Rehab 4 Addiction

The question ‘How long does rehab last?’ is not as simple as it may seem. Though the average length of time in inpatient rehab is around 28 days, this does not tell the full story. The real answer is ‘it depends’.

In this post, we are going to go through some of the things that affect how long you spend in rehab. We are also going to go over some steps involved in rehab (detox, therapy and aftercare).

What factors affect the length of time spent in rehab?

If you’re worried about how long you may need to spend in rehab, we understand. It can be hard to find the time in a busy schedule for something like rehab.

However, your health and wellbeing have to come first. Putting off rehab will only make your substance abuse problem worse.

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer confidential, impartial advice to help you work out the right treatment for your needs. When you contact our team, they will give you a suggested length of stay in rehab.

This will depend on several things. Below we’ve included some questions they might ask. These questions should help to give you a rough idea of how long you need to spend in rehab.

  • How long have you been using substances?
  • How bad is your problem with substances?
  • What substances have you been abusing?
  • What sort of therapy do you think you need?
  • How long can you afford to spend in rehab?
  • Do you have any other specific treatment needs?
  • Do you have any mental health problems?

The more severe your substance abuse problem, and the more complex your treatment needs, the longer you should stay in rehab.

Making a treatment plan

When you go to rehab, they will help you to create a treatment plan. This will include a suggested length of stay.

If you go down the NHS route, a doctor will help you to make a treatment plan. This is a valid option, but we should warn you that it may not be as tailored to your needs as a plan from a private clinic.

Another valid option (which we aren’t going to focus on in this post) is outpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab involves living at home and getting treatment at an outpatient centre. It is good for those who cannot afford to take time off work for a long stay in residential rehab. It may also be good for those with a less severe addiction.

Outpatient rehab tends to last longer, but may only require two or three hours of treatment a day. It is also a bit more flexible than residential rehab in terms of duration.

One final option, which doesn’t last as long as a full stay in rehab, is a simple detox. Those who have been through rehab before, but have relapsed, may opt for a medical detox without the rehab. A medical detox on its own normally lasts around 7 to 10 days.

Though this option can cut the costs of a full stay in rehab, it may be less effective at treating some of the underlying issues which cause addiction.

For instance, if you suffer from trauma or a mental health issue, you may need rehab to address this.

Inpatient rehab

If you decide to go for inpatient rehab, this typically lasts around 28 days. However, it can last as little as two weeks, or as long as three months.

Although we can give you a rough idea of how long you may need to stay in rehab, it is the rehab staff who will decide. They will discuss your needs and medical history with you in order to work out a good length of stay.

This will, of course, depend on what you can afford. They won’t try to push you towards something more expensive than you need.

It’s worth saying that staying in rehab for a shorter length of time does not mean that you are bound to relapse. Though there is some evidence to suggest that longer stays are more effective, there are too many factors to say for sure.

For example, shorter stays might be just as effective for those with less severe addictions. [1]

With that said, we would still recommend that you complete the full duration of your rehab. If your plan includes four weeks of rehab, try to last the full four weeks. This gives you the best chance of recovery.

And if you find that the planned length of time is not enough, it is OK to stay longer (if there is enough space). Otherwise, there is always aftercare to keep you on the right track once you leave rehab.

The importance of aftercare

Rehab is not just about the four weeks (or more) you spend in a residential facility. It is a process that lasts years. It is just as much about staying clean as it is getting clean.

Aftercare involves a set of treatments that are designed to keep you from relapsing.

These can include:

Good aftercare is the key to a lasting recovery. You need to invest just as much time and effort into aftercare as rehab. It will give you the tools to return to a normal life.

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer a year of aftercare as part of your treatment plan. This is because we believe in it as an effective means of keeping people clean.

Final thoughts

We hope we’ve given you an idea of how long you might need to stay in rehab. As mentioned above, it is the staff at the clinic you choose to go to who will have the final say.

We firmly believe that your health should be the first priority. That’s why we offer good, impartial advice when you reach out to us.

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Boris is our editor-in-chief at Rehab 4 Addiction. Boris is an addiction expert with more than 20 years in the field.  His expertise covers a broad of topics relating to addiction, rehab and recovery. Boris is an addiction therapist and assists in the alcohol detox and rehab process. Boris has been featured on a variety of websites, including the BBC, Verywell Mind and Healthline.