How Long Should Alcohol Treatment Be?
While I can appreciate that individual circumstances will vary, can you make a general comment on the optimal length for a rehab stay?
Dr. David Sack Says...
As you pointed out in your question, there is no one treatment program length that is right for everybody. In general, the more complex the problem a person has, and the more severe those problems are, the longer the treatment will need to be. In general, however, most people do better when their treatment is continued for a longer period of time.
Studies show when treatment is 90 days or longer, outcomes improved – whether the treatment was in an outpatient or residential setting. The more complex the problems, the more they will benefit from being in a residential setting. Patients with good support systems, secure jobs, and stable relationships may do very well with outpatient rehabilitation as opposed to residential rehabilitation. However, someone addicted to multiple substances and who has other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety may do better in a residential program. An experienced therapist can probably help you decide what treatment setting is best for you, but the evidence does indicate that treatment for 90 days or longer results in better outcomes.
Page last updated Jun 06, 2011