Addiction Treatment Duration

Several studies revealed that an addicted person’s brain looks a lot different than that of a healthy person’s brain. Such an unusual appearance of an addict’s brain is mostly due to the effects of addictive drugs. In effect, the brain will eventually rely on these drugs to “feel better”.

Treating addiction can take a long time for it to be successful. Then again, the duration of addiction treatment depends on the person’s addiction history. These may include the person’s medical history, family history, or childhood background, to name a few.

This article will discuss some of the common questions people ask regarding addiction treatment, including how long are drug rehab programs? How long does alcohol rehab take? And, how long is inpatient drug rehab? By knowing about addiction treatment programs and how long these usually take, struggling users will have an idea what they can expect while recovering.

The Process of Getting Treatment

As mentioned earlier, treating addiction can take some time just like when the symptoms of addiction slowly crept up into your system. The next thing you know, you are not able to spend a day without using a certain substance to “make you feel better”. This also applies to addiction treatment – it requires “retraining” your brain to normal function without using any kind of addicting substances.

While some studies found that methods used to treat addiction won’t completely heal or eliminate someone’s addiction, it does not mean that there is no hope for that person. That is why most rehab centers offer aftercare programs to prevent any addiction relapses. These will also help the person to live a happy and meaningful life in sobriety.

A 2016 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that medicines prescribed during treatment can assist an individual to prevent relapses and let the brain recover from such destructive addiction. Aside from prescribed medications, other methods are used to promote brain recovery due to the effects of addiction. These include:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Eating healthy and nutritious foods
  • Getting along with people who have the same recovery goals as you
  • Getting a solid support system through family members and close friends
  • Applying effective ways to cope with addiction recovery
  • Knowing your triggers and ways to deal with them

Recovering from addiction will take some time – so just be patient. In addition, you will also need some kind of support so your journey to recovery will be successful.

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How long Does Rehab Treatment Take?

As to how long should treatment be, it can vary from person to person. For one, every person has a different backstory about his/her addiction struggles. One person may be suffering more from the effect of addictions than you are. Also, an individual may be suffering from other mental health issues aside from his or her current struggle with addiction.

However, this does not mean your suffering will not be validated because people are experiencing way worse than you are. Rather, everyone deserves to be treated and be free from addiction in any way applicable. More so, you should focus on receiving treatment consistently to ensure sobriety and recovery in no time.

Addiction treatment centers offer different programs in accordance to every person’s needs. Some may last a few weeks, while some may last for months or even a year, when necessary. As mentioned, the duration of each rehabilitation program depends on an individual’s needs. The more severe a person’s addiction symptoms are, the more he or she is likely to undergo months of treatment.

Understanding the Importance of Rehab

It is understandable that many people may feel intimidated and ashamed to face – much less admit – the reality of addiction in their lives. More so, seeking treatment may be considered taboo by many people due to their fear of being judged. Sadly, many people also end up skipping treatment due to the cost of treatment and the realization of how long rehab takes.

As being mentioned already here, every individual has a unique need in terms of addiction treatment. Some may need short-term treatment, while others may require treatment for months or even years. At the end of the day, one thing should be every struggling addict’s goal – to be sober and lead a renewed life away from addiction.

The duration of a rehabilitation program depends on a person’s specific treatment needs. Normally, rehab centers offer programs that last from 30 to 90 days depending on the need. Meanwhile, some facilities offer extended/aftercare programs to ensure recovery, including sober living houses.

Some may choose a few weeks’ worths of treatment, while some may opt for months’ worth of treatment. However, several studies found that the longer the treatment duration is, the higher the chances of recovery. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but such programs will help individuals achieve the results they need. Regardless of the duration, what is important is your ultimate goal of recovering from addiction.

Choosing an Inpatient Rehab Treatment

As to how long does inpatient rehab last, residential treatment programs typically last for weeks, months, or even longer. Then again, it depends on the patient’s medical needs. Some may only need a few weeks to detoxify from substances and stabilize physically. On the other hand, some may require months of treatment to ensure recovery.

According to a 2007 report, around 2.5 million individuals entered alcohol rehab. As to how long does alcohol rehab last, it depends on the severity of the addiction. Overcoming any kinds of addiction can be challenging but staying through the program will give you higher chances of successfully recovering from your addiction struggles. However, there is no definite set duration for addiction treatment. At the end of the day, your determination to stay in the treatment program will determine the success of your journey.

As an inpatient, you may undergo the following processes:

  1.  Evaluation and Assessment – involves determining your medical history and personality so that the assigned medical personnel can provide the best treatment for your addiction.
  2. Detoxification – involves applying medical treatment to wash away traces of substances or alcohol from a person’s system. The duration depends on the severity of the addiction.
  3. Engaging in therapies and healing sessions – this may include one-on-one or group therapy, family therapy (in some centers), meditations and exercises, education about addictions, etc.

