90 Day Rehab Programs

90-day inpatient programs provide a longer stay in rehab that gives more time for the principles of recovery to stick, and are especially beneficial for people with a more severe addiction or a history of relapse.

Choosing a 90-Day Rehab Program for Drugs & Alcohol

Choosing a drug or alcohol rehab facility is a big decision. There are literally thousands of options to choose from when searching for an addiction treatment program, including 90-day options.

Before choosing a rehab program, there are things that a person with a substance use disorder should consider. Each individual has different experiences and problems. When deciding, it is important to keep in mind what substance they’re dependent on, the severity of the addiction, the type of treatment methods available, the location of the rehabilitation facility, the price they’re willing to pay, and their insurance.

Those kinds of considerations can help narrow down the choices, including between inpatient and outpatient programs.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment Facilities

The rate that an individual progresses in their recovery varies. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the length of the treatment can be a factor in its effectiveness. In general, treatments lasting less than the three-month rehab programs are of limited effectiveness, while longer treatments show more promise.

There are different types of treatment programs available for patients. There are many different ways a person can undergo all stages of treatment. Detox is typically done at a rehab that has an on-site detox facility, a separate detox facility, or in some cases, a hospital. Once an individual has completed detox, they can move on to addiction treatment. This step can take place while living in the treatment facility, in sober living houses, or at one’s home.

In residential or inpatient 90-day rehab facilities, patients are expected to stay at the hospital or rehab facility until the treatment is complete or until they can be transferred to a different setting. Here they will live with their fellow patients, and receive care from doctors and counseling from therapists. With this treatment setting, patients can be monitored 24/7 and medical assistance can easily be given. The 90-day residential treatment programs and 90-day inpatient drug rehab are recommended for:

  • Those with severe addiction
  • Those who require special medical attention
  • Those who suffer from mental illness
  • Those who complied poorly with past treatments

Outpatient 90-day programs are available for those with mild to moderate addiction. Individuals in outpatient treatment can continue to function relatively well in society while undergoing treatment. They are free to continue to do their work, continue day-to-day activities, maintain social and family relationships, and incur fewer costs for treatment.

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has conducted research that shows the different effectiveness of inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. For individuals with substance use disorders, inpatient treatment makes them three times more likely to complete the therapy compared to those undergoing outpatient treatment.

It was also found that there was a significantly higher percentage of abstinence among inpatient treatments than in outpatient programs. The year after undergoing treatments, inpatients were reported to have consumed significantly less alcohol compared to outpatients.

90-day inpatient rehab may have a more positive outcome, but it is not effective for everyone. They tend to be best for people with multiple serious problems or unsafe or unstable living conditions.

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Should You Seek Treatment?

Each individual experiences addiction differently from others. Here are some of the symptoms of a substance use disorder:

  • Frequent intake and increased dosage of the substance for a longer period than prescribed
  • Ongoing desire and futile efforts to reduce consumption
  • A great amount of time spent to acquire, use or recuperate from the substance
  • Having a strong urge or craving for the substance
  • Missing responsibilities at work, school, or home due to the continued use of the substance
  • Repeated use despite the relationship or social problems using causes or worsens
  • Reducing or giving up occupational, social, or recreational activities due to the substance use
  • Continued use in physically dangerous conditions
  • Repeated use despite the mental or physical problems it causes or worsens Developing tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping or reducing usage

A patient with addiction to three or more substances might indicate a  severe addiction and may benefit from a longer rehabilitation. According to NIDA, in 2018 one in 13 people (7.8%) needed treatment for substance use, and out of that group, only 2.3% received the treatment they needed.

What Does a 90-Day Treatment Program Include?

During the 90-day rehabilitation program, the patient will first meet with a counselor as well as a doctor. From there, they will discuss the patient’s history of substance use, and any medical and mental health issues that need to be addressed and considered. That will help shape the best treatment plan for the patient’s case.

Following the diagnosis, the patient will undergo detoxification to withdraw all the toxic substances from his body. This may take a few days or weeks, depending on the patient’s degree of addiction and the substance they are dependent on. Close monitoring and supervision of the patient — and sometimes medication to alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal — allow a safe and comfortable detox.

After detoxification, there are different effective treatment options available, depending on the patient’s needs and circumstances. Frequently they’ll include counseling, evaluations and/or medications for co-occurring disorders, and long-term follow-up plans.

What Happens in 90-Day Rehab Programs?

Things to look for in a treatment program are a core treatment plan and other services to help the individual. Keep in mind that word, the individual. There are broad treatment approaches that have shown more success, but that’s more of a foundation. There are also the smaller details, the individualized components that address a person’s unique needs and background when putting together a program for their recovery.

