How Long Does Alcohol Rehab Last?

Addiction is a personal experience that affects everyone around you; once you make the decision to enter rehabilitation, your experience becomes a healing journey, not a destination. Alcohol dependence can range from mild to moderate to severe, with its physical and mental toll making an impact on the user in significant ways. Your rehabilitation journey will depend on several factors, including:

  • How long you have been using and abusing alcohol
  • The quantity and type of alcohol consumed
  • Your genetic disposition and biochemical makeup that created addictive behaviors in the first place

As you enter a treatment facility or undergo a care plan, you’ll need to keep those factors in mind when co-creating a treatment protocol that works for you.

Treatment options for alcohol dependency

Once you have made the decision to enter treatment, there are a number of stages of treatment that you will go through to understand the roots of your dependence and work to overcome triggers that lead you down that road to begin with. Here are some of the stages that you can expect to experience while at rehab:


Your body, mind, and spirit will need to go through a detox—but first, your body needs some attention. For most patients, a medical detoxification is required to rid the body of harmful toxins that are contributing to an addictive cycle. Supervised medical detox in a rehabilitation facility is the safest way to get through this initial period of treatment to ensure that you don’t experience any medical crisis symptoms that you cannot handle. Depending on your level of need, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Delirium tremens (shakiness)
  • Hallucinations
  • Unstable heart rate and blood pressure

It is important to talk to your care team about any symptoms that you may be experiencing, as they will be able to provide you with treatments and medications that can ease your symptoms. Getting through this period is critical to your long term success in rehabilitation and beyond.

Residential treatment

An inpatient treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to six months, depending on what your determined needs are. Continual monitoring and supervision, as well as opportunities for diet and lifestyle counseling, individual and group therapies, and other services will ensure that you get the tools that you need for rehab success.

Outpatient treatment

Outpatient treatment is truly designed by you and your needs as determined by you and your doctor/care team. Outpatient treatments can be used as stand alone therapies, or they can be used in combination with an inpatient program to lengthen treatment time and services, and to give a patient a comprehensive approach to getting back into life, one stage at a time.

Therapeutic communities

A number of therapeutic services and communities exist solely for the purpose of helping people attain and maintain sobriety, as well as to provide ongoing support for those who wish to tap into this resource. An individual can choose to take advantage of these therapy services and community connections as long as he/she prefers, depending on what they determine is needed for a balanced and healthy life.

How long does rehab last?

This question is not so simple to answer; it really depends on you, the individual, and what you determine that your needs are for attaining sobriety—-and staying there. As mentioned before, sobriety is not a destination, it is a journey. Once the decision to undergo treatment and get back to sober life once more will be as long as you choose to take advantage of those services and opportunities for growth that encourage a healthier and more balanced life. Many people who initially choose a thirty day inpatient program quickly discover that this is just the beginning of regaining a healthy life, and their decisions to continue care beyond thirty days is becoming the standard of care. It is not uncommon to hear that a combination of therapies has taken a year or more to take hold, and even then, an individual may choose ongoing community and group support to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Your point of power is now: What will you choose?

Be proud of yourself; you’ve made the decision to be healthier and happier. No matter how long it takes, you’ve committed to a life journey of better health, more joy, and more peace. Take the advice of others, strive to do better each day, and you’ll find yourself opening up to exciting new possibilities as you create a better life for you and your loved ones. Call us today at 833-820-2922.