Long-Term Rehab: 6 Month, 1 Year & 2 Year Rehab Programs

2 min read · 6 sections
Understand the benefits of long-term rehab and other effective alternative treatment methods that could assist you or your loved one in recovering from a substance use disorder (SUD).

American Addiction Centers offers long-term treatment to people struggling with substance use disorders. Call

What you will learn:
What is long-term rehab?
What are the benefits of long-term rehab?
Where can I find long-term rehab?
Does insurance cover long term addiction treatment rehab?

How long does long-term rehab last?

The length of time a person spends in rehab can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. One of these factors includes the specific programs offered at a given facility, which can impact the length of someone’s stay. Another factor may include someone’s payment method, insurance plan, or healthcare benefits, which can dictate how long someone may be able to pay for treatment.

Treatment programs exist that are specifically designed to last for longer periods of time, starting at 90 days, with some other programs lasting for one to two years. Studies show that people who stay in treatment for at least 90 days have more advantageous results and that participating in treatment longer can further improve results.1,2 However, any amount of time in rehabilitation can be beneficial to someone in need of substance abuse treatment.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how long someone remains in treatment is typically influenced by their individual needs, including their substance use patterns, as well as any medical, psychological, social, legal, and vocational needs that they may have.

What is Long-Term Rehab?

While short-term inpatient treatment programs typically last around 3–4 weeks, many people may find that they benefit from longer programs that provide additional care and support for greater lengths of time.1 Long-term treatment programs often include residential programs, which entail patients residing in a facility for the duration of their treatment depending on their needs.1,3 These programs have staff on premises at all hours to offer round-the-clock support to each patient.3

Length of treatment can range from 90-day rehab stays to 6-month rehab stays, 1-year rehab programs, or even a 2-year treatment stay if needed.1

Long-term rehab programs generally provide varying levels of care, since a person’s treatment needs may change over time as they progress in their recovery.1 These programs may offer individual and group counseling sessions, medications, physical and mental health treatment, socialization, vocational, and legal supports, as well as family counseling sessions and encouraging participation in addiction support groups.1,4

Benefits & Goals of Long-Term Rehab Treatment

Long-term rehab treatment can be especially beneficial for certain people with substance use disorders. While studies show that spending at least 90 days in treatment can lead to better chances of staying sober, attending a 6- or 12-month rehab can further increase the likelihood of sobriety.1,2

Attending long-term treatment can also allow someone to practice important coping skills and become comfortable with using them once they leave treatment. In turn, this can help prevent relapse. In addition to stopping substance use, treatment can help someone become more productive in all areas of their life, and address any physical or mental health issues that they may have.1

Another benefit is forging connections with the people in the program, since they all reside in the same facility and attend the same groups.4 These relationships can be helpful when working through difficult issues, especially when people are in similar stages of recovery.2

Since everyone works through recovery at their own pace, long-term rehabs allow patients to make changes at their own pace, rather than having a short period of time to create changes.1

Facilities conduct random drug testing, which can offer an additional level of motivation towards sobriety, as well as consequences in the event of relapse.1,2

Does Insurance Cover Long-Term Drug & Alcohol Rehab?

Typically, long-term drug and alcohol rehab is covered by health insurance. Depending on your insurance plan provider and your specific plan coverage, the length of time that will be approved and the cost of treatment can vary. The best way to find out what your coverage would be for treatment is to contact your insurance provider, or to reach out to the treatment center you plan to attend.

What Happens in a Long-Term Rehab Program?

There are different types of long-term rehabs, and they offer various addiction treatment options. Some long-term rehabs are therapeutic communities (TCs), which are centered on helping you get used to being part of a community without using substances, and rely on all the people within the treatment community as aspects of the treatment program.1 Treatment in a TC is aimed at creating a sense of responsibility and accountability and can be confrontational in a structured setting.1

Other long-term rehabs may be designed for certain populations, such as dual diagnosis treatment for people with addiction and mental health disorders, those with medical issues, or people with severe addictions.

The intensity of services can vary depending on the level of care that you need, but can include:

  • A group home setting that offers counseling onsite or at an outpatient clinic.3
  • A rehab facility that offers counseling onsite or at an outpatient clinic.3

Is Long-Term Rehab Right for You?

It can be difficult to know if long-term rehab is right for you, even though studies have shown that long-term treatment can prove extremely beneficial. Only a physician can help you determine what level of care is right for you. However, some signs that long-term rehab might be a good fit for your particular situation include:

  • A long history of substance use.2
  • Attempting lower levels of care without success (outpatient, short-term inpatient).3
  • Having other issues, such as mental or physical health issues.3,4
  • More severe substance use.2,4
  • Multiple attempts at treatment in the past.2
  • Not having a stable or safe housing situation.3
  • Poly-substance use, or using multiple substances.4

If long-term rehab isn’t a good fit or an option that works for you, attending a short-term inpatient program may be a better choice. This allows you to receive intensive levels of group and individual counseling in a structured setting that is staffed around the clock, without having to commit to the long-term length of treatment of a residential program.1Additionally, since treatment occurs along a spectrum, some long-term treatment programs offer 3- or 6-month programs along with 1- and 2-year programs, allowing your length of care to correspond with your needs.

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