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Short-Term Rehab Addiction Treatment Programs

2 min read · 4 sections
Short-term rehab can help those suffering from addiction jumpstart their recovery process and find a new way to live. Learn more about the benefits of short-term rehab below.
What you will learn:
The definition and features of short-term rehab.
The efficacy of short-term rehab.
Where to find treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

What is Short Term Rehab?

While there is not a specific, pre-determined amount of time that constitutes short-term rehab, there are some basic outlines as to what “short-term” means in terms of treatment. Short-term rehab will usually be less than 30 days and will always be less than 90 days in a residential treatment facility.1

Within that framework, it can range between three-day rehab programs up to ten-day rehab programs or even up to a few weeks.1 28-day and 30-day inpatient programs are common and still fall under the umbrella of short-term rehab.

3, 5, or 7 Day Rehab Programs

People typically want to know whether there are really short rehab programs like 3 day, 5 day, 7 day or 2 week rehab programs. Due to the nature of addiction, rehab typically lasts much longer than that in order to really help patients overcome their addiction in a long-term capacity. Detox programs, where patients are medically monitored in order to overcome the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal, may last a few days to weeks depending on the drug, but thereafter inpatient addiction treatment is usually the next step in order to learn coping strategies and attend supervised therapies to reinforce long-term recovery. Depending on the needs of the patient, the length of stay will vary in this aspect.

After Rehab

Typically, after a person completes even a short stay in an inpatient program, it is recommended they continue treatment in an outpatient setting for a period of time. It is important for people to stay engaged in the treatment process after they leave a residential facility in order to help prevent relapse and reinforce new routines and coping skills.1

Many people find 12-step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, to be beneficial and a vital source of support. Meetings are free and confidential and plentiful enough to meet most people’s scheduling needs. Others may find that working with a counselor in an outpatient setting is helpful. Often that includes individual and group sessions with a licensed counselor or therapist and can be another way to connect with people who can relate to the challenges of early recovery.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Rehab

There are advantages and disadvantages to various lengths of stay in treatment. There are many factors to consider, like the amount of time away from family and work, the cost and location of the program, and the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Short-term rehab may be the only option for some people. While any type of treatment is beneficial, there is evidence suggesting that remaining in treatment for an adequate length of time is vital to sustained recovery.2

However, not everyone can take time off work or step away from their responsibilities at home for long periods of time, and hence why short-term rehab is an option. It is important to remember that while a primary goal of treatment is to stop using drugs or alcohol, any amount of treatment will likely be a catalyst for a person to examine their relationship to their substance of choice and hopefully make some positive changes in their life.

Is Short-Term Rehab Effective?

Admitting that drugs or alcohol are negatively impacting one’s life and seeking help are the first steps in the treatment process, and short-term rehab can be enough to kick start a person’s journey into sobriety. Short-term rehab will begin with a person going through detox, if they haven’t already.2 Detox is the very first step in the treatment process.  A medically supervised detox, which is a part of many rehab programs, can help manage severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings.2 Patients are monitored by healthcare providers, and sometimes medication is used to manage acute symptoms and help stabilize a person, both mentally and physically, in the early recovery process.2

Remember, any length of treatment can be lifesaving for someone battling addiction. While extended treatment (at least three months) is associated with better outcomes, for many people, continuing with outpatient care after a short stint in rehab is sufficient to maintain recovery.2

Outpatient rehab programs often use behavioral therapies, including individual, family, or group counseling sessions, to help improve coping skills and interpersonal relationships.2 Building support and accountability is valuable, especially during early recovery, and counseling, peer support, and community support groups like AA can provide that foundation. In addition, as a person continues to grow throughout the treatment process, their immediate needs may change, also making a case for continuing care after rehab. Once they have managed to stop using drugs or alcohol, they may need help with legal issues, vocational training, therapy to address mental health disorders, and more.2

How Much Does Short-Term Rehab Cost?

Short-term rehab costs vary, depending on the particular treatment facility, the services provided, and a person’s insurance coverage. American Addiction Centers can help you navigate the process by finding out exactly what your individual insurance plan will cover and if there are any state-funded options or payment plans available. Fill out the form below if you are curious about your behavioral health coverage. Don’t give up if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction. There is help available.

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