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Long-term Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs

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Alcohol and drug abuse can be challenging to overcome on your own. Many people seek treatment to help them stop the cycle of substance use and start the path to recovery. Finding the appropriate long-term drug rehab center for your needs may be a beneficial option for obtaining treatment and recovery support. Long-term rehabs offer many benefits, such as ongoing monitoring, support, and various therapies. Research indicates that a sufficient duration of treatment can help people maintain positive outcomes and prevent relapse.1

What is Long-term Inpatient Rehab?

Long-term inpatient rehab programs are those that have a longer duration than those of shorter-term programs, which tend to last anywhere from a few weeks to around a month.2, 3 Long-term rehabs offer different lengths of treatment, often ranging from 60 days to 6 months. The appropriate duration for you can vary depending on your unique needs and situation.

What is a 60-day Rehab Program?

A 60-day inpatient rehab program lasts approximately 2 months. It can be a beneficial option if you would like a longer and more supportive program than those offered by short-term programs, but do not require or are unable to commit to a longer-term stay, or if you plan to engage in outpatient treatment following your stay. 60-day drug rehab can be helpful for many people, as deemed appropriate by their intake and treatment plans.3 A 60-day rehab involves living at a rehab facility, so you will sleep and spend your days at the facility for the duration of treatment.

Accommodations will vary by facility and can include options such as private or shared rooms and different amenities, such as special meal programs, exercise facilities, or even spa treatments. In most cases, you will be able to receive visits from loved ones during designated visiting hours. You will participate in different therapies as per your treatment plan, which can vary by the specific rehab’s approach. Most commonly, people participate in behavioral therapies, motivational approaches, 12-Step programs and support groups, and counseling, and they may receive medication if necessary.1

What is a 90-day Rehab Program?

A 90-day rehab program can be beneficial for those who require a higher level of care and support, such as individuals without supportive homes or those with co-occurring medical or psychiatric disorders.3 While treatment programs can vary in terms of length, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that “participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness” and longer durations are associated with more positive outcomes.1

As with 60-day programs, you live onsite and stay overnight for the duration of 90-day drug rehab programs. Your accommodation can vary by the specific facility, but as with 60-day programs, your meals will be provided onsite. You may receive similar types of therapies and treatments as those offered at 60-day programs, as guided by your treatment plan. While all rehabs set their own guidelines, you should be able to receive friends and family during designated visiting hours at a 90-day drug rehab.

What is a 6-month Rehab Program?

As treatment at a 6-month inpatient rehab lasts longer than 60- or 90-day programs, they can be beneficial options for those who require a longer duration to help cement their recovery efforts. While shorter stays can also provide recovery success, some people, such as those without stable housing or work situations, those who have had multiple relapses, people without supportive families, or those with serious substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders, may benefit from the longer duration of 6-month rehab programs. They can provide the opportunity for these people to focus on long-term recovery.2

One study of relapse rates in participants who completed different lengths of inpatient treatment stays found that people who participated in longer-term treatment (6 months or longer) had a reduced risk of relapse when compared to those who participated in shorter-term programs (2-4 months).5 As with the other lengths of inpatient rehab, accommodations and amenities can vary in a 6-month program. You will receive different therapies and treatments that will be personalized for you based on your treatment plan.

What Happens in a Long-term Rehab Treatment Program?

Long-term rehab programs offer a variety of interventions and treatments. Your treatment plan will be based on the specific needs that were identified during your initial intake. This plan, which includes the types of therapies you receive, will be adjusted as your needs change throughout the course of treatment.1

While everyone’s treatment plan will look somewhat different, the following are some of the treatments and interventions that many people receive as a part of a long-term rehab program.

Medical Detoxification

This is often the first step in a comprehensive treatment plan. It is designed to help people stop using substances. It allows them to undergo withdrawal in a safe, supervised environment that offers support and monitoring to help them stay as safe and comfortable as possible.1 Detox is not a substitute for more comprehensive treatment, so it’s important to have a longer-term treatment plan in place for when detox is complete.3

Detox consists of three phases, including:6

  • Evaluation, which involves a comprehensive assessment to determine your exact detox needs and the appropriate form of treatment for you once you have completed detox.
  • Stabilization, which involves the actual withdrawal process. You’ll receive medication, if appropriate, as well as support and monitoring to help keep you as safe and comfortable as possible while your body returns to a medically stable state.
  • Fostering entry to treatment, which means that you will receive assistance with entering the right rehab for your needs where you can continue your recovery efforts.

