Data reveals you need a minimum of 90 days in treatment in order to reach your goals. Still, there are exceptions to this recommendation.

Cases that are not severe may benefit from a 14-day program, provided it is followed with a robust aftercare plan.

Different Recovery Timelines

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that treatment lasting an appropriate amount of time is one of the most critical factors in recovery. Indeed, everyone has different needs when it comes to their time in a rehab facility or outpatient program.

With the increasing demand for rehab programs, can a 14-day rehab program help people who need to recover from drug misuse and addiction? Yes and no.

NIDA mentions that everyone recovers at different rates.

Research generally states that it takes at least 90 days of treatment for most people even to begin to recover. Some people in recovery from opioid addiction may need to remain in treatment for at least 12 months using methadone maintenance as a tool.

The entire 90 days doesn’t necessarily need to be spent in an inpatient treatment program. Spending less than 90 days in a rehab program often means that more aftercare is recommended once the program is over. You may complete a 14-day inpatient rehab program and then transition to outpatient care for two to three months.

Before you consider a rehab program of any length, it is essential to note that:

  • Addiction is never cured, as it is a chronic condition. It can be effectively managed.
  • A “correct” length of time in treatment has not been established. Individual circumstances factor in too much for there to be a one-size-fits-all duration of treatment.

Why 14-Day Programs Were Created

While a longer time in treatment is generally recommended, various program durations exist for differing individual needs.

On July 2014, the North Carolina Association of Social Workers reported that residents of Guilford County, North Carolina, may spend less time in treatment facilities so the state can save money on rehab expenditures. At the time of the report, Guilford County was sustaining rehabilitation programs that were between 30 and 60 days, but the county started doing 14-day rehabilitation programs because Medicare only covered that amount of time.

The report also mentioned that in 14 days, a person could detox from a substance and then receive recommendations for next steps. Treatment should not cease after 14 days. It’s just enough time to get the person situated in the beginning stages of their recovery.

How 14-Day Programs Work

The shortest comprehensive treatment programs available are usually 28 days in length. But again, some facilities may offer these shortened 14-day programs.

If You Attend a 14-Day Rehab Program, You Can Still Expect Many of the Same Things You Would Get in a More Extended Program, Such As:

  • Medical detox — Detox is often a crucial first step, and it can last between five and seven days, though this timeline will vary depending on the individual.
  • Drug or alcohol education — Education about drugs and alcohol and the effects on you.
  • Staff — Full-time staff is present or on call.
  • Access to substances — No access to drugs or alcohol.
  • Aftercare planning — These programs are an essential component that should be available regardless of the length of your rehab program. Your aftercare plan may include 12-step meetings, check-ins with your doctor, regular therapy appointments, and other recommendations as needed.

Common Issues

One major obstacle to finding suitable care in a 14-day rehab program is that detox can take five to seven days alone. Although you may detox just enough to become sober in the first half of the program, you then have only seven days to cover other important aspects of treatment.

Addiction and misuse are complex issues. Additional mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, often co-occur with substance abuse. Two weeks is just not enough time to treat these conditions.

Recovery is a lifelong process. For this reason, 14 days is usually not a long enough period to address every stage of recovery. Even though you won’t focus on all stages of recovery in a longer program, such as a 90-day rehab, you have more time to form a strong foundation for a lasting sober life.

Stage 1

The beginning of treatment is a time when you may be in denial about the effects of addiction on your life. You may need to deal with ambivalence or apathy about taking part in treatment

Stage 2:

In this stage, you deal with early abstinence and may feel symptoms of withdrawal, cravings for drugs or alcohol, and difficult emotions. This period takes approximately 90 days

Stage 3

This involves maintaining abstinence and preventing relapse. You might move to outpatient treatment if you began in an inpatient facility. Stage 3 takes several years to complete.

Stage 4

The final stage of recovery, also called advanced recovery, involves using every tool you learned during your first five years of recovery. This allows you to be a more productive member of society, to be there for your family, and to employ various strategies as you learn to live a better life.

A 2017 report from U.S. News & World Report mentions that people who receive treatment for alcohol or drug misuse tend to relapse often. Your recovery process may be marked by relapse. It’s not a failure; it’s just a bump on your journey to sustained recovery. Oftentimes, it’s a sign that you need to adjust your treatment plan in some way.

Addiction and substance abuse change the way the brain works. While a 14-day rehab can teach you some positive skills, it is only a starting point instead of a concrete solution to a chronic condition.

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