Is 90 Day Rehab Long Enough?

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90-day drug rehab is widely considered to be the gold standard in addiction treatment. With approximately three months of treatment, you’ll have plenty of time to learn and master new coping skills. You’ll have the chance to reset your life habits, and to focus on building a lifestyle that’s comfortable, sustainable, and healthy.

But is a 90-day program guaranteed to be long enough for everyone? Substance use disorder is a chronic, lifelong ailment. Like many people entering recovery, you may think that addiction ends after rehab is successfully completed. In reality, treatment doesn’t cure addiction. When your time in rehab ends, you’ll still have battles to fight. Addiction is a complex mental health issue that you’ll have to manage over time.

Rehab is designed to give you the skills and tools that you need for the ongoing management of this disorder. The more skills and tools that you have, the better you’ll be at preventing relapse. Moreover, if relapse ever occurs, you’ll have a a better ability to get back on track. Statistically, the more time that people spend in treatment, the more likely they are to stay the course.

What Happens in a 90-Day Rehab Program?

In a 90-day rehab program, you’ll spend your first one to two weeks of treatment detoxing from the substances you’ve been using. During this time, your body will be purging itself of harmful chemicals and relearning how to function without substances. Given the many uncomfortable, physical withdraw symptoms that you’re likely to experience during detox, you won’t be able to delve deep into treatment therapies until your detox is done.

Once detox is finished, you can participate in group and individual therapy. Your early days in addiction treatment will be all about self-exploration and acclimating to the treatment environment. It often takes time to feel comfortable enough to really open up.

As your focus and participation increase, you’ll experience progressive gains in areas like:

  • Self-awareness
  • Understanding the underlying causes of your addiction
  • The ability to identify your triggers
  • The ability to leverage new coping skills

Rehab professionals place a strong focus on helping patients prepare for the challenges that they’ll face when exiting treatment. This includes helping them establish plans for obtaining safe, stable housing, avoiding toxic relationships and environments, addressing legal issues, and enjoying financial stability.

Life-planning activities throughout rehab allow patients to sidestep some of the most common barriers to long-term addiction recovery such as:

  • Homelessness
  • Joblessness
  • Unmanageable stress

Throughout your time in a 90-day rehab, you’ll also engage in stress management activities and explore new ways to fill your time. Many rehab centers encourage their clients to take part in art therapy and other forms of recreation as they navigate the early stages of the healing process.

Do You Need a Longer Rehab Program?

90-day rehab programs are an excellent start. In fact, they have significantly higher success rates than programs that last just 28 days. However, completing a 90-day program is hardly enough on its own. All patients in addiction treatment are encouraged to establish long-term support plans. When you exit rehab, you should have multiple forms of support that you can use to ensure that recovery always remains your first priority.

Moreover, if you like the structure and high levels of accountability that come with inpatient rehab, you always have the option of extending your stay. Based upon their needs, comfort levels, and addiction histories, some people stay in rehab for nine months, a year, or even longer.

Different Options in Post-Treatment Support

When you exit a 90-day rehab program, your ongoing support plan can include elements like:

  • Going to weekly or daily sober meetings
  • Having an accountability partner or sober sponsor
  • Transitioning into an outpatient program for continued treatment

People exiting treatment should join support groups and find other ways to surround themselves with like-minded people who share similar challenges and goals. However, you also have the option of continuing your journey in a sober living facility, by enrolling in a structured relapse prevention program, or by enrolling in an intensive outpatient program.

Factors That Can Make Longer Treatment Necessary

Certain factors can make longer treatment times necessary. For instance, you might want to schedule a longer stay in rehab if you’ve been using highly addictive drugs, or if you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol for a very long time. Extended rehab programs are also recommended for people who’ve relapsed in the past, and for those receiving treatment for co-occurring disorders. There are countless options in addiction treatment and numerous ways to structure your recovery for success.

If you or someone you love needs more than 90 days of addiction treatment, we can help. Call us today at 866-963-7200 to find out more about extended-stay rehab and the many options in post-treatment support.

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