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How Long Does Residential Treatment Usually Last?

Residential treatment is a type of addiction recovery program where patients stay at the facility for a certain amount of time. While every facility is different, it is important to know the general length of time patients are expected to stay in these programs and why finishing out one’s specific treatment length is necessary.

General Residential Treatment Program Lengths

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.” This is the rule of thumb when it comes to all kinds of recovery programs, but some may last for longer or shorter periods depending on the facility, the patient’s needs, the type of program itself, and the ability to facilitate transition into a proper aftercare program. Normally, though, this is considered to be the minimal treatment length for effective care, as proved by extensive research.

Longer and Shorter Residential Rehab Programs

Residential Treatment

Therapeutic communities are a form of residential treatment that lasts from 6 to 12 months.

Some rehab centers may provide longer-lasting programs, especially for those patients who truly need intensive care over a long period of time. As stated by the NIDA, “The best known residential treatment model is the therapeutic community (TC), with planned lengths of stay of between 6 and 12 months.” Part of the reason treatment must go on for so long in this program is because most patients suffer from serious social and psychological deficits that must also be treated along with the individual’s addiction. “Many TCs [also] offer comprehensive services, which can include employment training and other support services, onsite,” a part of the program that can require more time from the patients.

Shorter-length residential rehab programs exist also that only last for 3- to 6-weeks or so. Usually, though, these are followed by “extended outpatient therapy and participation in a self-help group, such as AA.” If a person were to merely end their treatment program after the 3- to 6-week period, they would likely not have the skills necessary to avoid further drug abuse and live their lives safely and productively.

How Long Does Residential Treatment Usually Last?

In most cases, residential care will last either around or longer than the 90-day period. If you attend a treatment center that uses the TC method, you will likely stay for 6 months to a year. But it is difficult to pinpoint how long your program will last without considering your needs, the typical treatment lengths at the program of your choice, and the aftercare options that have been set up for you, post-treatment.

It is important to discuss this with your doctor and to stay informed. If you realize later in your treatment that you may need a longer or shorter stay, this can also be discussed. However, it is usually necessary that you attend at least the full length of your treatment program before moving on to another phase of your recovery. If you would like to learn more about rehab centers or find one in your area, call 800-256-3490.

6 Reasons You need an Inpatient Treatment Center

Accepted Insurance Types

Rehab Treatment Centers By State

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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