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How long is a stay in rehab?

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Whether you’re thinking about going to rehab, or a loved one is trying to persuade you to go, one of the first questions you’ll have is: how long does rehab take?

In truth, the answer depends on several factors. We’ll go through these and more over the course of this post.

Typical lengths of stay at a rehab

7 days

Seven days is rarely recommended as it provides just enough time for detox, with some clinics refusing to offer anything lower than 14 days. Other drug rehab centres, however, offer a seven-day drug or alcohol detox while some individuals check in for seven days for extra support due to fear of relapse.

14 days

A two-week stay in rehab is ideal for someone whose addiction isn’t too severe and can complete their alcohol or drug detox in less time. Two weeks will have you detoxed and ready to start therapy. Although it’s considered incredibly short-term, it provides a basis for continuing therapy once you return home.

28 days

The average treatment time is 28 days. This allows for at least ten days to fully detox, followed by two more weeks of intensive therapy. Some rehabs allow you to attend therapy sessions during the detox period too, however, you’ll also be taking medication during this time, which may impact your ability to think clearly.

3 months

A three-month stay is considered a reasonable length of time when it comes to treating addiction. During a three-month stay, medical staff are still there to monitor you during your detox. It also allows for enough time to make the most out of addiction therapy.

What affects the length of a treatment stay?


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The length of time spent in rehab will ultimately depend on the following factors:

1. The severity of your physical dependence

Physical dependence can vary from person to person. For example, alcohol addiction and dependence can result in very serious withdrawal symptoms once you stop drinking, which is why a medically managed detox is necessary.

2. Type of addiction

Someone who’s in rehab for a behavioural addiction such as gambling won’t require a medical detox and can begin therapy immediately. If you do have an alcohol or drug dependency, however, your detox will prolong the process.

3. How long you’ve been using

Someone who has been using drugs short term may not have built up much physical tolerance. This means detox may be shorter and fewer weeks of therapy are needed.

4. Whether you have any co-occurring disorders

Someone suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental health issues may require additional therapy and specialised care.

5. The type of therapy you’ve been prescribed

Therapists will tailor a recovery plan based on your needs. They may decide that you require a longer course of therapy and therefore a longer stay in rehab.

If you’re looking for rehab for yourself or your loved one but are unsure about treatment times and how long you’ll need to stay, get in touch with Which Rehab. We can advise you on the most suitable time frame based on your situation.

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What happens during detox?


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The detox stage typically lasts between 7 to 10 days depending on the factors mentioned above.

Detox tackles the physical side of addiction by eliminating drugs and alcohol from the system. At a residential or private rehabilitation clinic, your detox is medically supervised, which means there are staff on hand to assist you should you need help. The aim is to make you as comfortable as possible during the detox process and minimise the symptoms of withdrawal. As mentioned previously, some clinics prefer you don’t begin therapy until you’re fully detoxed, while others allow you to participate.

What can I expect from addiction therapy?

Once you’ve completed your detox you can focus on the next stage of recovery. The psychological aspect of addiction treatment is the most important. Understanding what’s causing and contributing to your alcohol or drug abuse is a vital part of the rehab process. Addiction therapy typically includes talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapies (DBT) individual and group therapies and holistic treatments such as art and music therapy. This stage of rehab can take anywhere between two weeks to two months depending on your circumstances.

How do I know what length of stay is right for me?

If you’re looking to begin your recovery journey, but you’re unsure as to how long you should be spending in rehab, Which Rehab can help. Whether you’re searching for a drug detox in London or private rehab for alcoholics anywhere else in the UK we’ll take the time to gather information from you regarding your situation so we can gain a clear idea of what type of treatment you need. 

Call us today to start your journey.