Inpatient Treatment

As mentioned above, inpatient rehab means that you live onsite for the duration of treatment. Considering inpatient treatment can be beneficial because it removes the distractions of daily life and allows you to focus on recovery. It can be helpful for many people but can be particularly useful if you:3, 6

  • Have a co-occurring mental health condition, such as PTSD, bipolar disorder, or depression, or may be suicidal or have a risk of self-harm.
  • Are deemed to have a high risk of relapse or have had previous relapses.
  • Require withdrawal management or medication/s.
  • Require medical supervision, such as if you have had prior severe/complicated withdrawal or a history of seizures or other significant medical issues.
  • Do not have a supportive or stable home environment.

People who want to enter recovery may consider outpatient treatment as well. This can occur on a variety of levels of intensity; however, standard outpatient treatment is often used as an initial form of treatment for those who do not require a high level of care and supervision or those with supportive families and home environments.1, 2 It may also be used as a step-down form of care for those who have completed inpatient treatment to help them maintain recovery.3

12 Step ProgramTherapy Programs

Different types of behavioral therapies are used to treat addiction in individual, family, and group settings. Therapy programs are designed to help you make positive life changes, help you change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that led or contributed to the addiction, and help you maintain abstinence and avoid relapse.1 The type of therapy you participate in can vary by your needs and the substance you use as well as where you are in your treatment program. Common therapies include:1

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is designed to help you become more aware of thoughts and emotions that lead to substance use, and help you develop healthier ways of coping with life issues and stress. It can take place in both individual and group settings.
  • Contingency management (CM). CM helps increase your motivation to change by providing tangible goods (such as vouchers to exchange for specific rewards) for positive treatment outcomes, such as negative drug screens.
  • Motivational interviewing (MI). MI is an intervention where you usually work one-on-one with a counselor, who provides different strategies, to help increase your motivation to engage in treatment and make positive life changes. It can be an especially helpful method for people who don’t believe change is possible.
  • 12-Step facilitation. This is a form of treatment that is designed to encourage people to participate in 12-Step programs.


An aftercare plan is designed to provide ongoing care once the initial period of treatment has ended. It is a form of continued support that is designed to help prevent relapse, facilitate your ongoing recovery, and help you maintain abstinence. It can involve different forms of support and treatments, such as participation in mutual support groups, engaging in individual counseling, or continuing in outpatient treatment.1

Benefits of Long-term Rehab Centers

Long-term rehab programs can offer many benefits to people who want to achieve sobriety and maintain long-term recovery.

  • Inpatient rehab offers a safe and comfortable environment where you can undergo detox and then transition to continued treatment.6
  • Long-term inpatient rehab takes you out of your current situation and offers a safe, structured environment with a regular schedule so you can focus on treatment and recovery in a substance-free environment.
  • Long-term inpatient drug rehab can provide a high level of support so you can learn effective ways of managing cravings and stress.
  • You will receive a variety of treatments and participate in mutual support groups so you can receive encouragement from your peers who are also going through the recovery process.
  • Long-term rehab can help address concerns and provide medical attention to people with co-occurring disorders or other health conditions.3
  • Completing treatment at long-term rehab facilities may help reduce the risk of relapse.5

Finding a Long-term Rehab Center

Seeking treatment can be one of the most important steps you take to ensure your health and well-being. If you (or someone you care about) is struggling and think you may benefit from a long-term rehab program, we’re here to help. Call Or visit our directory to locate a long-term drug rehab near you. You can also instantly verify your insurance on our website.

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Jennifer Fifield is a Senior Web Content Editor at American Addiction Centers and an addiction content expert for drugabuse.com and recovery.org. She holds a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and a master’s degree in Health Promotion Management. Jennifer has served as a content editor on numerous articles, web pages, and blog posts within the medical, dental, and vision industry. She has 15+ years of experience in higher education including writing/editing, administrative, and teaching positions within the health/wellness, accreditation, and health communications areas.
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