Meanwhile, inpatient rehab centers have different types, including:

  • Hospital-based
  • Faith-based
  • Extended care (usually on a long-term basis)
  • Specific to gender, adults or adolescent
  • “Wilderness”-based

How Long is Rehab for Alcohol?

Alcohol addiction is like substance addiction — it may seem harmless the first time but can eventually become a destructive habit. In fact, you can become an alcoholic before you know it. Quitting excessive alcohol consumption is an obvious solution, but it can be challenging due to the devastating effects of alcohol withdrawal.

Thankfully, there are alcohol treatment centers that provide help for struggling alcoholics. These facilities will help you deal with and manage the strong effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The journey may not be easy, that is why these kinds of treatment should be handled only by experienced professionals.

When undergoing alcohol detox, patients may experience irritability, anxiety, excessive fatigue and sweating, depression, mood swings, vomiting, rapid heart rate, dehydration, and Delirium Tremens (DT), to name a few.

As to how long does rehab lasts, especially for alcohol detoxification, it may vary from person to person. However, a report from the National Library of Medicine says that the effects of alcohol withdrawal may peak up to 72 hours. In other words, alcohol withdrawal symptoms should be taken seriously and should seek professional help immediately.

It will be a long road ahead, but always remember that you are not alone with this fight. Rather, you can always seek help from professionals to recover from alcohol addiction in the safest and most effective way possible.

How Long Does Drug Detox Take?

As to how long does drug rehab take, it will take some time for you to recover because you will also have to undergo several processes. First, a drug detox will be done to flush traces of substances out of your system. During the process, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, in which the severity may depend on the extremeness of your addiction.

During the early stages of drug detox, you may be provided with medications to help relieve any signs of withdrawal symptoms. However, you may expect the onset of withdrawal symptoms peak at the first 48 hours after doing drug detox. In such cases, medical personnel will help you deal with such withdrawal symptoms to make you feel better.

You may have an option of inpatient or outpatient drug detox programs, depending on the severity of your case. On the other hand, an opiate detox treatment may require at least two weeks to completely flush the substance out of your body. Nevertheless, it is recommended to seek assistance from a rehab center personnel to determine the best treatment for your drug addiction.

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How Long Does It Take to Recover from Opiate Addiction?

Around 26 to 36 million people worldwide are abusing opioids or opiates. In addition, about 80 percent of the world’s total supply of opium-based painkillers is being consumed in the US alone.

Out of these statistics, more than two million US adults have substance use disorder disorders associated with prescription drugs, while more than 467,000 US adults are addicted to heroin. Opioid or opiate abuse is widespread and can be challenging to eliminate. However, you should not let yourself be part of the above statistics. Rather, it is a chance for you to seek professional help to recover from these substance addictions.

On the contrary, opioids are often prescribed by doctors, which is why it is important to strictly follow the doctor’s orders to prevent addiction. Normally, doctors would only recommend taking opiates for up to seven days maximum and then shifting to non-addictive painkillers taken with therapies to alleviate pain.

As to how long does rehab last for opiate or opioid addiction, a minimum of 30 days is often recommended for greater chances of recovery and maintaining long-term sobriety. More so, a continuous aftercare plan should be implemented to ensure substance abstinence in the future.

Is There Such Thing as a “2-Week Drug Rehab”?

The “two-week drug rehab” requires the least amount of recovery time but will still depend on the individual’s needs. This treatment duration may be considered by those who are conscious with their time and budget since most treatments can be quite expensive. While the usual inpatient rehab treatment requires the patient to stay inside the center for a month or more, short-term programs such as this one exist to cater to individuals who have limited time and money to afford rehab.

Short-term rehabilitation treatments may range from two to six weeks maximum. Programs may include basic medication assistance, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), one-on-one or group counseling sessions, art therapy, yoga, and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues, to name a few. While staying for a long-term program may be more effective, a short-term program may be just as effective. Still, the effectiveness will depend on the severity of the addiction. In such cases, a long-term program may be recommended.

12- Step Program

Attending a 12-step meeting can change an addict’s life. Through such meetings, you have the opportunity to share your struggles with addiction and hear stories from other addicts as well. Normally, you will be encouraged to attend these daily meetings during your 90-day program. This suggestion is according to those who have undergone similar treatment and walked away from the treatment program successfully. Nevertheless, it is important to know that in recovery, there is no need to rush, nor should it be considered a race. Everyone has his own pace, but the most important thing of all is you come out of the program with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to live a better and sober life.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

While the thought of how long drug rehab is can be intimidating, the benefits of undergoing treatment should outweigh it. More so, how long rehab is should not be a concern in the first place. At the end of the day, all recovering addicts deserve a second lease in life to start anew with a refreshed sense of purpose, and a clear mind, body, and spirit. Get help now and start your path to recovery.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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