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how long is inpatient drug rehab

How Long is Inpatient Drug Rehab?

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How long is inpatient rehab? What should you expect during inpatient rehab? How much does inpatient drug rehab cost?

These are three of the most common questions we get. Our goal is to provide as much insight and information as possible to anyone considering a rehab program for themselves or a loved one. The more you know what to expect, the more comfortable you will receive treatment for a substance abuse disorder. That treatment can ultimately change and even save your life.

We also want people to know that their insurance plan will often cover some or all of the cost of drug addiction treatment, similar to medical care. Cost shouldn’t be a barrier to life-saving treatment options. 

Below we’ll go into more detail about what you might expect from an inpatient treatment program in particular and the cost of drug rehab and alcohol rehab programs. 


What Is An Inpatient Rehab Program?

Inpatient rehab is something you may hear called residential treatment programs. The idea of an inpatient treatment program is that residents stay at the facility day and night, living there during their treatment. 

As you can imagine, the environment is very structured in a residential program which is beneficial for people in the early days of recovery from a substance use disorder.

  • When you enter an inpatient professional treatment, you’re a full-time resident receiving both targeted treatment and support every day along with 24-hour care. 
  • Your day in inpatient rehab will typically include different types of therapy. For example, you could participate in a combination of individual and group therapy sessions. 
  • You might also engage in alternative therapies depending on your treatment plan. These alternative therapies could include art therapy, music, or animal therapy.
  • Recreational activities may be part of your program to improve your sense of well-being, such as yoga or meditation.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse outlines some of the requirements for effective addiction treatment for long-lasting recovery. Many of these principles you can only get from residential rehab. 

For example, some of the principles of effective treatment include:

  • Treatment should be highly tailored and individualized. As your needs, or the needs of your loved one change, so should treatment.
  • Effective treatment needs to be readily available.
  • The program should address any co-occurring mental health disorder and substance use, such as depression or anxiety.
  • The longer the treatment period, the better the outcomes in the recovery process. The recommendation can be treatment of 90 days or more.
  • Behavioral therapy is the core of effective treatment, and medication may also be used as needed. Medication-assisted treatment can help with withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. 
  • When you go through detox, this is just the first stage of treatment in a drug rehabilitation program. In and of itself, detox is not treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. 
  • Physical health care such as infectious disease testing and education should be part of programs at a drug rehab facility when needed. 


Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

A drug and alcohol treatment program can fall into two broad categories—an inpatient rehab center or outpatient. According to the Mental Health Services Administration, both have their own set of benefits. 

  • Inpatient care, because it is residential, is intensive. Inpatient rehab tends to work well for someone with more severe or long-term treatment.  
  • You might also consider an inpatient program if you’ve gone through other types of treatment previously and then experienced a relapse.
  • The environment in inpatient treatment is not just focused. The environment is also safe and secure, with the removal of triggers. 
  • You have constant support when you’re in an inpatient program, not just from the staff but from other residents.

Outpatient treatment is more flexible, although the details of what these programs might look like can vary substantially. 

  • Outpatient rehab doesn’t require you to live onsite for any period. 
  • Instead, you participate in your programs and return home and continue working or living as usual.
  • An intensive outpatient program could require 12 hours or more a week at a treatment center. 
  • Outpatient services can last from three months up to a year or more for some addicted individuals. 


How Long is Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

The length of drug treatment programs depends on you. The treatment durations are most commonly anywhere from 28 to 90 days. 

Some people progress quickly in treatment to stay on the shorter end. On the other hand, many people benefit from more extended stays. Short-term rehab is usually considered anything that’s 30 days or less. 

  • Your treatment team wants to ensure you don’t leave the program too soon and before you’re ready.
  • You should also have an aftercare plan in place, and you should understand your role in implementing it when you leave treatment.
  • Intensive treatment services can last 90 to 120 days for very severe addictions or even longer.
  • If you’re physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, you should factor the length of time it can take you to detox into how long you might be in addiction treatment. 
  • You can safely and comfortably go through withdrawal during a medical detox program. You receive medical monitoring and treatment as the drugs or alcohol leave your system, but again, this isn’t addiction treatment. Instead, it’s one part of a series of steps.
  • Research shows you have a higher likelihood of ongoing abstinence when you participate in a program for at least 90 days. 
  • During longer inpatient programs, you not only work to overcome your addiction. You also have the chance to develop skills that will help you remain sober in your recovery.


The Continuum of Care

We tend to talk about addiction treatment as a continuum of care. Addiction treatment and recovery aren’t one-and-done concepts. We can’t simply say you’re cured after X number of days. Instead, a continuum of care is the best way to reclaim control of your life.

A continuum of care is the process you go through in your treatment as you work toward a sober life. As you’re ready, you step down into lower levels of care. For example, you may begin in residential rehab. Then, as you’re ready, you could return home but continue to participate in outpatient treatment as part of your aftercare planning. 

After completing your outpatient program, you might then begin ongoing individual counseling or commit to participation in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Each step in the continuum of care is about who you are and your needs.

For people who have a severe, long-term addiction, their continuum of care might include sober living homes for a period of time after a treatment facility to reduce relapse rates. 



What is the Cost of Rehab?

Inpatient drug rehab is more expensive than an outpatient program in most cases, but there are many variances. For example, there are luxury rehab programs. This type of facility might feature high-end amenities, gourmet meals, and feel like a resort.

However, you don’t necessarily need any of these things in an effective addiction treatment program.

The average cost of a 30-day program will usually be less than a longer program. If you participate in a drug rehab program that’s outpatient, that will typically cost less than a type of program that’s inpatient. 

If you’re interested in learning about drug rehab costs, the best thing to do is contact us by calling 800-630-1218. We can talk more about the costs of an inpatient program versus one you do on an outpatient basis. We can also discuss payment options, which includes private insurance coverage or a payment plan for many people. Addiction treatment and mental health care are essential health benefits with coverage from your insurance provider, although the level of coverage depends on your plan and carrier. 

The idea of getting substance abuse treatment can be intimidating, but The Right Time Recovery is here every step of the way. We can also work with your insurance company on your behalf. We can talk to you more about the cost of treatment for your addiction issues and help you learn what you should expect.