How Many Times Can I Attend Drug Rehab?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

People experiencing drug or alcohol addiction may wonder how many times they can attend a rehab program. Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning that there is a potential for relapse, and there is no limit on the number of times you can return to treatment.

How Many Times Can I Attend Drug Rehab?

People seeking treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) are allowed to attend drug rehab programs as many times as necessary.

Due to the chronic nature of drug and alcohol addiction, there is a risk of relapse. A relapse can happen at any point during the recovery journey.

For a recovery program to be the most effective, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends that people receive treatment for at least 90 days.

This initially may look like a period of time spent at an inpatient treatment facility, followed by a period of outpatient care.

Average Amount Of Time Spent In Addiction Treatment

The average amount of time spent in an addiction recovery program will likely depend on the severity of the addiction.

More severe addictions often require inpatient or residential programs, which may last anywhere from a few months to up to a year or longer.

People who require medical detox from drugs like opioids and alcohol often benefit from a period of inpatient care, where 24/7 medical supervision is provided.

An outpatient program can last several weeks and involve anywhere from a few hours a week to several hours a day, multiple times a week.

More intensive forms of outpatient addiction treatment are known as intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP).

All of these various levels of care are designed to meet the individual needs of each client, providing the care and recovery tools they need for long-term sobriety.

Relapse And A Return To Addiction Treatment

While it is important to take care to continue practicing healthy coping skills and participating in aftercare options, it is also important to remember that a relapse is possible.

On average, people who receive substance abuse treatment and achieve sobriety have a risk of relapse at a rate of anywhere from 40% to 60%.

If a relapse happens, remember that you are not a failure and that every person’s individual recovery journey is completely different from the next.

A return to treatment may involve something as simple as attending a 12-step meeting as soon as possible, connecting with a mentor, or scheduling an appointment with your therapist.

Even if it requires re-enrolling in a rehab program, a relapse is just a step on the path to long-term sobriety.

Treatment providers can adjust your relapse prevention plan to reflect what you’ve learned so that another relapse is less likely.

Defining Success In Recovery

There is no real measured average number of times that people seek addiction treatment at a licensed facility.

Continuing to go to treatment sessions, check in with your healthcare providers, and rely on your support system are best practices for maintaining recovery following completion of a treatment program.

If a relapse does occur, address it as soon as possible. Some people may experience multiple relapses on their recovery journey, but each can be used as a learning experience.

Look at a relapse as an opportunity for you and your care team to better understand your recovery needs, and you will continue taking steps forward.

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This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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