How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last?

Get started on your road to recovery. Reach out today

When seeking addiction treatment in New Jersey, many questions may cross your mind about the treatment and recovery process. One of the most common questions is regarding how long outpatient rehab lasts. This is a difficult question to answer because the best rehab programs base an individual’s length of care on his or her individual needs and progress. While your friend may only spend 30 days in outpatient rehab, you may need to attend far more sessions than 30 days requires. Ultimately, there are many factors that influence how long outpatient substance abuse treatment programs last and no two individuals are exactly the same.

How Much Time Does It Take To Recover From Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease which means it requires long-term comprehensive care. Even though some rehab programs last only 28-30 days, the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests most addicted people need at least 90 days in rehab to reduce or stop their substance abuse successfully.

Staying in treatment for adequate time is vital for treatment to be successful. The amount of time a person should stay in rehab depends on the type of addiction, the severity of your addiction, and your individual needs. If you leave rehab too early or leave against medical advice, your chance of relapse increases significantly.

As a result, it’s better to focus on obtaining high-quality care and participating in your own recovery than it is to focus on how long outpatient rehab lasts. However, it can be helpful to have an idea of how long you will spend in outpatient rehab so you know what you are getting yourself into and what your insurance will cover.

The Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient

Inpatient or residential rehab programs require patients to live at the treatment facility for the duration of their stay. If you go to inpatient, you will be monitored 24/7 by staff. You also have access to on-site medical care and continuous support.

Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, is a lower level of care that is not residential. Instead, you are allowed to live at home, have a career, and go about your daily responsibilities while attending your scheduled therapy sessions. Both levels of care provide the same types of therapies, just at different levels of intensity.

Inpatient rehab programs usually last 30, 60, or 90 days. Whether or not you have already gone to inpatient rehab will greatly affect how long outpatient rehab lasts for you. If you have already completed 90 days in residential care, you may only need an additional 30-45 days of outpatient care to make the transition out of treatment. However, if you only spent a couple of weeks–or didn’t go to residential treatment at all–you may benefit from staying in an outpatient program for several months.

How Often Do I Attend Outpatient Rehab?

Every treatment center has a different schedule when it comes to outpatient rehab. Most will require you to attend 2-3 group sessions and one individual session each week. Group sessions usually last 1-2 hours while your individual session may last 30 minutes to one hour.

Depending on the program, you may be able to slowly phase out of treatment. For example, you may attend 3 group sessions each week for the first month, 2 group sessions each week for the second month, and only 1 group session for the last month. This allows you to slowly gain more and more independence in your recovery while slowly transitioning out of outpatient care.

Factors That Influence How Long Outpatient Rehab Lasts

There are many individual variables that affect how long outpatient drug and alcohol rehab lasts. As a result, the length of treatment for one person will almost always be different than that of another. It’s important that you don’t compare yourself to your peers or rush yourself out of treatment too soon. Rest assured your therapist knows best and has your best interests at heart.

These influential factors which your therapist will use to determine how long you should spend in outpatient include:

  • Whether or not you have received treatment prior to the outpatient program
  • The severity of your addiction and history of relapse
  • How much progress you make as treatment goes on
  • The level of commitment you show towards your personal recovery
  • Whether or not you are implementing the tools you learn in rehab into real-life situations
  • How you cope with stressors at home, work, school, or in social situations
  • Whether or not you have a co-occurring mental health condition or past trauma that require additional care

In general, most outpatient programs last 30, 60, or 90 days. Some programs offer long-term or extended care programs that exceed three months and go up to one year.

Find an Outpatient Rehab in New Jersey Today

Here at New Jersey Addiction Intervention, our team of qualified addiction specialists is committed to helping you find the treatment program that meets all of your individual needs. We can help you verify your insurance, find a rehab program in your area, and set you up with outpatient care. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and looking for help in New Jersey, give us a call today. We can’t wait to be a part of your recovery journey.

Medically Reviewed: July 19, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

0 replies on “How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last?”