How Long Is Alcohol Rehab?


For those dealing with an alcohol addiction, taking the first steps toward sobriety can be difficult.

Even when patients want to seek help or treatment, the fear of the unknown can create hesitation or cause them to avoid treatment altogether.

Some of this fear is due to not knowing exactly how long alcohol treatment takes. Other times, patients may not know what to expect during treatment and have fears that it may be too difficult.

The key to alleviating these fears and moving closer to recovery is to understand the facts when it comes to treatment programs and how long they last. 

Below, we’ll outline the key areas of addiction treatment for alcoholism and explain how long patients can expect to be in a recovery program.

What Determines The Length Of Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol addiction can vary quite a bit from patient to patient. This means that treatment options are often just as varied. Some patients who seek treatment early in their addiction can often find great success with an outpatient program. However, those with longer addictions may need to a combination of treatment programs to have the highest chance of success.

Generally, the length of alcohol treatment will be determined by one or more of the following criteria.

  • The length of time the person has been dependent on alcohol
  • The amount of alcohol consumed per day
  • The presence of any concurrent mental health issues
  • Overall physical health or health issues along with alcohol addiction
  • Individual motivation
  • History of past treatment

Studies have shown that treatment that lasts for 90 days or more has a higher success rate than treatment programs that are less than 90 days.

It’s important to remember that the measure of 90 days will include the total time spent on treatment. This can include outpatient treatment. 

For example, outpatient programs generally have patients meet one or more times per week. In between these meetings, the patient is still applying what they learned at each session. So progress can occur in between meetings and over the 90 days even if each day is not spent in a therapy session.

How Long Is Alcohol Detox In Rehab?

The first step in alcohol addiction treatment will be the detox phase. During the detox phase, you will stop drinking any alcohol and allow your body to adjust and function properly without alcohol in your system.

The length of detox can vary between each person and is primarily dependent on how long the chronic drinking went on and how much alcohol was consumed per day.

For moderate addiction, alcohol detox can last anywhere from a few days up to two weeks. For more severe addiction, the complete detox phase can last anywhere between two to four weeks. 

The most discomfort is generally felt during the first 24-48 hours, with withdrawal symptoms slowly diminishing about a week after that. However, in more severe cases it can take an additional two weeks for the physical withdrawal symptoms to completely subside.

During treatment, you may receive certain medications during the detox phase. These can help minimize the withdrawal symptoms and help manage the detox process.

Some patients can detox with outpatient treatment, but more severe alcohol dependence will require a short inpatient detox phase to ensure the patient’s overall safety.

When you seek treatment, your addiction specialist will be able to determine the best detox option to fit your situation.

How Long Is An Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Program

Many patients suffering from alcohol addiction choose an outpatient program for treatment. An outpatient program can be standard or intensive. With both types of programs, the patient can still maintain most of their other responsibilities outside of the program.

Standard Outpatient Programs for Alcohol

These are the least intensive of all the options and generally require meeting for a few hours per week. Those with mild to moderate addiction can benefit from a standard outpatient program. 

Some patients may transition from more intensive treatment programs to a standard outpatient program as they make progress.

Standard outpatient programs can have a high success rate when paired with the right individual. Patients will still receive many of the same therapies that are used in more intensive therapies. The main difference is the frequency of the therapy sessions.

Intensive Outpatient Program for Alcohol

These are similar to a standard program but the patient will spend more hours per week attending treatment sessions. Most intensive treatment programs will ask patients to meet several days per week. Generally, intensive outpatient programs will require 15-25 hours per week for therapy.

Some intensive outpatient programs are available on nights and weekends, which allows a greater number of people access to treatment.

It’s common for those who start with intensive outpatient treatment to later move to a standard outpatient program as they improve. From there, they will generally move on to the aftercare phase of treatment.

Aftercare will involve meetings as necessary to provide ongoing support and structure to help maintain the patient’s progress and sobriety. 

How Long Is Inpatient Rehab For Alcohol?

Inpatient treatment is when a patient stays within a facility for the duration of their treatment. These are the most intensive programs and some cases may require them.

Inpatient programs will generally have fixed lengths from one month to three months depending on the patient’s needs.

The length of time is usually determined at the beginning of treatment and it doesn’t vary or change once the treatment program has begun.

However, a patient can begin with inpatient care for the first month and then move to an outpatient program to continue their treatment.

Finding The Right Alcohol Treatment Program

If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol, there is help available.

At Ocean State Recovery Center we offer several outpatient programs that can help patients safely quit drinking and maintain sobriety.

Our professional and compassionate staff has the expertise to determine exactly what length of treatment is needed for each individual. We then tailor a treatment plan that works with each patient and can provide the highest chance of success.

Contact us today and learn more about our flexible outpatient alcohol recovery programs.



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