How Long is Rehab for Alcoholism? - Residential Inpatient

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Rehabilitation from alcohol addiction is a unique journey, impacted by several individual factors, including addiction severity and overall health. In a residential inpatient center like Pathways Recovery Center in Azusa, CA, the process begins with detoxification, typically lasting from a few days to a week.

Following detox, patients enter the main treatment phase involving various therapies. Based on the patient's needs, this phase may last from 30 to 90 days or longer. The subsequent aftercare phase, crucial for maintaining sobriety, can span months to years. Rehab at Pathways Recovery Center emphasizes a personalized, comprehensive approach, providing support at every recovery stage.

A 2020 report showed that alcohol-related deaths more than doubled, emphasizing the importance of personalized and comprehensive approaches like our residential inpatient treatment at Pathways Recovery Center. By offering support at every stage of the recovery journey, these treatment centers enhance the chances of long-term recovery and reduce the risk of fatal outcomes associated with alcohol addiction.1

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

According to Our World in Data statistics, alcohol use disorder affects 1.4% of people globally. Alcoholism, a complex and chronic disease, requires a comprehensive approach to treatment. Several modalities exist to cater to each patient's unique circumstances and needs. Here are the commonly utilized treatment options:2

  • Outpatient Services: These programs allow patients to live at home while undergoing treatment. They offer therapy sessions during the day or evening, enabling patients to maintain their work, school, or family responsibilities. These programs are often suitable for individuals with less severe addiction or those with a strong home support system.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs): These are more intensive than traditional outpatient services, like the one at Pathways Wellness Center, and typically require attendance for several hours each day, multiple days a week. PHPs offer a higher level of care, including medical supervision, and are appropriate for individuals who may not require 24/7 supervision but still need substantial support.
  • Residential Inpatient Programs: Inpatient programs, like the one offered by Pathways Recovery Center, provide 24/7 care in a structured environment away from daily triggers and stressors. These programs offer intensive therapies, including individual counseling, group therapy, and other supportive treatments. They are particularly beneficial for individuals with severe addiction, dual diagnosis, or those without a supportive home environment.
  • Aftercare Plans: Aftercare is essential to a long-term recovery plan and can include outpatient therapy, support groups, and sober living homes. Aftercare plans support the individual's transition back into daily life while maintaining sobriety.

Pathways Recovery Center focuses on offering a comprehensive residential inpatient program that provides a supportive, structured, and conducive environment for recovery. With round-the-clock care, various evidence-based therapies, and a team of dedicated professionals, the Center aims to provide the necessary support and tools for individuals on their journey toward recovery from alcohol addiction.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences in the levels of care, visit our comprehensive page on Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

Detoxification is a critical first step in the journey toward recovery from alcoholism. This process, which typically lasts a few days to a week, is aimed at clearing alcohol from the body, managing withdrawal symptoms, and preparing the individual for the following stages of treatment.3

Several factors can influence the length of the detox phase:

  • The severity of alcohol dependence: Individuals with more substantial alcohol dependence may experience a longer and more severe detox process as the body adjusts to the absence of alcohol.
  • Co-existing medical or psychiatric conditions: Conditions such as mental health disorders or other substance use disorders can complicate detox, often necessitating a longer duration for safe and complete detoxification.
  • Individual physiological factors: Factors such as age, overall health status, and metabolic rate can also play a role in determining how long the detox phase lasts.

Pathways Recovery Center's detox phase typically lasts 5-7 days under normal circumstances. However, the center recognizes that each patient's needs are unique. Therefore, this timeframe can be extended to ensure a safe and effective detox process.

For instance, if a patient experiences severe withdrawal symptoms or if their physical condition requires more time for detoxification, the center will adapt the process accordingly. The patient's safety, comfort, and readiness for the subsequent stages of treatment remain the top priority during the detox phase at Pathways Recovery Center.

How Long Does Alcohol Rehab Take?

Once the detoxification phase is complete, the individual progresses to the central part of the treatment: rehabilitation. This phase encompasses therapies and counseling to address the root causes of addiction, develop effective coping mechanisms, and encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

The duration of this rehab phase can significantly differ, hinging on individual circumstances. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicates that approximately one-third of people who receive treatment for alcohol issues show no further symptoms a year later. This encouraging statistic emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of comprehensive alcohol treatment programs.4

The duration of alcohol rehab can vary significantly. It can range from 30 days for short-term treatment to 90 days or longer for long-term treatment. It's crucial to understand that successful recovery often depends on the duration of the treatment, with longer programs generally associated with better outcomes.

Though, it’s essential to note duration can be influenced by factors such as the severity of the addiction, the individual's overall health, the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders, and the person's progress in treatment. For instance, individuals with severe alcohol addiction or those with underlying mental health issues may require a longer treatment duration to address all facets of their condition adequately.

Pathways Recovery Center's standard residential inpatient treatment programs usually last 30-90 days. However, treatment can be extended depending on the patient's progress and individual needs.

Benefits of Alcohol Rehab & Detox

Participating in an alcohol rehab and detox program, such as that offered at Pathways Recovery Center, provides individuals with a variety of benefits that can significantly support their journey to recovery:

  • Safety and Support During Detox: Detoxification can trigger serious withdrawal symptoms. A rehab facility offers round-the-clock medical supervision, ensuring patient safety while helping manage these withdrawal symptoms effectively.
  • Comprehensive Psychological Support: Rehabilitation addresses the psychological and emotional dimensions of addiction. It uses various therapy forms to help patients understand their addiction's root causes, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, equipping them with coping strategies for cravings and stress and assisting them in cultivating healthier behaviors.5
  • Relapse Prevention and Aftercare: Rehab programs focus on long-term sobriety by providing tools and skills for relapse prevention and aftercare. These skills enable individuals to identify potential triggers and employ strategies to avoid relapse.
  • Creating a Sober Support Network: Rehabilitation provides a platform for individuals to form a supportive network. Interactions with peers undergoing similar experiences can lead to understanding, mutual support, and enduring friendships.
  • Focused and Structured Recovery: Rehab facilities offer a structured and supportive environment without distractions and potential triggers. This setting allows individuals to concentrate solely on their recovery.

Alcohol rehab and detox programs offer numerous benefits, ranging from safety during detox to the creation of a sober support network. These programs provide a comprehensive approach to treat alcohol addiction, equipping individuals with the tools necessary for a successful recovery journey.

The Importance of Individualized Treatment Plans

Each individual's journey with alcoholism is unique. Therefore, the most effective treatment plans are those tailored to each person's specific needs. At Pathways Recovery Center, a team of addiction specialists collaboratively develops an individualized treatment plan for each patient. This approach increases the chances of successful recovery and long-term sobriety.

Residential Inpatient Program at Pathways Recovery Center

In summary, the length of alcohol rehab does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Various factors can influence the length of rehab, and what's most important is finding a treatment plan that aligns with the patient's unique needs and recovery goals. At Pathways Recovery Center, we are committed to helping individuals navigate their recovery journey at a pace that ensures lasting sobriety. Learn more about our addiction treatments and how we can help you or a loved find a path to recovery.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). 2017-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Metro Brief Report - Los Angeles.
  2. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (n.d.). Primary Care Brief: Substance Use and Mental Health Among Los Angeles County Adults.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Treatment Statistics.
  4. Fiore, M. C., Jaén, C. R., Baker, T. B., et al. (2004). Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. American Family Physician, 69(6), 1443-1444.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables.

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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