How Long Does Drug and Alcohol Rehab Last? - ARISE Treatment

Addiction recovery is a complex and deeply personal process. Recovery is mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging, but being able to live a healthy, sober lifestyle is worth the effort.

Each person has their own struggles, abilities, and achievements throughout recovery that can determine the length of rehab and aftercare they need to maintain lifelong sobriety.

But only about 11% of people with addiction will get the help they need to overcome this devastating condition.[1] Some people may lack the resources to get help, and others may worry about investing time and energy in recovery without knowing if it will last. Others may wonder, ‘how long does rehab last–and can I make it work?’

It’s important to understand the stages of rehab so that you can seek treatment with confidence. Understanding what happens in treatment, the length of rehab, and where to look for it can help you make informed decisions about your care.

How Long Does Rehab Last? Understanding the Stages of Treatment

Addiction recovery occurs in progressive stages. Together, the steps of recovery work to address addiction’s physical, emotional, and behavioral components. Each stage is designed to meet people where they are and help them work toward long-term sobriety.


Before starting treatment, a doctor or addiction specialist will perform an assessment that will determine your course of treatment. The evaluation will involve questions about your medical and mental health, substance use, family history of addiction, prior treatment history, and other relevant information. Your assessment should only take a couple of hours.


During detox, many people experience uncomfortable physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. The type and severity of your symptoms depend on the substance you used, how you used it, your health, and other factors.

Many people find withdrawal so uncomfortable that they relapse before detox is complete. A medically-supported detox program can keep people safe and comfortable during withdrawal so that they can achieve a full detox.

During detox, medical and support professionals assess and treat patients’ withdrawal symptoms with medications, emotional support, and comforting holistic therapies. With this support, people are more likely to have a full detox and be prepared to start a treatment program. Most people spend about one week or less at a medical detox center.


Comprehensive treatment programs can last anywhere from 30 days to a year or longer, depending on the length and severity of your addiction. Programs incorporate evidence-based and holistic treatments to address the complexities of addiction. These treatments include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medications
  • Mental health and medical care
  • Education
  • Holistic treatments like yoga, massage, acupuncture, and nutrition counseling

Addiction treatment occurs in many settings and levels of care, including:

  • Inpatient or residential treatment
  • Outpatient programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)

The level of care and length of rehab program you require depends on your addiction and your unique needs and goals.


Addiction can’t be cured. Instead, people must learn to manage the condition and create a plan that keeps them engaged and active in their recovery. An aftercare plan may include the following:

  • Relapse prevention education
  • Medications
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group support like NA or AA
  • Sober living

Like other parts of the recovery process, the amount of aftercare required depends on your unique circumstance and goals. Many people participate in aftercare for many years after finishing rehab.

What Factors Affect the Length of Rehab?

Several factors can influence the amount of time it takes for you to recover from addiction and gain the skills you’ll need to live a healthy, sober lifestyle. These factors include:

  • The length of time you used drugs
  • The severity of your addiction or dependence
  • Your gender
  • Family history of substance abuse and addiction
  • Your environment
  • Your readiness to change
  • The substances you used
  • The methods you used to ingest the substance
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Your general health

The length of rehab varies from person to person because each person is unique. Throughout your time in treatment, your doctors and specialists will adjust your treatment plan to meet your changing needs. You must stay in treatment long enough to learn the skills you need to manage your addiction and avoid relapse for life.

Determining the Right Length of Rehab

It can be challenging to determine the exact length of rehab someone needs before they begin treatment. But generally, your course of treatment depends on the length and severity of your addiction, your coping skills and support, and other factors.

Generally, people with a strong social network and good coping skills may require a shorter length of rehab than people who lack these assets. But there are some potential benefits to staying in treatment for longer.

Research suggests that staying in rehab for at least 90 days significantly reduces your risk of relapse. Many people who attend shorter rehab programs get caught in a cycle of relapsing–they may attend treatment, relapse soon after completing it, return to treatment, and relapse again soon afterward. Many addiction experts believe shorter programs may not provide enough time for people to learn and practice the skills they’ll need to avoid relapse.

Some of the benefits of longer treatment programs include the following:

  • More time away from triggers
  • More time with supportive peers and professionals
  • Time to practice coping skills
  • Support while experiencing cravings
  • Longer time in a structured environment

It’s crucial to have enough time to feel confident about sobriety and understand how to manage the lifelong symptoms of addiction.

Learn More About The Length of Rehab at Arise Treatment Center

At Arise Treatment Center we understand that each person is unique, and we approach the treatment of addiction with that in mind. Individualized levels of care are designed around each person’s specific needs. Through a combination of evidence-based and holistic treatment programs, we can help you break the cycle of addiction once and for all and guide you on your journey toward a happy and healthier life in recovery. Because each person has different needs, how long drug and alcohol rehab lasts may vary from one patient to the next.

If you or someone you love require addiction treatment, reach out to the Arise Treatment Center staff today to learn about starting one of our holistic programs in Southern California.


We're Ready To Help You Begin A New Life

Our Team of Qualified Addiction Experts are Here to Help