Addiction treatment is a vital pathway to help those struggling with substance use disorder  reclaim their lives. Recognizing the need for addiction treatment often involves acknowledging patterns of behavior that interfere with daily functioning and relationships. Symptoms may include being unable to control substance use, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, neglecting responsibilities, and dealing with negative consequences of substance misuse. Whether it’s alcohol, opioids, stimulants, or other substances, treatment is the crucial first step toward recovery. 

Unfortunately, the demand for addiction treatment remains high. According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), among those 12 and older almost 25% (70.3 million people) used illicit drugs in the past year.(1) Among this same age group and duration, 10.5% of people (29.5 million individuals) had an alcohol use disorder, and 9.7% (27.2 million people) experienced a drug use disorder.(1) 

These statistics underscore the importance of facilities such as Immersion Recovery Center, which offers addiction treatment in Delray Beach, FL. Providing evidence-based practices and personalized care to Floridians and nonresidents alike, Immersion Recovery Center offers a range of programs to facilitate lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction, taking that first step toward treatment can be daunting. But it’s also the most transformative decision one can make. Contact Immersion Recovery Center today to take meaningful strides toward a healthier, substance-free life.

How Long Does Addiction Treatment Typically Last?

Addiction treatment usually lasts several weeks to several months, depending on various factors. Short-term programs, typically spanning a few weeks, primarily focus on detoxification and initial stabilization. These programs are crucial to addressing physical dependence and managing withdrawal symptoms. 

Conversely, longer-term treatment programs extend over several months, providing a more comprehensive approach to addiction recovery. These programs typically involve a combination of therapy, counseling, behavioral interventions, and support services tailored to the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. The duration of treatment is individualized based on factors such as the substance involved, severity of addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions, and the individual’s response to treatment interventions. 

Although treatment duration varies by individual, principles established by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) specify that good treatment outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment duration.(2) In most instances, treatment — including various combinations of detox, residential, and outpatient options — lasting fewer than 90 days has limited effectiveness. And in fact, NIDA recommends significantly longer durations to maintain positive outcomes.

The overarching goal of addiction treatment is to empower individuals with the necessary skills and resources to achieve and maintain sobriety. While length of addiction treatment may vary, the focus remains on addressing underlying issues, developing coping mechanisms, and fostering sustainable recovery. By investing in comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment, individuals can embark on a journey toward lasting sobriety, improved well-being, and a fulfilling life free from addiction. 

Duration of Substance Use Treatment Programs

The journey through addiction treatment typically begins with detoxification, which focuses on safely managing withdrawal symptoms and eliminating the body’s physical dependence on substances. Depending on the substance and the severity of the addiction, detox may last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. 

Following detox, individuals often transition to a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), where they receive intensive treatment during the day and return home or to a sober living environment in the evenings. PHPs typically last for a few weeks to a couple of months, providing a structured environment for recovery while allowing for greater flexibility. 

After completing a PHP, individuals often step down to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), where they continue to receive therapy and support while gradually reintegrating into daily life. An IOP typically involves attending therapy sessions several times a week and may last for several weeks to a few months, depending on individual progress. Throughout the treatment process, individual and group counseling is crucial to addressing underlying issues, developing coping strategies, and fostering peer support. These sessions are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual and may continue for several months as part of the overall treatment plan. 

Additionally, participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide ongoing encouragement, accountability, and community throughout the recovery journey. 

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Factors Influencing Treatment Duration

Treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Thus, treatment duration varies according to a host of mental, emotional, physical, and situational variables. While some people benefit from shorter-term, intensive programs, others require longer-term care with ongoing support and relapse prevention strategies. 

For example, according to insights from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance use disorders and mental health disorders often go hand in hand.(3) When an individual has these co-occurring disorders, they may require longer treatment periods for stabilization and recovery. An individual’s external support and level of stability are also important factors, with those facing challenges such as homelessness potentially needing longer-term care. Additionally, personal motivation and engagement in treatment play a crucial role, with active participation often leading to more rapid progress. 

