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how long is a drug rehab program

How Long is a Drug Rehab Program?


Once an individual with substance use disorder (SUD) has recognized that they need help or a loved one has encouraged them to seek help, it’s time to seek out a drug rehab program that will fulfill their rehabilitation needs. 


Exactly how long is a drug rehab program? We will answer this question and describe the periods for short-term and long-term rehab programs. We will also discuss the benefits of undergoing a long-term addiction recovery program versus a short-term option and answer some frequently asked questions. 


What Factors Determine the Length of a Drug Rehab Program?


The length of a drug rehab program for a person who has suffered a substance use disorder (SUD) ultimately depends on the following factors:


  • The severity of the SUD. 
  • Type of drug involved that triggered the person’s SUD. 
  • The recipient’s health insurance coverage. 
  • The recipient’s budget (if they are paying out of pocket for the drug rehab services).
  • The mandate of a judge (if the person was convicted of a drug crime and has been released for rehabilitation services after serving their time). 


How Long are Short-Term Rehab Programs?


Short-term rehab programs last one month to three months long. 


Drug rehab centers offer 30-day programs for individuals to essentially get their feet wet at reliving the life they knew before their SUD began. 


One-month rehabilitation programs are great for people who have a busy schedule like if they have long work hours, or if they act as the main caretaker for a child or an elderly family member. 


If the person has to pay out of pocket or has limited insurance coverage for drug rehabilitation services, this could be another reason that some decide to do a short-term rehab program versus a long-term one. 


Whether an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program, the goals of a short-term rehab program are to:


  • Give the patient one-on-one rehabilitation services for optimal recovery. 
  • Have the patient fully function normally within a shorter period. 
  • Improve your daily life skills to fulfill everyday responsibilities. 
  • Help the patient find a new hobby or reconnect with an old one so that he or she can find something in which they can excel and not relapse into their SUD. 
  • Receive the mental health counseling that’s needed to reframe their mindset and focus on more positive aspects of life than substance abuse. 

How Long are Long-Term Drug Rehab Programs?


Three months is considered the shortest length for a long-term rehab program.


For those that require more delicate and sustainable drug rehabilitation services, there are year long drug rehab programs available as well. 


Depending on the severity of the SUD case, it could be multiple years beyond the year long rehab program which the patient must undergo before returning to a normal lifestyle. 


The Benefits of Long-Term Addiction Recovery Programs


While a longer treatment period may cause the recipient to be antsy with wanting to move on with their life, long-term addiction recovery programs have more benefits than short-term ones. 


Such benefits include:


  • Access to medical care around the clock. 
  • More time is given to relearn life’s skills before the SUD occurred. 
  • Give the brain more time to fully heal from the SUD’s abuse. 
  • Slowly rebuild relationships with the friends and family lost while the SUD was prevalent in the patient’s life. 
  • Nutritional therapy to enhance the patient’s health before discharge. 


Cornerstone Healing Center has long term addiction recovery programs to help you with your drug rehabilitation needs.


FAQs About Drug Rehab Programs


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about drug rehab programs.


Q: What medicines help to treat an opioid SUD?


A: Buprenorphine, extended-release naltrexone, lofexidine, and methadone are the medicines to help opioid substance abusers to overcome their addiction. 


Q: Which medications are prescribed for those who have abused nicotine? 

A: For individuals that have abused nicotine, the medications that are usually prescribed to combat this SUD include bupropion, nicotine replacements (gum, patch, or inhaler), and varenicline. 


Q: What is the twelve-step facilitation (TSF)?


A: The twelve-step facilitation (TSF) is much like the twelve-step program that Alcoholic Anonymous uses to rehabilitate those who have abused alcohol. For those who suffer from drug addiction, TSF expedites the process of a person suffering from SUD to admit their problem, let go of control to get help, and undergo the long road to recovery. 


Q: How will cognitive-behavioral therapy help rehabilitate those suffering from SUD?


A: Counselors will discuss the specific needs of the patient to identify their responsibilities and consider their goals to reach during the recovery process. From there, the counselor can suggest to the patient positive ways to handle situations in which the patient may be likely to relapse so that it will not happen. This could be by finding a new hobby, staying away from the places or people which caused the patient to abuse the substance, and for the patient to focus on other life goals. 


Q: Is the inpatient rehab program or the outpatient option better?


A: The answer to whether the inpatient option or the outpatient option is better is based on the needs of the client and whether the rehab was court-ordered. 


Again if the patient has a busy schedule, a 30-day program could be beneficial to help them receive the needed treatment utilizing an outpatient option without taking them away from their daily responsibilities. If the person has a more severe SUD, there may be a need for a year-long drug rehab program that’s an inpatient option. Some rehab programs go even longer than a year. 


If the rehab program was court-ordered-say if the patient was in jail and then released-the length of the rehab program as well as whether it will be inpatient or outpatient will be dependent upon the judge’s decree. 


Getting Help For Yourself or a Loved One Experiencing a SUD: Celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 72,000 American lives ended in overdose in 2017


International Overdose Awareness Day falls on August 31st every month. Spreading the word about overdose is crucial to help individuals currently suffering from a substance abuse disorder to seek the help that they need. If the person suffering from the SUD does not willfully seek help independently, this awareness day can also encourage family and friends of an individual with SUD to talk with and encourage this person to get the help they need. 


Prolonged substance abuse can eventually shut down brain functions to the point that the person will not know what he or she is doing anymore. At this point, the individual will continue to abuse their substance of choice in order to numb their pain.


If you or a loved one is suffering substance abuse, get the help that you need today by contacting Cornerstone Healing Center for a free consultation on the drug rehab program that works best for you.

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Cornerstone Healing Center

16444 N 91st St, Building H

Scottsdale AZ 85260