How Long Do Alcohol Rehab Programs Last?

woman in alcohol rehabWhen contemplating entering an alcohol rehab program, one of the first questions many will have is: How long will it take? It can be a tough question to answer definitively since alcohol rehab treatment varies so much from person to person. No two people will have the same exact treatment program, and different people progress at different rates through recovery.

Who Is Affected by Alcohol Dependency?

Alcoholism is a serious disease that affects millions of people. Problems with alcohol can range from binge drinking and driving while impaired to serious health conditions like physical and mental dependency. In a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that in 2001, over 5 million people over the age of 12 had alcohol dependency issues.  The statistics seem even starker over 10 years later as drinking habits appear to have increased. Heavy drinking for persons 12 years of age or older occurred in 6.7 percent of the American population in 2010. Approximately two-thirds of those who are alcohol-dependent will still be dependent in five years. This is why seeking treatment is critical.

It may not seem like it to weekend partiers, but even binge drinking can account for serious alcohol-related issues. While not every person who abuses alcohol becomes dependent, the behaviors associated with both alcohol abuse and dependency can lead to fatal consequences. Seeking help for alcohol abuse and alcoholism can make a huge difference in one’s life and help to avoid some fatal consequences.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment Options

Alcohol treatment options vary based on the individual. There are several types of treatment choices available as well that target the severity of the disease, underlying mental health issues, and the duration of the alcohol abuse or dependency.

  • Detoxification. Sometimes it is necessary for a person to go through detox, or detoxification, in order to get help for alcohol abuse. This type of treatment is often offered as part of an inpatient treatment plan. It is one of the first steps in beginning an ongoing alcohol recovery plan, and it can take from a few days to several weeks.
  • Residential and inpatient treatment. Usually lasting 30 days to six months, a residential inpatient treatment facility can offer an alcoholic the resources needed to get sober. With continual monitoring and supervision, an individual can be free from alcohol-related triggers and have consistent support. Some facilities offer residential treatment programs for up to one year or longer.
  • Traditional outpatient treatment. This option may be used as a progressive step after inpatient treatment, or it can be the first step for those with less serious alcohol problems. This type of rehabilitation allows a person to live at home and go to work all while participating in designated activities outlined within the treatment plan. Outpatient therapy can average six months to a year intensively and then serve as part of an ongoing recovery plan.
  • Therapeutic communities (TC). As a final step or a treatment option all its own, therapeutic communities can be essential in helping one through recovery. Proven successful TCs are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These communities provide consistent support for those seeking help with recovery. Many programs require at least six months participation and can last for up to two years or longer.

Again, treatment lengths depend on the individual seeking help. Brief interventions may not work effectively for those with serious alcohol dependency issues; more intensive treatment is suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The participation time required may be mandatory or may differ according to each person or facility, but it is integral to seek help.

Don’t waste time struggling with alcohol dependency on your own. Our experts here at The Oaks at La Paloma are trained and experienced in working with alcoholics and finding the right treatment for each person. The longer you wait, the longer it takes to recover. Take the first step in getting sober by calling us here at The Oaks at La Paloma today.