Factors That Can Influence Length of Addiction Treatment Include:

  • Substance of misuse and addiction severity
  • Presence of co-occurring mental health conditions
  • External support systems
  • Individual motivation and existing physical and emotional challenges
  • Type of treatment program 

Short-Term Treatment Options

Individuals dealing with addiction often seek short-term treatment options as important first steps toward recovery. These programs offer structured and intensive interventions designed to address immediate needs and initiate the journey toward sobriety. 

Short-term treatment options include detoxification programs, short-term residential programs, and IOPs. Each option serves a unique purpose in providing support and care tailored to individuals at various stages of their recovery journey. By understanding the components and benefits of these short-term treatment options, individuals and their loved ones can make informed decisions about the most suitable path toward lasting sobriety. 

Detoxification Programs

Detoxification programs are short-term treatment options designed to safely manage the acute withdrawal symptoms associated with substance dependence. These programs typically provide medical supervision and support as individuals undergo the process of eliminating drugs or alcohol from their bodies. 

Detoxification addresses the physical dependence on substances, helping individuals achieve stabilization and prepare for further treatment. While detoxification programs vary in duration depending on the substance and the severity of the addiction, they serve as a crucial initial step in the recovery journey, laying the foundation for ongoing treatment and support.  

Short-Term Residential Programs

Short-term residential programs offer structured and intensive addiction treatment in a live-in residential setting. They typically last a few weeks to a couple of months, providing a supportive environment for individuals to focus solely on their recovery. 

These highly structured environments offer a range of therapeutic interventions, counseling sessions, and educational activities aimed at addressing addiction-related issues and developing coping skills. By immersing individuals in a therapeutic community, short-term residential programs foster a sense of camaraderie and accountability while providing around-the-clock support from trained professionals. 

Acting as a crucial bridge between detoxification and long-term recovery, short-term residential programs equip individuals with the tools and strategies necessary to maintain sobriety and to transition to a new normal. 

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

IOPs are structured treatment programs designed to provide intensive therapy and support while allowing individuals to maintain their daily responsibilities, such as work or school. Typically lasting for several weeks to a few months, IOPs offer a flexible schedule for therapy sessions, group counseling, and educational workshops. IOPs often treat individuals who have completed detoxification or residential treatment and seek ongoing support as they transition back into their communities. 

Focusing on relapse prevention and coping skills, IOPs help patients to address underlying issues contributing to addiction. By providing comprehensive care in a less restrictive setting than detox and PHPs, IOPs empower individuals to continue their recovery while balancing other aspects of their lives. 

Medium-Term Treatment Options

Medium-term treatment options offer individuals a pivotal opportunity for sustained healing and transformation. From residential rehabilitation programs lasting 30 to 90 days to PHPs and Structured Outpatient Programs (OPs), medium-term treatment options provide a comprehensive continuum of care tailored to diverse needs. 

Residential Rehabilitation Programs (30 to 90 days)

Residential rehabilitation programs, which typically span 30 to 90 days, offer a structured and immersive environment for individuals seeking addiction recovery. Providing 24/7 care and support, residential programs enable patients to fully commit to their recovery without the interruptions of daily-life distractions.

Through a combination of therapy, counseling, group sessions, and educational activities, residential rehabilitation programs address the underlying factors contributing to addiction while equipping individuals with essential coping skills and strategies for relapse prevention.  

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

PHPs offer intensive treatment and support for individuals struggling with addiction, providing a structured environment while allowing participants to return home or to a supportive living arrangement in the evenings. Typically lasting several weeks to a few months, PHPs provide a comprehensive range of therapeutic interventions, including individual therapy, group counseling, medication management, and educational sessions. 

Most often, PHPs are suitable for individuals who require more intensive treatment than outpatient programs but do not need 24-hour care in a residential setting. By offering a flexible schedule and a high level of support, PHPs empower individuals to address addiction-related issues while maintaining their daily responsibilities. 

Structured Outpatient Programs (OPs)

Structured Outpatient Programs (OPs) provide individuals with flexible and comprehensive treatment options for addiction recovery. They offer a combination of therapy, counseling, and support services while allowing participants to maintain their daily routines and responsibilities. Typically lasting for several months, structured OPs include a variety of sessions tailored to meet the individual needs of participants, including individual therapy, group counseling, family therapy, and educational workshops.

