The length of time you need to go to rehab will largely depend on the drugs that you are addicted to. Brief treatment can be very effective for some, but if you are getting treated for a substance abuse disorder then you should know that this is a complex process, and it could last for years. 

It is understandable that you want to get through rehab as fast as possible, but research has shown time and time again that longer stays are linked to lower relapse rates. Rehab is usually unique to every person, and the length of time you need to stay for will depend on a lot of different factors. 

This could include how severe your addiction is and the rate at which you are making progress. If you have a severe drug or alcohol dependency, then extended treatment may well be required.

Steps Involved with Rehab

Overcoming a substance abuse disorder will usually require you to go through a lot of different phases. You will need to go through detox, treatment, and finally aftercare. If you are in recovery, then staying vigilant is key. You need to be committed to sobriety and this is one of the many reasons why doctors recommend some form of after-care.


The average stay for a medical detox is around 10 days. A lot of serious substance disorders require a much longer stay. Withdrawal treatment, such as buprenorphine can shorten the length of your detox.

·        Alcohol up to 14 days

·        Heroin up to 10 days

·        Methadone up to 20 days

·        Benzodiazepines up to 8 weeks

Before you are able to start your journey to sobriety, you need to make sure that you are flushing the drugs and the alcohol from your body. This can be a painful experience because a lot of substances are known to give very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. 

You will need to undergo your detox under the supervision of medical staff. Support from trained professionals can also help you manage your withdrawal symptoms, and this ensures that you do not continue to use while undergoing your detox.


Substance abuse treatments can last anywhere from 30 days, all the way up to a year. This depends on how severe your addiction is. People who are addicted to some drugs may need longer in rehab when compared to people who are just addicted to alcohol. 

Therapy and counseling are usually incorporated with rehab to try and turn troublesome behaviors into ones that are more positive. Medication can also be involved at some point. After showing improvement, you will then be able to graduate from the program. A guide can be found below, to what you should expect, from residential to outpatient and more:

·        Opioid detox: 5 days

·        Hospital treatment: 16 days

·        Short residential treatment: 27 days

·        Intensive outpatient: 88 days

·        Residential treatment: 90 days

·        Outpatient treatment: 130 days


The fight to stay sober does not end when you have completed your treatment. You may find that you experience cravings for drugs or alcohol and that temptation is very common. If you want to stop yourself from relapsing, then usually you will undergo an aftercare program. This will usually involve a lot of self-care programs, or even a stay in a sober house. 

You may be in treatment for a year and a half, but a lot of this will be aftercare. This will give your brain the chance it needs to heal properly. The length of aftercare will depend on how severe your addiction is. In some instances, you may need to stay in recovery for a lifetime. Self-help meetings can be a very valuable resource. 

It is important to know that maintaining sobriety is easier for some than others. Some can overcome the addiction that they have with very little aftercare, but others need to stay proactive for months.

We understand that going to rehab can be a big decision but at the same time, you have to remember that it is the first step to getting the help and support you need to beat your addiction. If you want to find out more about our rehab support team or if you would like to find out more about our outpatient program then we are here to advise. We know that no two cases of addiction are the same, and that is why you can count on us to give you a personalized approach from start to finish. We believe that together, we can beat this addiction.

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