Length of Stay in Rehab: Frequently Asked Questions


How long is rehab for substance use disorders?

It depends on which rehab program you attend. Your stay may range from a number of days to several months.

Detox programs, for example, tend to last for a week or less. At Gallus Detox Centers, standard detox takes 5 to 7 days, and alcohol detox normally takes 3 to 5 days. During that time, you’ll receive medical attention and therapeutic care. After detox, most clients go on to attend a longer residential rehab program.

Some other programs take a more natural, and less clinical, approach to healing. For example, Iboga Quest is a facility in Mexico that offers ibogaine-assisted therapy. They offer their clients a range of programs, which last anywhere from 5 to 13 days.

These treatments are ideal for clients who are just starting recovery. For many people, it’s best to begin with a shorter program, and then immediately move to a longer-term inpatient rehab facility ((Abuse, N. I. on D. (–b). Principles of effective treatment. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.” With that in mind, many luxury rehab centers encourage clients to stay for a duration of 30-90 days.

Some programs may last even longer. This is especially true for programs that offer personalized care. At Mercui Recovery, for instance, you’ll work closely with your providers to come up with an individualized plan for healing. Treatment may last a number of weeks, and you’ll work closely with the team to decide what length of stay is best for you.

How long is rehab for other mental health conditions, like depression?

Many rehabs that offer mental health treatment have 30-day to 90-day programs. However, many of these programs are also personalized to meet each client’s unique needs. Because of this, the length of your stay may be determined after your initial clinical assessment.

Some clients go to rehab for co-occurring disorders, such as depression and a substance use disorder. If this is your experience, you may benefit from a program that specializes in treating both of these conditions. The program Oro House Recovery, for example, “can be as short as 30 days, or last for 90 days or more to ensure a successful, lasting recovery from depression and addiction.

However, rehab isn’t just for clients with substance use disorders. You can also enroll in an inpatient program simply to treat a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or a personality disorder. The length of your stay for this type of treatment may vary widely based on your unique symptoms. According to the experts at All Points North Lodge, your length of stay “is based upon several factors. These include evidenced-based criteria for admission, continued stay, and discharge or transition determinations using the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Patient Placement Manual. Your primary therapist will also work with your treatment team, family, and other significant stakeholders to customize an effective and appropriate length of stay based upon goals, objectives, and needs.”

How long does detox last?

Typically, medical detox lasts 10 days or less. However, this can vary widely based on your specific experience with substance use, and on your physical health.

For many clients, it’s extremely important to go through detox with close medical supervision. Heather Charlet, Director of Admissions at Gallus Detox Centers, says, “Probably the most dangerous thing that I hear is when somebody says they’re just going to try to detox on their own. A lot of times people aren’t in a place where they feel like they deserve to be taken care of during the time when they need it most. We try to help them understand that, especially if it’s alcohol or benzos, it’s so incredibly dangerous to detox on their own.”

The length of detox is determined by a number of factors, including which exact substances you’re detoxing from. Most people should expect this process to take at least 3 days, and possibly as much as 2 weeks. During this time, some clients experience physical withdrawal symptoms ((Kattimani, S., & Bharadwaj, B. (2013). Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 22(2), 100–108. These symptoms can be alleviated by medical care, including prescription medications. Luxury detox centers may also provide you with certain amenities to make this time as comfortable as possible, such as a private room, a TV, talk therapy, and round-the-clock medical monitoring.

Not every person with a substance use disorder also has a physical dependence on substances ((Abuse, N. I. on D. (–a). Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction? National Institute on Drug Abuse. However, clients should not attempt to assess this on their own. It’s important to seek guidance from an addiction-specialized medical team in order to detox in the safest possible way.

How long does recovery from a substance use disorder last?

According to some experts, substance use disorders are chronic conditions ((Witkiewitz, K., Lustyk, M. K. B., Bowen, S. Retraining the addicted brain: A review of hypothesized neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness-based relapse prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2021, from While there are many tools that can aid in healing, recovery is often a lifelong process.

Additionally, recovery is a highly personal experience. For some people, it includes total abstinence from all substances ((Laudet, A. B. (2007a). What does recovery mean to you? Lessons from the recovery experience for research and practice. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 33(3), 243–256., including prescribed medication. Others may abstain from certain substances, but not others. You might even define recovery in terms of mental health milestones ((Laudet, A. B. (2007a). What does recovery mean to you? Lessons from the recovery experience for research and practice. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 33(3), 243–256., which may or may not be directly related to substance use. According to one expert, “recovery goes well beyond abstinence; it is experienced as a bountiful ‘new life’, an ongoing process of growth, self-change and of reclaiming the self.”

It’s important to remember that there’s always hope. One study found that “tens of millions of U.S. adults report that they have recovered from a substance use problem. ((“We do recover”: More evidence that tens of millions of adults in the United States have recovered from a substance use problem. (n.d.). Recovery Research Institute. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from” That being said, there is no predetermined timeline for this process. Many find it helpful to stay focused on the present moment, rather than looking forward to a date when the issue will simply be “fixed.”

How long will Medicare pay for rehab?

Medicare may or may not cover your stay at an inpatient rehab. It depends on your precise diagnosis, and on which rehab center you choose. If you attend a program that is covered, Medicare will pay for the full cost of rehab for 60 days of rehab after you meet your deductible.

As with any type of insurance, there are certain restrictions governing who is eligible for coverage. Specifically, “your doctor must certify that you have a medical condition that requires intensive rehabilitation ((Inpatient rehabilitation care coverage. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2021, from, continued medical supervision, and coordinated care that comes from your doctors and therapists working together.”

Not all luxury rehab centers can accept Medicare. Some only take private insurance, and others only accept out-of-pocket payment. You can learn more about payment options for rehab here.

How long will private insurance pay for rehab?

It depends on your insurance provider, and your specific insurance plan.

Many U.S. insurance providers have strict limitations about the covered length of stay for substance use disorder treatment ((Study, I. of M. (US) C. for the S. A. C., Gerstein, D. R., & Harwood, H. J. (1990). Private coverage. National Academies Press (US). If you’re interested in paying for rehab using private insurance, make sure to contact your insurance provider directly to learn more about your options. Your rehab’s admissions team can also help you with this process.

If you’re insured through an employer, you can check to see whether your presence at work will affect your eligibility. If it will, outpatient treatment could be an alternative option to consider.


Reviewed by Lisa Misquith


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