How long does rehab take?

The short answer how long does rehab take is anywhere between seven days and a full year. It really depends on the severity of your addiction, the substances or behaviours you are addicted to, and your willingness to give 100% effort to the recovery cause. These are all things we can talk about when you contact us.

Having said that, let us look into recovery time in a little more detail. We will begin with the minimum amount of time required: seven days.

Some people are able to go through a seven-day, inpatient detox programme and never need anything after that. They may access community-based services, like a support group for instance, but they need nothing else in terms of formal rehab services. Trust us when we say this is not the norm.

It is fairly common for alcoholics or drug addicts living what’s considered a ‘normal’ life – i.e., they have regular jobs and spend time with their families – to attempt to rehab using only a seven-day detox programme. Some of them succeed, most do not. A long-term rehab programme lasting between 4 and 52 weeks is usually necessary to overcome chronic addictive behaviour.

Residential Rehab

Residential rehab is decidedly different from short-term detox in that it is designed to get to the psychological and emotional roots of addiction. Moreover, because many of these roots are buried so deeply, it is not something that can be handled in one week’s time. It can take significantly more time in many cases.

Long-term rehab starts out with detox, but then transitions to residentially based psychotherapeutic treatments once detox is complete. The shortest residential programmes run about four weeks – the longest programmes can go up to 12 weeks. Some recovering addicts can extend their residential treatment beyond the 12-week period if they can afford it and the medical staff believe it will be helpful.

Following the completion of a residential rehab programme, recovering addicts are discharged to return home. However, that does not mean rehab has ended. Instead, recovering addicts will follow-up with several months of aftercare services that could push the total rehab time to 12 months. Aftercare services include:

  • group support and therapy
  • 12-step work
  • one-on-one counselling
  • life skills building.

We understand some of the clients who call us are under strict time constraints when seeking rehab. However, we sincerely hope the amount of time your treatment takes is not the sole determining factor in what you do. If you can indeed obtain long-term sobriety with a seven-day detox treatment, that would be wonderful. But if you cannot, we hope you are prepared to undergo long-term rehab instead. Far better to invest the time to do it right now, than to try the shortest method possible and fail in the process.

When you call our addiction recovery helpline, we will walk you through the various treatment options and how long each one takes. This is the best way for you to make an informed decision. If you need help with admission arrangements, just let our counsellor know. We will do whatever we can to help you get the treatment you need.

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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0808 163 9632