What Are Some Of The Main Differences Between Short-Term Versus Long-Term Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation?

The decision to enter rehab often proves life-altering. This fateful choice illustrates how a chemical dependent acknowledges they need help addressing and conquering the serious disease called addiction.

Numerous different addiction treatment facilities offer such assistance. However, the choice rendered could make the difference between achieving sobriety or returning to old habits.

Substance abuse treatment establishments are often labeled either short-term or long-term facilities. Each entity has proven successful in helping addicts overcome their dependencies. However, notable differences exist when comparing these locations.

Short-Term Treatment Facilities

Short-term rehab centers are so named because they offer therapeutic programs typically lasting for 28-day periods or less. In certain cases, such initiatives are offered for as little as 12 to 14 days. Additionally, short-term establishments may or may not offer drug detox.

Locations Where Such Programs Are Offered

These undertakings may be offered at establishments such as specialized treatment clinics, medical facilities, government buildings, schools, or the offices of mental health professionals like therapists, counselors, or psychologists.

Optimal Candidates

Addiction treatment specialists maintain that these entities often best meet the needs of individuals meeting criteria such as:

  • Possessing a mild or relatively short-lived dependency
  • Having previously attended some form of drug rehab
  • Having successfully completed rehab before but hold concerns about an imminent relapse
  • Experiencing a recent sobriety lapse
  • Holding a reluctance to attend a long-term program
  • Not having underlying physical or mental issues
  • Not requiring immediate medical care

Short-term facilities might also work well for individuals who cannot invest the time or funds required to attend a long-term establishment.

Potential Benefits

Short-term programs are seen in greater abundance and likely situated somewhat close to a prospective patient’s home. This benefit enables said subjects to undergo outpatient treatment while remaining close to confidants like family members and friends.


Usually, attendance in short-term programs is more affordable than long-term, inpatient undertakings. Such benefits prove crucial for individuals without significant amounts of disposable income or who lack health insurance coverage.


Patients serving shorter rehab stints may avoid missing work or other social and familial obligations.

Possible Downsides

Time is the most notable potential drawback. Two weeks or even a month might not provide enough time to help recovering addicts identify the root cause of their addictions or re-adjust to life as a sober person.

Long-Term Treatment Facilities

Long-term treatment facilities offer programs covering 60 to 90 day time frames or longer. Furthermore, these entities typically offer detox and usually require inpatient attendance.

Locations Where Long-Term Treatment Programs Are Offered

In most instances, established, reputable, and licensed inpatient treatment institutions offer long-term therapeutic strategies. Typically, these privately funded entities operate independently.

Optimal Candidates

Industry professionals maintain that the most suitable candidates for long-term inpatient treatment meet mandates such as:

  • Holding a long-standing, serious, or health-threatening dependency
  • Needing careful medical supervision or detox
  • Relapsing after one or multiple stints in previous short-term or long-term programs
  • Having been diagnosed with some type of mental health disorder

That said, individuals meeting short-term criteria might also often benefit from participation in a long-term effort.

Potential Benefits

Many long-term establishments are located in secluded locations. This isolation keeps healing souls away from possible distractions and negative influences.

Specialized Treatment

The staffs of long-term entities often contain specially trained therapists and other mental health professionals capable of getting to the root cause of one’s addiction.


Inpatient treatment is not rushed. Patients spend as much time as they need to absorb and apply the administered therapy.

Possible Downsides

Inpatient therapy recipients must spend a significant amount of time away from home, family, and work. Moreover, costs can be prohibitive.

Choosing The Most Appropriate Program

This choice should never be made with haste. Those considering drug rehab should consult with their families, advisors, and healthcare providers and carefully weigh important factors such as:

  • Financial status
  • Insurance coverage
  • Familial and professional obligations
  • General health and mental well-being

Above all, one should consider how significant their addiction is and the length of time the dependency has existed.

Contacting Us

The decision to enter rehab is a monumental step. However, choosing the most befitting program can be a complex, confusing, and trying process. Therefore, those facing this challenge are strongly encouraged to contact the team of skilled, caring, and astute staffers employed at our southwestern Florida facility.

We can answer all inquiries thoroughly and honestly and help concerned individuals make the most informed choices. Call us at 844-639-8371.

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