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How Long Should I Stay at Drug Rehab?


Drug Rehab Group

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Is 30 Days Enough to Stay in Drug Rehab?

If you have any intentions of getting real help for your loved one, whether that be a son, daughter, spouse, family member, or friend, you need to know right off the bat that thirty days is not long enough. So, the question you might want to ask is, how long should I stay at rehab?

How Much Time Should I Spend at Rehab?

I get asked this question all the time. The answer isn’t as simple as it might seem. Insurance companies say 30 days, but are they right? Or are they just trying to save money?

Take, for example, the way the Government treats Navy pilots. If a Navy pilot needs substance abuse treatment, they are sent for 90 days, followed by one year of follow-up treatment. They do this because they know what is required to treat people properly and they want them treated properly, as they have millions of dollars invested in them.

If 30 days is not enough for a Navy pilot, why should it be enough for you?

Let’s take a look at another famous clinic, The Betty Ford Clinic. It has a success rate that exceeds the others by a long shot. So, how long should I stay at rehab is the question. Of the rehab centers with the top ten successful rates, all ten recommend stays of more than 30 days. And this isn’t just for the money. Money is fine, but most of the good ones are overbooked; they have a waiting list to get in. What’s more important is that people/addicts or alcoholics get the help they need, and they know that the proper help takes more than 30 days.

A good drug rehab facility doesn’t just treat physical addiction; it treats mental addiction as well. You might have heard the phrase he/she’s a dry drunk. If you have heard it, you probably know it’s true. A dry drunk is a person who exhibits the behavior of a drunk but is physically sober (at least for a while). Many people who go through treatment suffer from this malady, mostly because they refuse to seek true and full treatment.

People like this are easy to spot: they have the same bitter attitude, blaming everything on others; and the same know-it-all personality. The only thing missing is a scotch in their hand or a bottle of pills rattling in their pocket. But that’s only a matter of time. With this attitude, it’s bound to happen, it’s simply a question of when. The good news is there is a solution, a way to not live like that anymore. We can show you how.

Getting Ready For Rehab

You’re ready for rehab. Actually, you’re probably not. Don’t overthink it! When you or your loved one expresses even the slightest desire to get help, that’s the time to get help immediately! Left to their own devices, addicts and family alike will change their minds. The situation loses its sense of urgency. The desperation begins to fade, and with it, the willingness to get help.

Medically Assisted Detox

The first step toward recovery is healing the physical addiction. Whether it be drugs or alcohol, the results can be nasty, and they display different signs. Detox can be dangerous if not monitored, which is why we have medical assistance at the facilities 24 hours per day; in fact, we have one of the highest ratios of staff to client (16/21, which equals about 4/5) in the industry. We take our business seriously.

Physical detox can happen as quickly as a few days to a few weeks (depending on the patient and the severity of addiction); however, regardless of how long it takes, your treatment is not over.

Continuing Rehab After Detox

A thorough detox cleanses your body of the physical addiction, but that is seldom the true problem; it’s simply a symptom. The real problem is usually underlying and requires further (and different) treatment.

The most successful treatment programs offer a continuum of care and use a step-down approach. This way, a client might spend 7 days in detox, another 25 days in an inpatient setting, followed by 30 to 60 days of day treatment/outpatient treatment while staying in a sober-living facility.

The logic behind this is threefold.

  • First, we know from brain scans that, physically speaking, it can take 90 days, or more, for the brain to start to repair itself from the damage done by drugs and alcohol. The good news is it does repair itself. But while this repair is taking place, addicts are still more susceptible to the same impulse control and poor decision making that brought them to treatment, to begin with.
  • Second, during the course of those first 90 days, addicts learn new behavior and new skills that they can incorporate to live a new life, free from addiction. But just like any new habit, it takes time to become ingrained in them.
  • Third, the step-down approach allows clients to be slowly reintroduced to life. They start off in a heavily structured inpatient environment, and then slowly receive more and more freedom as they transition to life during day treatment with sober living and then outpatient.

During rehab, you will learn how to deal with the temptation of using and learn how to use the new tools at your disposal.

To be successful at recovery, a person must be committed.

They must want to become sober/drug free. It’s not an easy road, but nothing in life is. The good news, as I’ve said before, is there is help. There are plenty of people willing to help you start a new life, and support you in that endeavor.

The first step is taking that step. Then you can take the next one.

For help call Into Action Recovery Centers at (844) 694–3576, or Send Us an Inquiry.

We can help you.


Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Dr. Saeed is a psychiatry specialist with over 40 years of experience in the medical field. He received training in General Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was selected as the Medical Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He currently serves as the medical director at Into Action Recovery Centers. Full Bio

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