90 Day Rehab Programs: What to Expect

The length of time you spend in rehab may vary depending on your needs and situation, but common treatment lengths include 30, 60, and 90 days. Longer treatment durations, such as with 90 day rehab, may lead to more positive treatment outcomes than shorter lengths.1

In this article:

What are 90 Day Rehab Programs?

When you choose a 90 day rehab, you live at the inpatient facility for the duration of those three months. Inpatient programs provide 24/7 care and supervision, along with other supportive services. These programs aim to help you through the beginning phases of treatment, which involve helping you abstain from drugs or alcohol.2

Each rehab center is a little bit different in what they offer, but programs often have similarities. Some key aspects of a 90 day rehab program include:3

  • Therapeutic community: Residents spend time with peers and staff. Being part of a community is an essential part of the treatment process and supports someone in building healthy relationship skills and making new sober friends.
  • Structure: Residential rehab treatment is highly structured with a strictly followed daily schedule and treatment center rules.
  • Therapeutic activities: Activities provided are designed to help you look at harmful beliefs and patterns that contribute to substance misuse. You will also have support in identifying new ways to interact with other people and deal with difficult situations.

Inpatient treatment for substance misuse is meant to help you begin building the foundation for lifelong recovery by equipping you with new coping strategies and relapse prevention skills. Various 90 day rehab programs may utilize a wide range of techniques that can help you accomplish your treatment goals. Additionally, they may alter their structure and services depending on the population they serve. For example, some programs cater to people experiencing homelessness, women, adolescents, or people involved in the criminal justice system.3

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What Happens at a 90 Day Rehab Program?

Entering rehab can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to expect. The treatment process tends to follow a protocol, including:1,4

  • Intake: When you arrive at rehab, the treatment center will gather your information. This includes basic information about who you are, such as age or gender. Part of the intake process might also include a biopsychosocial evaluation, which assesses your substance use history, other mental health symptoms, and other relevant information.
  • Treatment planning: Treatment providers use the information from the intake to create an individualized treatment plan. This treatment plan is a collaborative process. The team will consider your goals and use their expertise to choose interventions that will help you reach your goals. Your tailored treatment plan is not set in stone; the treatment team constantly evaluates how it’s working and will make any necessary changes.
  • Medical detox: Medical detox occurs when a team of medical professionals oversees your detox and withdrawal process. This is especially the case for people dealing with an addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids. Not everyone requires medical detox, but if you do, then the rehab will provide this service before beginning your substance abuse treatment. It’s crucial that you continue with treatment after this stage because detox alone is not enough to prevent future relapse.
  • Programming: After completing detox, your treatment team will start implementing interventions and therapy techniques to help you accomplish your treatment goals.
  • Aftercare planning: As you reach the end of your 90 day rehab program, your treatment team will work with you to create an aftercare or relapse prevention plan, which may consist of stepping down to an outpatient program, transitioning into a sober living home, attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), attending individual therapy, or some combination. The important thing is that you continue receiving support once you complete rehab.

Therapies Used in Inpatient Treatment

An inpatient treatment center may use many different therapies to help you recover from an alcohol or drug addiction. Some common therapies for addiction include:1,4,5,6

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Medication-assisted treatment combines addiction treatment medication with evidence-based counseling to provide you with a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery. MAT is commonly used to treat alcohol and opioid addiction.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that is rooted in the idea that your behavior is a direct result of the way you think and feel, and vice versa as well. CBT therapists seek to help you change the way you behave through changes in your thoughts. CBT can also include identifying coping skills to help you deal with difficult feelings.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET): MET is a therapy method that helps you work through your resistance or ambivalence about attending treatment or changing your substance use patterns.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy is sometimes included in addiction treatment. Supportive relationships are important for the recovery process as sometimes an addiction can damage relationships. Getting help to repair and strengthen relationships can improve the overall quality of the relationship and improve your potential for recovery.
  • Experiential therapies: Experiential therapies are therapy techniques that don’t rely on traditional “talk therapy” and are holistic or alternative. Examples of experiential therapies are art therapy or equine therapy.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy allows you to give and receive feedback from peers who are going through a similar situation as you, as well as learn sober social skills, role play drug refusal situations, and more.

These various therapies can help you make meaningful changes while in 90 day inpatient rehab. This process can be very stimulating and confrontational because what comes up in therapy might be painful. This is an opportunity to learn how to tolerate and work through difficult emotions while being supported by peers and rehab staff.

Sample Daily Schedule

While every rehab program is going to operate differently, it may be helpful to see a sample daily schedule to give you an idea of what to expect when you are living at the facility for three months. An example of a daily schedule is:

7:00 am: Wake up

7:30 am: Breakfast

8:15 am: Morning meditation

8:30 am: Exercise

10:00 am: Individual therapy session

11:00 am: Group therapy session

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Coping skills group

2:00 pm: Relapse prevention group

3:00 pm: Snack

3:30 pm: Art therapy

5:00 pm: Free time

6:00 pm: Dinner

7:00 pm: Journaling and reflection time

8:00 pm: 12-step meetings

9:00 pm: Free time

11:00 pm: Lights out

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Cost of 90 Day Rehab

The cost will vary depending on the program you choose and the insurance you have. Generally, the more services a treatment center provides, the more it will cost.

The length of stay also changes the cost. As such, a 90 day rehab is going to cost more than a 30 or 60 day treatment program since you live at the facility for a longer duration. Some treatment centers may offer payment plans or sliding scale fees, which can help ease the financial burden of treatment.

How Effective is 90 Day Rehab?

Research shows that treatment needs to be at least 90 days to be effective in most cases.1 Several factors influence how effective treatment will be. Some factors are your responsibility, while others are up to the treatment center.
Some factors that impact the effectiveness of a 90 day program include:1

  • Individual motivation or willingness to stay in treatment: Treatment can only be as effective as you want it to be. If you leave treatment before you are ready, it’s less likely that you will have gotten as much out of it as you could.
  • Treatment center’s monitoring of progress: It’s important for a treatment center to constantly monitor how you are responding to the treatment interventions. Making adjustments as necessary is critical to ensure the treatment is effective and beneficial.
  • Treat co-occurring disorders: Many people with substance misuse also experience other mental health or physical conditions. Treatment is more likely to be effective when you receive integrated treatment for both conditions.
  • Monitor for drug use during treatment: Monitoring drug use during treatment provides an incentive to not use. Also, a positive drug test also alerts treatment staff about a possible slip or relapse and signals that the treatment plan needs to be adjusted.
  • Family involvement: Having family members involved in treatment can increase your motivation to participate in the recovery process.
  • Positive relationships with treatment professionals: Research shows that having a positive relationship with a therapist can make treatment more effective.

If you feel that you could benefit from substance use treatment, please call 800-926-8143Who Answers? to speak with a treatment support specialist. We can help you find a rehab program that best suits your needs.

Resources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment
  2. Guenzel N, McChargue D. Addiction Relapse Prevention. [Updated 2021 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.
  3. National Institutes of Health. (2018). Types of Treatment Programs.
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). MAT Medications, Counseling, and Related Conditions.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Motivational Enhancement Therapy: A Research-Based Guide
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Recovery and Recovery Support.
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