Substance use disorder and its effects differ for everyone, and each individual’s treatment plans should reflect that. People with more severe addictions may need 24-hour care in an inpatient facility. Others find success on an outpatient basis. How long is rehab, ideally? The length of stay in one’s program is key—research shows that people seeking treatment for extended periods have better outcomes.
How Long Do Most People Spend in Rehab?
People seeking treatment but worried about the impact on their lives might spend hours scouring the internet for “How long does rehab last?” The answer is complicated. The length of time someone spends in rehab is based on factors such as the severity of their substance use disorder, their physical condition, and whether they are in an inpatient or outpatient program.
Many people enroll in programs that last 30-90 days, but there is evidence that extended care would improve their chances of success. A national evaluation of treatment outcomes showed that 35% of people who participated in a treatment program for less than 90 days relapsed in the next year. That number dropped to 17% for people who stayed in treatment for 90 days or more. This trend is reflected among groups with dependencies on other substances.
Length of stay is critical for both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Both are less effective when people get treatment for less than 90 days. This doesn’t mean people can’t succeed with shorter programs. But if possible, longer is better for lasting recovery success.
What to Expect: Inpatient vs. Outpatient
Living at a facility is a good choice for people with medical needs, lifelong substance use disorders, or a need to get away from their home life to be successful. Inpatient treatment helps them concentrate on recovery without outside pressures. It also keeps them away from the people and places that trigger their use. There is limited contact with family and others during inpatient treatment to keep the focus on recovery. Help is available around the clock if they need it.
Those busy with family, school, or work may be better suited for outpatient programming. Outpatient programs are also an excellent next step for people who completed inpatient stays. The ease and convenience of outpatient treatment make it the most viable option for parents, students, and other people who have to maintain their busy lives. They do have to schedule around their treatment, but can otherwise keep up with their other responsibilities.
The services offered by high-quality outpatient recovery centers are similar to that of inpatient facilities. Those seeking addiction treatment can get the help they need without an inpatient stay.
A Fully Tailored Treatment Experience
The Cumberland Heights Outpatient Recovery Center in Knoxville, TN offers a complete continuum of care for people in recovery. Programming is based on scientifically proven methods, giving clients the best chances for success.
Our outpatient treatment center provides individualized assessments by trained clinical staff. Clients can participate in group and individual therapy or family programming where appropriate. Program managers help clients navigate legal proceedings and find community services that provide support outside their regular treatment hours. If you need help or love someone who does, contact our Knoxville treatment team.