Narcotics rehabilitation programs are developed and used within drug treatment facilities. Their main goal is to guide individuals addicted to drugs towards a sober and drug-free life. If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, you might be eager to know how long does narcotic rehab actually last. Keep this in mind: the narcotic rehabilitation is a journey, and not a short term goal.

Learn more about the duration of different narcotics rehabilitation programs in this article. If you still have questions after reading, we welcome you to post them in the designated section at the end of the page. We try to answer personally and promptly to all legitimate enquiries.

Narcotics rehabilitation: How long does it take

It really depends!

The individual needs for narcotic rehabilitation may vary from person to person, and so does the need for different therapy approaches and their duration. The following factors play a role in how long your rehab stay should be:

  • Your history of drug use, addiction and drug dependency
  • The type of narcotic you are using/addicted to
  • The duration of your drug abuse, as well as frequency and amounts used
  • Individual psychological profile

Generally, the longer your stay in a residential facility is, the more time you have to think, process and work on all aspects that have attributed to your narcotic addiction. Usually the 90 day drug treatment programs report higher rates of success.

In the least severe cases of dependence, narcotic rehabilitation treatment programs can last for 30 days. This is the set minimum due to the fact that some drugs have a detoxification period that can take up to 30 days. On the other hand, the maximum length of narcotic rehabilitation programs is not fixed and depends on the patient’s decision and needs.

Synopsis of treatment programs and their lengths

1. Inpatient narcotics rehabilitation treatments – This type of narcotic rehabilitation programs include a stay in a residential treatment facility for a certain period of time. A person usually stays in an inpatient rehab facility until they are able to continue to live and function normal without using narcotics. Inpatient treatment rehabilitation centers include:

  1. Administration and Evaluation – The first thing a medical staff does when an addicted person starts therapy is to identify the type of care the patient needs. This is done through a series of physical and psychological tests.
  2. Narcotic detox – Detoxification is the process of releasing narcotic drugs out of your system.
  3. Narcotics addiction treatment – Once all narcotics have left your body, you can start with the addiction treatment program that includes group and individual therapy, behavioral and educational sessions, psychotherapy, support group meetings, etc.
  4. Aftercare – When you finish your residential stay you should know that you are not done working on your addiction recovery. Aftercare programs include a plan to help you maintain a drug-free life.

Q: But how long do inpatient narcotic rehabilitation programs last?
A: From 30 days, 60 days, and up to 90 days or more.

28-30 DAYS – During this type of narcotic rehabilitation, you will be able to experience the first, or detoxification phase. Keep in mind that although 28-30 day programs are beneficial due to the lower expenses, they are usually not recommended for heavier cases of drug dependencies.

60 DAYS – 60 day programs help deepen the recovery process and assist individuals in adjusting to the drug-free period. These programs can also help establish trust with the medical staff of the treatment center and build a network support.

90 DAYS – 90 day programs have shown higher success rates in cases of severe addiction and are most recommended by medical and addiction experts. During the 90 days of narcotic rehabilitation program stay, the patient has enough time to work on the root causes that lead to the addiction problem in the first place. These programs have been most successful in helping individuals achieve prolonged sobriety and live a drug-free life.

2. Outpatient narcotics rehabilitation treatmentOutpatient programs generally include therapy sessions within the treatment facility during the day, but let you return home at night. Outpatient treatment usually takes place about 3-5 times weekly, and each session can last for 4 to 6 hours. They are scheduled around work, school, and home duties, to allow participants to continue with their normal life-flow while attending treatment.

This type of narcotic rehabilitation is not recommended for everyone, because the daily distractions can have a negative effect on patients with more serious narcotic addiction problems.

Narcotics rehabilitation: short term vs. long term

Basically, the longer your program lasts the more likely you are to incorporate many of the treatment steps. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, rehabilitation programs of at least 90 days or longer are needed to give an addicted person enough time to recover.

Residential treatments are preferred rather than outpatient in cases of extreme narcotic dependence. In severe narcotic dependencies there is a intensive need for psychological treatment and medical treatment within a narcotic rehabilitation facility.

Duration of narcotics rehabilitation

Still have questions about how long a person should stay in narcotic rehab treatment? Please post your questions in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to respond to all comments personally and promptly.

Reference sources: NIDA: DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
SAMHSA Tip 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment

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