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Addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as a chronic brain disorder.

It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (e.g., abusing drugs) without regard for consequence. While the precise reason as to why an individual develops substance use disorder remains unknown, there are several risk factors that have been identified as increasing one’s susceptibility (e.g., genetic factors, environmental factors, biological factors, etc.). An individual that struggles with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her drug cravings above all else, which has the propensity to adversely affect all areas of one’s life. Every individual is different and will have a distinct physiological response to habitually abusing drugs. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the recovery process from addiction is entirely unique for everyone. There is no universal timeframe that yields successful results for every person in treatment. 

Contributing Factors

Every individual will require a customized treatment plan to effectively satisfy one’s nuanced substance abuse and/ or addiction recovery needs. Each person that begins a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program brings her own worldviews, experiences, challenges, and persona. The length of time an individual should spend in drug rehab for it to produce effective results should take into consideration the following:

  • Type of substance abused
  • Personal health history
  • Length of time he or she abused substances
  • The potency of substance abused
  • Presence of any comorbid disorders
  • If other substances were simultaneously abused 
  • Amount of substance abused each time

There is a variety of contributing factors that will directly inform an individual’s substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment plan, as well as the ideal duration of his or her treatment.


There are many different rehab programs available, and the duration of each program is variable. Most substance abuse and/ or addiction rehab programs can last anywhere from fourteen days long to six months long, and in some cases, longer. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), produced findings that indicate that the longer an individual spends in substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment can directly increase his or her outcome in recovery. The question of how long to stay in rehab is a question that should not be taken lightly. It is determined on a case-by-case basis and should be a decision that is arrived upon with the help of one’s clinical team. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at [email protected] We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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