Structured OPs are suitable for individuals who have completed more intensive levels of care, such as residential programs or PHPs. Through sustained support and resources, OPs enable individuals to navigate the challenges of daily life while continuing their recovery journey

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Long-Term Treatment Options

In addiction recovery, long-term treatment options serve as foundations of sustained support and growth for individuals seeking to overcome substance misuse. These programs extend beyond the confines of short-term interventions, offering comprehensive care and guidance over extended periods. 

Long-term treatment options include extended residential programs lasting 90 days or more, sober living and transitional housing, and continuing care and aftercare planning. With these options, individuals can obtain the tools and resources necessary for lasting recovery.

Extended Residential Programs (90+ days)

Lasting 90 days or more, extended residential programs offer individuals a prolonged and intensive therapeutic environment to address addiction and its underlying factors. These programs provide care and support within a structured residential setting, allowing participants to immerse themselves in the recovery process.

Through a combination of therapy, counseling, skill-building activities, and peer support, extended residential programs facilitate profound personal growth and healing. By dedicating an extended period to treatment, individuals can delve deeply into their recovery journey, develop sustainable coping strategies, and lay a solid foundation for long-term health and sobriety.

Sober Living & Transitional Housing

Sober living and transitional housing provide a supportive and structured environment as patients transition from more intensive treatment settings back into their communities. These residences provide a safe and sober living space where individuals can continue to practice the skills and strategies learned in treatment while gradually reintegrating into daily life. 

Residents typically adhere to house rules, participate in house meetings, and support one another in maintaining sobriety. Sober living and transitional housing form a crucial bridge between treatment and independent living. 

Continuing Care & Aftercare Planning

Continuing care and aftercare planning are vital to long-term recovery. They provide individuals with ongoing support and resources as they transition from formal treatment programs to their daily lives. This process involves developing a personalized plan that outlines strategies for maintaining sobriety, accessing support services, and addressing potential challenges or triggers. 

Continuing care may include regular check-ins with therapists or counselors, participation in support groups, and access to community resources. By creating a tailored aftercare plan, individuals can establish a solid foundation for sustained sobriety, navigate the complexities of post-treatment life, and reduce the risk of relapse. 

Individualized Treatment Planning

Individualized treatment planning is a cornerstone of effective addiction recovery, recognizing that each person’s journey to sobriety is unique and requires personalized care. This process begins with a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s needs, preferences, and circumstances, allowing treatment professionals to develop a tailored plan that addresses their specific challenges and goals. 

Individualized treatment planning considers factors such as the type and severity of addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions, cultural backgrounds, and support systems. By taking a holistic approach to treatment, incorporating evidence-based interventions and therapies, individualized treatment plans empower individuals to address the root causes of their addiction, develop coping skills, and achieve sustainable recovery. 

Assessment & Tailoring Treatment Length

Assessing each individual and tailoring their treatment length ensures that individuals receive the appropriate level of care based on their unique needs and circumstances. The assessment process involves evaluating factors such as the severity of addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions, previous treatment history, and personal preferences. 

Based on this assessment, a treatment professional can determine the optimal length of treatment to provide the most effective outcomes. Tailoring treatment length also allows for flexibility, with some individuals benefiting from shorter-term interventions such as detoxification or short-term residential programs — and others receiving longer-term care to address complex issues and establish lasting sobriety. 

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If you or your loved one is ready to begin your recovery — or you just want to learn more about levels of care or payment options — contact Immersion Recovery Center today. Our reps can listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and help develop a plan of action, starting with an initial pre-assessment to help determine the appropriate level of care to address your specific needs. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation insurance-benefit check, and take your first step toward a lasting recovery.

  1. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt42731/2022-nsduh-nnr.pdf.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Available at: https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/podat-3rdEd-508.pdf.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Common Comorbidities with Substance use Disorders Research Report. Part 1: The Connection Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness. Available at: https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/common-comorbidities-substance-use-disorders/part-1-connection-between-substance-use-disorders-mental-illness.

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Susan-Shirley

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Serving as the Inpatient Clinical Director at Immersion Recovery Center, Susan will work directly with staff members, clients, and family members to ensure the clinical program remains as effective and individualized as possible. Susan is no stranger to the fields of behavioral health and addiction. She has over 25 years of experience, working in an inpatient setting, an outpatient setting, acute stabilization and nearly all other settings in the realm of addiction recovery.