk with you as you work through detox, rehabilitation, and transition back to everyday life.
  • Addressing Underlying Causes. The time in rehab allows for addressing underlying mental health problems that can make a person vulnerable to addiction. We explore dual diagnoses and treat the root cause of addiction. Then, therapies and treatments can be tailored to address those issues and to support drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
  • Taking a Holistic Approach. During rehab, you’ll tap into a range of holistic practices that can mend your mind, body, and spirit. From yoga and tai chi to horseback riding, massage, chiropractic and spa services, you’ll find ways to fill your body with what it needs to heal.
  • Transitioning to Everyday Life. You’ll gain tools to ease your re-integration into everyday life, including employment support and group/family therapy to rebuild relationships. Long-term rehab begins with a solid, comprehensive rehabilitation program—and continues with lifelong, healthy behaviors.

Rehab Happens One Day At A Time

Addiction doesn’t happen overnight, and neither does a recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. A rehabilitation facility provides the supportive environment, comprehensive treatment approach, professional support and aftercare to help you start a new, healthy life again.

Contact our team or give us a call at 877-284-0353 to learn more about Beachway and our CARF-accredited facility in Florida. We are ranked in the top 1% of treatment facilities in the United States—and we’re here to help, no obligations. Call us anytime. Ask us anything.