There are standard lengths of time for drug rehab, depending on the program type. Residential drug rehab has two classifications, short-term and long-term.
Long-Term Drug Rehab
A long-term residential drug rehab program in Canada generally lasts three to six months. However, some residential programs allow patients to stay upwards of one year. Religious programs are an example of this one to two-year program.
Short-Term Drug Rehab
A short-term inpatient drug rehab takes 20 to 45 days and does not generally go longer.
Detox & Medical Detox
Most clinical detox programs provide help for three to five days. Medical detox programs provide help for five to seven days or longer, depending on the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
Both intensive outpatient and standard outpatient drug rehab programs can last two to three weeks or longer. It is not unusual for clients to attend outpatient drug rehab programs for two to three months or upwards of one year.
Deciding How Long to Stay in Drug Rehab
Deciding how long to remain in drug rehab should be based on the severity of addiction and individual needs. An addiction assessment or evaluation with a qualified professional is the best approach.
Someone with a long history of drug abuse and chronic relapse would benefit from a long-term drug rehab program in a residential setting.
In contrast, someone who is a recreational drug user and has not experienced a long history of substance use may benefit from short-term or outpatient drug rehab.
Does Longer Drug Rehab Guarantee Success?
Yes, and no, because ideally, the drug rehab program should meet individual needs. Suppose someone requires more extended treatment, then it would provide better success. However, success may not be optimal if a person does not require a long-term residential program.
Overall, there are no guarantees with drug rehab, the results are individual, and it takes work to achieve lifelong sobriety.
Detox and Short-Term Treatment is Not a Cure-All for Addiction
There is a common misconception that detox is all you need to get sober, and they can do the rest. Drug rehab is unique to the individual and takes the time it takes. A short-term program or detox is not a fix-all solution for everybody.
Detox programs do not address underlying issues, which is the first step in drug rehabilitation.