Outpatient Rehab Duration: How Long it Lasts

For many people, addiction feels like an insurmountable mountain to climb. With deep sadness and shame that can consume their entire being, some may wonder if rehabilitation could give them the necessary tools for lasting recovery and freedom from their chains of addiction. The truth is outpatient rehab for substance abuse does work — but how long does someone have to go to treatment?

The length of time one should realistically expect to commit to finding success is between one and three months; however, the total time in outpatient rehab varies depending on various personal factors. It takes time to gain support through outpatient therapy and get through the steps you must take while there. 

Outpatient rehab length of stay options

When someone is about to commit most of their time to recovery, many questions can run through their mind. There is much to consider between costs, possible travel, putting aside most work and family responsibilities, and insurance coverage. But one ultimate query is how much time medical and mental health staff recommend one spends in outpatient rehab. 

Generally, there are three options: a 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day outpatient rehab program to choose between. There is also “aftercare,” which might include a sober living or halfway house. If someone is court-ordered to attend rehab, the judge has the final say in how long treatment must occur. But if one is going straight into outpatient care or stepping down from inpatient care, there will be a recommended length of “stay” based on various factors.  

Who determines outpatient rehab length of stay?

Typically a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or other mental health professionals who have consulted with and evaluated the potential patient, recommend a length of time for treatment. Again, this is decided by looking at different components. 

Outpatient rehab length of stay considerations

Outpatient rehab length of stay isn’t one-size-fits-all; several factors can affect the amount of time spent in treatment and the kind of care most beneficial to the individual patient.

Some of these considerations include the following:

  • Severity of addiction
  • Type of addiction 
  • Progress in therapy
  • Co-occurring addictions
  • Dual diagnosis 
  • Barriers to outside support
  • Type of insurance and coverage
  • Support system
  • Relapse 
  • Motivation and willingness 
  • Need of more support 

Upon consultation with the rehab facility, the rehab staff will determine through questioning, obtaining medical records, and getting a substance abuse history from the individual wanting to join outpatient if it is an appropriate fit for them. Staff will also verify insurance to understand the level of coverage; then, a recommended time frame can be discussed with the potential patient. The ultimate goal is to decide the length of stay most appropriate for each patient’s needs on an individualized basis. 


Now that we’ve answered the question of how much time should be spent in addiction outpatient rehab, it’s important to remember that the length of stay depends on many factors and will look different for everyone. The most important thing is to get help if you need it and to reach out to a professional treatment center like Fusion Recovery if you have any questions or need guidance in choosing the best path forward for your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient programming and see which program might be right for you.

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