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How Long Do Alcohol Treatment Programs Last?


Choosing the right alcohol treatment center isn’t easy. Whether you are looking for help for yourself or a loved one, there are many things to remember when deciding which program is right for you. When finding a local treatment program, one of the factors you will want to consider is how long alcohol rehab lasts. However, it’s important to realize that everyone has different needs, so no two people have the same rehab experience. Similarly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to alcoholism. For this reason, alcohol rehab can last for varying lengths depending on the program type and your individual needs. In general, alcohol rehab programs in Fort Lauderdale last between 28 and 90 days. To explain, the three most common lengths of rehab programs are:

  • 30-day programs
  • 60-day programs
  • 90-day programs

However, many people will choose to participate in extended programs, including residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare programs like sober living.

Rather than focusing on how long your alcohol rehab program will last, you should focus on what is most important – getting the treatment you need to overcome your drinking problem.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The first step of alcohol treatment is detox. Alcohol withdrawal produces potentially life-threatening symptoms, so detoxing in a medical setting is always wise. The length of time it takes to detox from alcohol depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • How much you drink
  • How long you have been drinking
  • Your age, weight, physical health, and mental health
  • Whether or not you’ve gone through alcohol detox before

How Long Do Alcohol Treatment Programs Last?Most people begin experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms within 6 hours after taking their last drink, and they tend to worsen over the next 48 hours. Symptoms usually peak after 72 hours and last for approximately two weeks. However, some heavy drinkers will experience minor withdrawal symptoms for up to a month.[1]

As a result, most alcohol detox programs last between two weeks and a month but are integrated into a medically-assisted treatment program so that patients can begin therapy after the worst of their symptoms have subsided.

How Long Does Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Last?

People who attend residential rehab centers and participate in longer programs are associated with better treatment outcomes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these individuals are less likely to relapse and get involved in criminal behavior.[2] As a result, inpatient rehab is usually recommended for people struggling with alcohol use disorder.

Inpatient alcohol rehab, also known as residential treatment, requires patients to live at the treatment facility under constant supervision and monitoring. While living at the treatment facility, patients will attend several hours of intensive group and individual counseling. In addition to behavioral therapy, patients may participate in 12-step support groups, holistic therapy, and medication-assisted treatment. The lengths of these alcohol rehab programs vary greatly as most are tailored to meet your individual needs.

How Long Can You Stay in Inpatient Rehab?

On the shorter side, inpatient programs will last 28-30 days. However, these are recommended for people with mild addictions who can access ongoing support and a sober living environment. Other inpatient alcohol programs in Fort Lauderdale will last between 60-90 days, while some residential facilities offer treatment programs that last six months or longer. These long-term programs are typically used for patients who suffer from co-occurring disorders and require dual diagnosis treatment. Alternatively, people who participate in shorter inpatient programs may choose outpatient treatment to make the transition back to the real world easier.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab

How Long are Outpatient Programs?

Alcohol treatment programs that approach substance abuse with a continuum of care are highly effective. A continuum of care refers to an approach where therapists constantly move the client toward their next level of care while helping them make a smooth transition from a higher to a lower level of care.[3] When people think about how long alcohol rehab lasts, they often forget to consider the length of outpatient programs because they are less intensive forms of rehabilitation.

Outpatient programs, also known as intensive outpatient programming (IOP) or outpatient programming (OP), consist of several hours of group therapy and one hour of individual counseling each week. Patients attend these programs after they have completed a residential program to obtain a full continuum of care. Outpatient programs in Fort Lauderdale heavily focus on relapse prevention, life skills, support groups, and reinforcement of the coping skills learned in rehab.

While living at home and adjusting to sobriety, patients attending IOP or OP will attend therapy sessions 2-5 days a week. These programs may last anywhere from one to six months, depending on a patient’s needs and treatment progress.

How Long Do Alcohol Treatment Programs Last?

What About Aftercare?

Aftercare is another vital part of alcohol addiction recovery. Two common forms of aftercare include sober living and 12-step fellowships. These therapeutic communities help individuals stay connected with others in recovery, stay accountable to their sobriety, and obtain support when needed. Alcohol rehab aftercare involving therapeutic community interventions relies on the community members in recovery to help newly sober individuals stay on the right track.

Most sober living homes in South Florida allow patients to live at the facility indefinitely as long as they abide by the house rules and stay sober. However, once individuals reach a certain point in their recovery, they are bound to grow out of sober living and be ready to live independently. Still, many people who participate in 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), will attend meetings and participate in the fellowship for years, if not for the rest of their sobriety. This is because the majority of people in recovery find extended care to be essential for long-term sobriety.

Find Help for Alcohol Abuse Today

Every person is unique, so asking the question, “how long does alcohol rehab last?” won’t leave you with an easy answer. There is no cure-all formula for alcohol use disorder, which is why our dedicated treatment professionals are here to tailor a custom treatment program for you that will meet your needs. We’ll help you focus on what you need to stop drinking and stay sober – not the amount of time it takes to complete treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, don’t wait any longer – contact us today.


  1. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  2. Intensive Outpatient Treatment and the Continuum of Care

Call the Agape Treatment Center admissions team at 888-614-0077 to learn more about what our addiction and mental health facilities can do for you or your loved one.

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