How Long is Rehab?

Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 23rd September 2022


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

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All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 3rd August 2022

How Long is Rehab?If you are suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction, a stay in rehab could represent your best chance of making a full and long-lasting recovery.

Rehabilitation programmes, commonly known as rehab, use tailored, evidence-led treatment programmes to address every aspect of an addiction. This can include overcoming physical dependency via a medically-assisted detox through to a range of psychological therapies aimed at helping you explore the root causes of your substance misuse and develop strategies to prevent relapses.

All of this does take time and it’s perfectly natural to have questions and worries about things like the cost and duration of any stay in rehab.


Types of rehab

The first thing to consider is what type of rehab you would be having. Outpatient or community-based rehab programmes of the type typically offered through the NHS allow you to access treatment while remaining based at your home. This may mean you don’t have to take a large chunk of time out of your regular life and any familial, work and other commitments.

On the other hand, your addiction and substance misuse may already be impacting these commitments and relationships and residential rehab – where you stay at the facility as a resident – tends to take much less time overall. This is because you will be in a place where your main focus every day is recovery. You will have constant help and support, as well as medical supervision where needed (such as during detox).

The treatment package can be delivered in a focused, structured and compact way that is simply not possible when you are attending treatment sessions at clinics or other settings on an outpatient basis.


What affects the duration of rehab?

As well as the question of whether you attend inpatient or outpatient rehab, there are a number of factors that can affect the duration of any course of addiction treatment. This could include the length and heaviness of the substance misuse, your physical and mental health and what your rehab programme consists of.

While there are common elements, treatment programmes will usually be tailored to the individual, helping you to get the most out of your time in rehab. This may also mean that different rehab programmes can vary between individuals, even at the same treatment centre.


What to expect from rehab

The rehabilitation process begins with a thorough assessment and admissions process to ensure firstly that rehab is the right choice for you and, secondly, that the treatment programme you undergo is tailored to suit your own circumstances and requirements.

After admission, the first major part of rehab is usually detoxification – commonly known as just ‘detox’. This is the period during which you process the elements of drugs or alcohol already in your system and it can be very challenging. This is because it will usually be accompanied by strong cravings and may result in a range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. These can vary widely depending on the substance involved, the length and heaviness of use and other factors. Some withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and it is always best to undergo this stage of recovery under medical supervision if at all possible.

The time taken for the whole detox and withdrawal process can also vary considerably. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 6-12 hours of the last drink, for example, but the symptoms can last for days.

Detox is important but a holistic rehab treatment programme will also look to address the root causes and other aspects of your addiction. In order to achieve this, you will participate in a range of therapies, which will generally include techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), group therapy and one-to-one counselling.

At Cassiobury Court, we also offer motivational interviewing, 1-1 recovery planning, relapse prevention sessions, mental health support and family mediation.

Additionally, well-being therapies such as art and music therapies, relaxation and sleep management, acupuncture, mindfulness, diet and nutrition can all be valuable in helping you to adopt a lifestyle that is healthier for your body and mind. This can have a big impact on your overall well-being, which can also help you to avoid relapsing further down the line.


Recommended length of stay in rehab

As mentioned, every treatment programme is individually tailored to your own unique needs and requirements. This means there is no set length of stay in rehab but some durations are more common than others. A period of around four weeks – either 28 or 30 days – is a common option that balances cost and time away from families and work with effectiveness and allowing enough time for the delivery of a holistic addiction treatment programme.

Some programmes may last for 60 or 90 days or even longer, though that would be unusual. Some may also be shorter, especially if detox is not required (because the person is entering having not drunk alcohol or done drugs for a while), on the flip side, if they are only coming in for a supervised detox without the therapeutic element.

We can discuss any queries you might have about any aspect of rehab, including the potential length of your stay.



Your recovery process does not end the moment the rehab centre’s doors close behind you.

At Cassiobury Court, we form long-term relationships with all our clients and an important part of that is our aftercare service.

During the main part of rehab, you will develop all the knowledge and tools you need to both make and maintain recovery from addiction, including skills and strategies to help you avoid relapsing.

Recovery is tough however, and the first few weeks and months after rehab can be particularly challenging. This is why we offer a free 12-month structured aftercare package to every client who completes our rehab programme. This can provide vital support and guidance when you need it and could be considered an extension of the whole rehab experience.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 23rd September 2022

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 3rd August 2022

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.