Addiction is a progressive disease that develops over time. People often begin abusing drugs and alcohol for recreational use or to cope with underlying emotions and mental health conditions, but their substance abuse eventually spirals into something far more serious.

Just like it takes time for an addiction to develop, it also takes time to recover.

Many addiction treatment programs last either 30, 60, or 90 days, so they can accommodate the needs of different individuals. However, 30 days is not always long enough to sufficiently change your behaviors and overcome addiction. In fact, according to the Principles of Effective Drug Treatment outlined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most people require at least 90 days of treatment to significantly reduce or stop their substance abuse.

Still, many people may choose a 30-day program because it is a smaller time commitment, meaning they spend less time away from friends, family, work, and other obligations.

You Can’t Cure Addiction

Unfortunately, there is no ultimate cure for addiction, but there are treatments that can enable you to live a sober life. Addiction is a complex disease, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. In order to successfully overcome your addiction, you must address the root cause of your substance abuse, learn healthy coping skills, and practice recovery maintenance techniques such as going to meetings and practicing self-care. You must also receive continued treatment for any mental health conditions you experience.

Recovery takes time, and most people don’t feel fully confident in their sobriety after just 30 days. Recovery is something that is learned through therapy and healthy lifestyle changes. Staying sober also gets easier the longer you have been separated from drugs and alcohol.

What the Evidence Says

At the 30-day mark, many people are still experiencing post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) and drug and alcohol cravings. If they haven’t fully developed and embraced healthy ways to cope with cravings or triggers, they could relapse within the 30-day period.

Overall, between 40-60% of recovering addicts relapse at some point after seeking treatment, and studies have shown that most relapses happen within the first 90 days of abstinence. At the same time, evidence shows that participating in treatment for at least 90 days is the best route for long-term recovery and that longer treatment plans are linked to higher success rates.

Considering this information, it is best to spend more than 30 days in rehab when you are able to.

How Long Should You Stay in Rehab?

Everyone has different treatment needs, so some people may benefit from staying in rehab longer than others. One of the main factors determining how long you should stay in rehab is how severe your addiction is. 30-day rehab may be suitable for someone who has already experienced sobriety but had a brief relapse and needed short-term separation from drugs, alcohol, and triggers. On the other hand, a 90-day rehab or extended care program may be more suitable for someone with severe addiction and co-occurring disorders.

Regardless of how long your treatment takes, it’s important that you don’t rush it. Take your time healing your mind, body, and spirit so you can stay sober for the long term.

It is important to note that you don’t have to spend 90 days in a residential treatment facility in order to recover. Many people spend 30 days or less in residential treatment before stepping down to a lower level of care. Lower levels of care such as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) or intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) allow you to receive treatment without significant disruption to your daily life.

When a 30-Day Rehab is Right For You

Although most people benefit from at least 90 days in rehab, a 30-day rehab can be suitable in certain situations. 30-day rehab may be right for you if:

  • You’ve been sober before but experienced a brief relapse
  • You want to get help for your addiction but you don’t want to commit to a longer program
  • You have a mild substance use disorder and have been recommended for a 30-day program by a doctor or addiction specialist

If you complete 30 days in rehab but aren’t ready to go home just yet, your counselor can discuss options to extend your care.

The Advantages of a 30-Day Rehab

Even though experts typically recommend at least 90 days of treatment, there are many advantages of attending a short-term, 30-day program. These include:

  • Enough time to detox and establish a treatment plan
  • You don’t have to spend too much time away from work, family, or school
  • Ample time to learn about the disease of addiction
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions can be diagnosed
  • You’ll get connected with sober peers and learn about recovery-related resources in your area
  • Short-term rehab can give a great introduction to recovery, inspiring and motivating you to want to stay sober

Find Help Now

Rehab centers near you may offer numerous treatment options to meet the unique needs of different individuals. From short-term rehab to long-term, 90-day modified treatment plans, there is a program that will meet your needs. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and would like to learn about your treatment options, please get help today.