Is There a Standard Length of Treatment?

Addiction recovery professionals should tailor treatment to each individual. When they do, there should not necessarily be a rigid time limit on how long it will last. Everyone reaches recovery at their own pace, so expecting a standard length of time for you is unrealistic. Factors like your duration of use and type of substance should influence the general time frame. The type of program you are in will also influence the length of treatment.

Unfortunately, other factors influence the length of treatment too. Often, factors like finances, insurance coverage, or other clerical technicalities come into play. Nevertheless, individuals should not let these factors hinder the transformative process of treatment. Feel empowered to advocate for your recovery needs, collaborate with your medical team, and sense when the right time is for you to leave treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

The length of treatment initially depends on the type of program. Two specific options for treatment include outpatient and inpatient. Both are equally effective; however, one may be a better fit for your particular situation.

Outpatient treatment allows clients to seek treatment at a facility but return home to accommodate their daily needs. A program like this is an excellent way to get the help necessary to live a life of sobriety while continuing with your day-to-day responsibilities.

Additionally, outpatient treatment has many other benefits, including the chance to practice holistic therapy, continue working, and grow through traditional therapy methods. With outpatient treatment, there are no strict timelines. You can attend therapy sessions once a week or more if you would like, and there is much more flexibility which helps clients feel empowered in their recovery journey.

Unfortunately, outpatient treatment is not efficient for everyone. You will likely require more intense treatment if you are in the very early stages of addiction treatment. Your support needs will be higher when detoxing. Additionally, doctors must stabilize you before releasing you if you self-harm and experience suicidal thoughts. In these scenarios, inpatient treatment is necessary.

Inpatient Treatment

Individuals who need more intensive care will benefit from an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient rehab, also known as residential care, is when a person comes to live in a treatment facility. During an inpatient treatment program, you will usually have access to several services, including:

  • Medically supervised detoxification where clients can be closely monitored and administered medications to help with withdrawal symptoms
  • Group and individual therapy sessions that help you get the root cause of your addiction, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and family-based therapy
  • Aftercare planning or relapse prevention programs, which will aid your transition from residential treatment to life post-treatment

During inpatient treatment, you can develop a sober support system by creating friendships with other people in recovery. You can also focus on rediscovering your identity outside of addiction.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient programs are vital for individuals still in the deep of active addiction and offer many benefits, like:

  • Structure and routines allow clients to focus solely on their treatment, mental health, and long-term sobriety
  • Around-the-clock care is essential; you wake up at night with intense cravings or other symptoms, and 24/7 care will support you
  • Being in a safe environment will allow you to detox, practice coping skills, and plan for your life in recovery

One downside of residential care is that there will come a time for it to end. If insurance and finances allow, you may be able to extend your time, but that is not always the case.

Why Limit Length of Treatment?

On average, a treatment facility’s program will last about 30 days initially. You can sometimes extend treatment, but insurance companies may not cover it. There could be other stipulations if you stay.

Some facilities also focus on specific areas of recovery. One facility may have long-term programs to help with lifestyle practices post-treatment. Others focus primarily on detox and early treatment.

In reality, individuals cannot remain in addiction treatment for extended periods. Treatment is the first step in a much longer journey. The next step is life in recovery, but you must leave treatment to experience this next step.

Leaving treatment, especially when you have 24/7 support, is scary, but it is a testament to how far you have come. As long as you are open and honest with professionals at your facility, your treatment program should prepare you for what’s to come.

Is There a Right or Wrong Length of Treatment?

Regarding how long it takes for treatment to work, the American Psychological Association (APA) indicates on their page titled “How Long Will It Take for Treatment to Work?” that the length of treatment for psychological problems varies greatly from one patient to another. According to them, treatment “should always be matched appropriately to the nature and severity of the person’s presenting difficulties.”

In other words, the right length of treatment depends on your individual needs. Do not let the standards of others define what you require for your recovery journey. You started the healing process, and you can help decide your needs.

There is no right or wrong length of treatment for individuals struggling with addiction, substance use, disorder (SUD), or other mental illnesses. How long treatment takes should depend on your condition and the severity of your struggle. The length of treatment will also depend on the type of program you are in. Excel Treatment Center offers four levels of care that require varying amounts of time. We offer groups that help you bond with sober peers. Additionally, you’ll be able to participate in many traditional and holistic therapies. Our care is truly individualized from the psych assessment all the way to your aftercare. To seek help or receive more information, call (833) 883-9235 today. 

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