28- and 30-Day Substance Abuse Rehab Centers
Thirty-day alcohol and drug rehab, sometimes known as 28-day rehab, is very common in addiction treatment. Many insurance plans cover 30-day programs at least partially, if not fully.
These programs can help detox and stabilize you from the substance or substances you’ve been abusing, and provide treatment therapies that teach skills to resist relapse and future abuse. Additionally, many programs provide aftercare services so that you can continue to receive recovery support after the formal program ends.
Though one month is a fairly common duration for treatment, 30-day rehab may not be long enough to adequately treat someone with a more severe drug or alcohol addiction. In some cases, those with a significant history of alcohol or drug abuse may benefit from a longer duration of treatment—60, 90, or more days.
What Happens in 30-Day Rehab?
Many 30-day alcohol and drug programs follow a characteristic treatment timeline and offer similar therapeutic interventions, which may consist of:
- Assessment: A substance abuse and medical assessment is the first step in a 30-day program.
- Individual treatment plan: You meet with a program professional to develop a treatment plan to meet your needs, including types of therapies.
- Detox: Detoxification, or detox, if the process of removing all of a substance from the body by means of sustained abstinence. Formal programs can help reduce the discomfort during this process by knowing what to expect, how to treat and care for withdrawal symptoms, and in some cases prescribing medicines to ease withdrawal.
- Individual, group, and 12-step meetings: Depending on the treatment plan, you may engage in one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, 12-step meetings, or any combination of the three. Some people may not be comfortable talking in front of a group, while others find that having peer support throughout recovery helps them succeed.
- Dual diagnosis treatment: Some people struggle with both a substance use disorder as well as a mental health disorder. This is known as a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, and it requires an extra level of care to address both issues simultaneously.
- Discharge and aftercare: Before you complete a 30-day program, you’ll meet with a program professional to begin aftercare planning. Aftercare can include sober living arrangements, a 12-step program, regular check-ins with the program, and ongoing therapy and counseling sessions. Many people choose to engage in multiple aftercare options.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some common therapies used in addiction treatment centers include:1
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): learn how to identify and avoid substance abuse behaviors and situations.
- Contingency management interventions/motivational incentives: earn tangible rewards for maintaining abstinence.
- Community reinforcement approach: reinforce sobriety with a range of recreational, social, family, and vocational incentives and see how an abstinent lifestyle is more rewarding than substance abuse.
- Motivational enhancement therapy: work on developing internally motivated change and building a plan to enact the desired change.
- Family behavior therapy: engage in family therapy sessions to address substance abuse and any other issues that may have an effect on interpersonal relationships.
- 12-step facilitation: receive community support in 12-step self-help groups to maintain abstinence even after formal treatment has ended.
Thirty-day rehab centers may also involve the use of carefully dosed and prescribed medications, which are often combined with psychotherapy. Medications used during treatment can include:2
- Antidepressants: Some people may become depressed after they stop using drugs or alcohol. Program medical professionals may prescribe certain antidepressants to help the recovering individual through these periods.
- Antipsychotics: Some people may develop certain psychotic features at the beginning of recovery. If these symptoms are severe or troublesome enough, medical professionals may prescribe antipsychotics.
- Methadone: Opioid-addicted people have particular needs when it comes to recovery. Methadone reduces withdrawal discomforts and cravings.
- Buprenorphine: Another opioid abuse treatment medication, buprenorphine reduces cravings without the euphoric high of abused opioids, when used as prescribed.
- Naltrexone: This medication blocks opioid receptors in the brain and body, preventing the user from getting high off of any opioid, including heroin. By a similar mechanism, naltrexone minimizes the reward associated with alcohol consumption, resulting in decreased drinking.
- Acamprosate: This medication reduces symptoms of protracted alcohol withdrawal, including anxiety, insomnia, dysphoria, and restlessness.
- Disulfiram (Antabuse): This medication is used to treat alcohol abuse problems. It causes unpleasant reactions when a person drinks alcohol, such as nausea, skin flushing, and palpitations, which discourages drinking.
