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Timeline for Treatment

If you or a loved one needs rehab for addiction, you want to get the process over with so you can get back to your lives. Addiction treatment should not be rushed, because this can lead to relapse, but if you know and understand the steps, you can look forward to getting on with things once you are done.

The timeline for treatment is different for each person. If you have been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time, or if you use heavily, it is going to take longer for your body to get used to being substance-free. The important thing is to focus on each step as it is happening so that you can do it right the first time.

In general, this is a typical timeline for addiction treatment:

Detox: 7-10 days. You need to go through detox if you want to recover. Your body has been so used to you putting substances into it that stopping those substances will be a shock to your system. Detox allows you to withdraw from your substance in a safe, supervised facility.

There are different types of detox, depending on your need:

Medical detox is the highest level of care, where you will be admitted to a hospital-like setting, monitored by doctors and medical staff. You will be given medication as needed to help with pain and withdrawal symptoms, and to even speed the process up.

Supervised detox can be done in a clinic setting, and during this type you will be monitored around-the-clock for complications and will be provided with healthy food, lots of fluids, and plenty of rest.

Most detox programs will keep you a minimum of five days, to give your body time to heal and rest up. Some people are not stable enough to leave detox until after a week or two. Remember, detox is only the first step in the treatment timeline – do not stop treatment after this point.

Inpatient: 30-90 days. Inpatient programs allow you to stay in a supervised facility, 24-7, and receive care of your basic needs. During the inpatient phase, you will participate in extensive therapy sessions which will help you dig into your addiction, understand the underlying issues, and develop the strength and resources to manage stress without your substance.

Most inpatient programs last 30, 60, or 90 days. In this case, the longer, the better. If you try to get back to life without really being ready for the stress and temptations of your everyday responsibilities, you will put yourself at risk for relapse.

Keep in mind that even though you should go through a 90 day program, your insurance company might not deem it “medically necessary,” and you might end up paying for part of inpatient on your own. There are ways to find out what your insurance will cover and options for the rest of the cost. Contact us to learn more.

Outpatient: 2-9 months. The next step after inpatient is outpatient rehab. Outpatient therapy allows you to live at home or some place off campus, and return to the treatment facility during the day for rehab sessions. This is a good transitional phase fromm the intensity of inpatient, back to your normal life. Outpatient therapy will help you practice what you learned in rehab, apply your new-found skills to the stressful situations you face daily, and receive extra support when you most need it. Outpatient therapy is a very flexible phase of rehab, for some people lasting a few weeks, for others, a few months. It all depends on your situation and how ready you are to be on your own.

Aftercare: 1+ year. The final and longest phase of the treatment timeline is aftercare. Don’t overlook this step, because it can make the difference between success and failure. As you finish your formal rehab program, you will want to have an aftercare plan in place to help keep you on the right path of sobriety and give you somewhere to turn when you feel weak. Aftercare programs usually involve regular group or individual therapy sessions as needed, sober living facilities, and participation in an alumni group and support group work. It is of utmost importance at this time that you surround yourself with positive influences, interact and learn from those who have succeeded in recovery, and continue to meet with treatment staff. All these things will help you sustain your recovery and ward off the threat of relapse. Aftercare should last as long as the individual is at risk for relapse – for some people aftercare will last the rest of their lives, for others, it is several months or a year.

As you enroll and work your way through a rehab program, your treatment team should work with you to determine the length of time needed in each phase, in order to give you the best chance at success.

To find the rehab program that is right for you, contact Sober Helpline. Our Admissions Specialists are ready to help you today. Call (888) 907-8039 to learn more.