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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

What Is a Short-Term Residential Drug Treatment?

Short-Term Alcohol And Drug Rehab Centers Near Me

Different addiction treatment programs vary in intensity, scope, and duration.1 Outpatient treatment is often lower in intensity than inpatient programs.1 Inpatient residential programs are typically more comprehensive and more thorough in addressing addiction, which is why they are likely to be more effective both at treating the disorder and at reducing the risk of relapse.1 But what role does treatment duration have to play in all of that?

We can classify treatment as long-term and short-term treatment.1 Short-term substance abuse rehab programs last a relatively brief amount of time, approximately one month (28 to 30 days). However, the short duration does not necessarily correlate with scope and intensity: there are many high-intensity short-term inpatient treatment options.​1

Although more affordable, less time-consuming, and less likely to have a disruptive effect on a person’s life, short-term treatment is not likely to be as impactful as its long-term counterparts. Most people cannot achieve lasting recovery without long-term or repeated care.2 This is especially true for individuals battling a severe substance use disorder or a co-occurring disorder, poor treatment compliance, and a history of polysubstance abuse and chronic relapses.1

But to an extent and for some individuals, short-term substance abuse treatment can be effective, especially when combined with various forms of continuing care.2 So if short-term treatment can sustain long-term recovery, who are the most suitable candidates for this form of rehab?

What Happens During A Short-Term Drug Rehab Program?

The key benefit of the short-term format for outpatient and residential inpatient programs is the lower and more easily affordable treatment cost.1 However, this should not be the only factor when deciding on a treatment option. It is important to understand what level and scope of care these programs provide and whether they incorporate continuing care as well.1

According to the 2017 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, 13 percent of facilities nationwide provide a short-term treatment that lasts 30 days or less.3

A short-term drug rehab program in an inpatient environment typically consists of the following components:4

  • Detox
  • Tailored treatment plans for the users
  • Counseling
  • Therapy
  • Support groups
  • Aftercare

Aftercare or continuing care is a particularly important aspect, as it helps a person maintain abstinence, sustain recovery and stay in treatment while being able to function normally and lead a productive lifestyle.2

What Does A Typical Day In A Short-Term Inpatient Drug Rehab Look Like?

The typical daily schedule in inpatient rehab involves:4

What Happens After a Short-Term Rehab Program?

The typical aftercare plan after short-term rehab may include:4

  • Continuing treatment in an outpatient setting
  • Sober living options
  • Follow-up counseling

As for friends and family of recovering individuals, there are various support groups available that could help them cope with their loved one’s addiction before they start rehab and learn to support them throughout the treatment process and as they work to sustain recovery.5

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Short-term Residential Drug Treatment Programs?

The common advantages of short-term rehab programs include lower costs and the same levels of care available in a long-term rehab program or even higher-intensity care, as well as less disruption in a person’s personal, social and professional or academic life.1

However, short-term rehab may come with certain disadvantages. Individuals with severe substance use disorders may not have enough time to experience meaningful change, begin lasting recovery, or address the underlying causes of addiction. As a result, the risk of relapse is much higher than in the case of long-term rehab.6

The relapse rate for long-term rehab is much lower than the relapse rate for short-term rehab, which is why the former may be better suited for anyone with a history of relapses which can, in some cases, lead to a fatal or non-fatal overdose.6

Do Short-term Drug Rehab Programs Provide Enough Care?

Short-term drug rehab usually spans 28 to 30 days, which may not be enough for some individuals to make meaningful progress, especially since detox alone takes up at least a week.5

Whether or not the results a person will get from short-term rehab may depend on their individual needs and the rate of their progress, as well as on the severity of their substance abuse disorder and comorbidities.7

But the relatively brief duration of short-term rehab programs does not compromise the quality of care these programs provide. An important benefit of short-term rehabs is that they can help treatment-seeking individuals achieve sobriety without disrupting their life’s flow.8

How Much Does A Short-term Alcohol And Drug Rehab Cost?

A short-term drug rehab that lasts 30 days or less is likely to cost $400–$900 per day. The cost of addiction is much higher than the cost of treatment, not only to the person battling substance abuse and their loved ones but also to their community and society as a whole.6

Is Short-term Residential Drug Treatment Covered By Insurance?

All the major insurance providers in the U.S. cover short-term drug rehab, partially or in full. Short-term drug rehab is more likely to be covered by insurance than long-term rehab options.10 

The first step for treatment-seeking individuals and their families is to call their insurance provider to check which rehab options they may be covered for or to verify their insurance coverage with their prospective rehab center. AAC is in network with the major insurance carriers nationwide, and we can help you explore different payment options quickly and conveniently, no strings attached. 

How to Find a Short-term Alcohol and Drug Rehab Program Near Me?

Before entering treatment, a treatment-seeking individual is subjected to an in-depth assessment which may refer them to short-term rehab. It is possible to complete short-term treatment and then undergo a reevaluation based on which the treatment is to be continued in a long-term treatment setting.5

Finding a short-term alcohol or drug rehab program that is close and immediately available may lead to better outcomes as opposed to reaching out to a rehab center with a long wait list.10 

Contacting a rehab center direclty is the easiest and most straightforward way for treatment-seeking individuals to get information about drug or alcohol treatment from a reliable source and in absolute privacy, as well as to learn more about appropriate rehab options that target specific categories, such as by age or gender.

Support representatives can also guide callers through the rehab intake process and potential rehab payment options, including full or partial insurance coverage and paying for treatment out of pocket. Here at American Addiction Centers, we can verify your insurance coverage while you’re still on the phone. 

Another way to get reliable information on rehab options in the area is to contact one’s insurance provider and see which rehab centers are in their network.10

Frequently Asked Questions 


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