Recovery doesn’t end when treatment is over. It is a lifelong process that takes support and dedication.
Aftercare services can provide invaluable help in the recovery process. Being in a community of sober-minded peers can ease the transition from a structured treatment program to challenging day-to-day living, and engaging in aftercare services has been associated with significantly lower rates of relapse.3, 4
- Sober living is an excellent aftercare option for those that are concerned about substance use temptations. Living in a community of abstinent people helps ensure that relapse triggers are minimized. Sober housing can also provide support by helping people develop friendships with recovery-minded neighbors.
- Engaging in ongoing therapy and counseling sessions can help you further develop relapse resistance skills and continue to work on understanding your own substance abuse habits.
- Self-help groups are a viable free option for aftercare. These groups are often organized by others in recovery, helping to develop a community of sober peers. Twelve-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, are one example of free self-help organizations that take a structured, spiritual approach to recovery. These groups emphasize acceptance and repairing relationships. Non-12-step groups, such as SMART Recovery, are also available.
How to Choose a Program
There are many factors to consider when looking at 30-day treatment centers:
- Cost: Different programs cost different amounts of money, depending on type, duration, location, amenities, and financial policies.
- Insurance: Make sure the program accepts your insurance. If it doesn’t, or you don’t have insurance, there are many options to pay for treatment.
- Amenities: Every facility has different levels of comforts, recreational activities, room accommodations, and other services. Don’t underestimate the importance of these features. Many people leaving treatment report that amenities are one of the most important considerations when looking for a program.5
- Policies: Some important policies to consider are computer and phone access, visitor policies, and free time policies.
- Location: Some people prefer to stay close to home, while others would rather escape their using environment. Just remember that the important thing is that you get help, not where you get help.
- Treatments: Some programs use particular treatment approaches, from evidence-based practices to holistic treatments. Make sure the program you select uses treatment approaches that you agree with.
- Staff: Treatment program staff should have the necessary expertise to ensure the best care. Every person is going to have individual needs that must be met, and knowledgeable staff are best prepared to address these needs.
- Reviews: Read online reviews of treatment programs to see what graduates of the program have to say. Alumni can offer valuable insight into a program’s strengths and shortcomings.
Programs can run anywhere between $400 to $900 per day, depending on a number of factors.
Thirty-day treatment programs will vary in cost depending on the program. Programs can run anywhere between $400 to $900 per day, depending on a number of factors.6
Some factors that can affect the cost of 30-day treatment include:
- Length of stay: Longer programs will cost more overall, though the cost per day tends to be lower.
- Amenities: The more luxurious facilities will cost more. Take a look at program recreational offerings, housing and food quality, and extra comforts, such as spa access to help you determine what is most important to you during recovery.
- Location: Urban treatment programs tend to cost more than rural ones.
- Insurance accepted: If the program accepts your insurance, the cost will be lower, depending on your plan’s coverage of 30-day treatment. If the perfect fit program doesn’t accept your insurance, there are many ways to pay for treatment, such as payment plans, borrowing, or scholarships.
Recovery adds incomparable value to your life. What matters most is your health, and professional treatment can give you the support to begin your own recovery journey.
Is a Month-Long Rehab Enough?
Thirty days can be long enough to complete detox, stabilize, and begin working through issues that may have contributed to the addiction.
However, many people need to continue engaging in aftercare services such as therapy, self-help programs, or sober living after a 30-day program in order to maintain abstinence and continue to work through any emotional struggles or mental health problems.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Behavioral Therapies. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Pharmacotherapies. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).
- Moos, R. H. & Moos, B. S. (2006). Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders. Addiction, 101(2). 212-222.
- Ouimette, P. C., Moos, R. H., & Finney, J. W. (1998). Influence of outpatient treatment and 12-step group involvement on one-year substance abuse treatment outcomes. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 59(5). 513-522.
- Recovery Brands. (2016).
- American Addiction Centers. (2017).