The core of a treatment plan should include:

  • Assessment
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Substance use monitoring
  • Clinical and case management
  • Recovery support programs
  • Continuing care (or aftercare)

In addition to the core treatment, other components and services should be considered to meet the individual’s needs, including vocational services, mental health services, medical services, educational services, HIV/AIDS services, legal services, and family services.

A 90-day treatment program is beneficial, particularly for people harder hit by a substance use disorder.

How to Choose a 90-Day Program

There also are many details to consider when seeking a three-month rehab plan to help narrow your choices so that you land on the right one. Many factors can be considered, including:

  • The number of beds or patients a facility has
  • What types of counseling, support groups, and programs does it offer
  • Whether it offers medically assisted detoxification
  • Which insurance plans does it offer
  • Where it’s located

Some people can manage fine on a shorter program that lasts a couple of weeks or a month, or even an outpatient plan. Others may benefit from something longer term, like 90 days, which gives more time to focus on not just physical or psychological dependence, but also on what’s driving the self-destructive behaviors and planning for life post-recovery.

Narrowing the Search

The Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a federal clearinghouse of information, has a national helpline — 800-662-HELP (4357) — and an online treatment locator to help individuals and family members search for facilities by location and track down support groups and community organizations. They also have publications and other information readily available.

Site visitors can search by location and narrow their inquiry. Under substance use and mental health services, they can look for inpatient, outpatient, or residential; services for veterans; for various payment or funding options (private insurance, Medicare, cash); special groups like LGBTQ or people with co-occurring disorders; by age, and much, much more.

Location-wise, some people may prefer to recover closer to home, while others find a bit of distance gives them more space to work on their problems.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has different step-by-step guides for people seeking help for substance use disorders, including for adults, and teens, translated into Spanish, and for people wanting to help a loved one.

NIDA offers some principles on what makes an effective treatment program, including there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to recovery. Keeping that in mind:

  • A good treatment plan will address the patient’s underlying needs and not just drug use
  • Counseling and behavioral therapies can help a patient work through issues as well as develop better coping strategies
  • Medication can be a vital part of treatment, especially if it’s paired with behavioral therapies
  • Treatment plans should be adjusted as a patient’s needs shift
  • Other health conditions — including co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety — or infectious diseases should be screened for and treated
  • Stopping or leaving treatment too soon raises the likelihood of relapse

Individual states’ departments of health may also have resources on substance use help, from facilities to programs to lists of providers, or an ombudsman to help a person sort through options.

Aftercare Programs

The journey doesn’t end after the 90-day rehab program. Relapse prevention and aftercare plans help keep a patient sober and can prevent relapse. Addiction can be compared to a chronic disease (it is a chronic disease in itself) which often involves long-term care and lifestyle changes — as opposed to being cured. That may include:

  • Continuing with therapy
  • Medication
  • Family or peer support
  • Monitoring and medical care

Costs and time conflicts can keep some individuals from considering drug rehab, but a good scientifically-backed treatment — especially a longer course that lays a more solid foundation — is a solid investment in terms of time, effort, and money.  NIDA reports that every dollar that gets put into addiction treatment can mean $4 to $7 worth of savings in crime and court costs, and likely much higher when those reductions are compared to the toll substance use disorders and substance misuse places on the healthcare system, the workplace, the family, or even society at large. Better yet, contact the best facility you plan to enroll in for your 30-day drug treatment programs or alcohol treatment programs. Also, make sure to ask them if your insurance will cover you for 60-day treatment, 90-day treatment, 120 day/long-term addiction treatment, or even 7-14 day addiction rehab.

Find an Addiction Treatment Resource in Your Home State


  1. drugabuse.gov – Drug Addiction Treatment in the United States
  2. drugabuse.gov – How Long Does Drug Addiction Treatment Usually Last?
  3. drugabuse.gov – Type of Treatment Programs
  4. drugabuse.gov – How to Recognize a Substance Use Disorder
  5. drugabuse.gov – Addiction Treatment
  6. drugabuse.gov – Treatment Information
  7. samhsa.gov  – Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
  8. drugabuse.gov – Step by Step Guides to Finding Treatment for Drug Use Disorders
  9. drugabuse.gov – Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction: Drug Facts
  10. drugabuse.gov – Principles of Effective Treatment
  11. findtreatment.gov – Treatment Options
  12. addiction.surgeongeneral.gov – Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
  13. substanceabusepolicy.biomedical.com – Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors
  14. drugabuse.gov – Is Drug Addiction Treatment Worth Its Cost?
  15. CADTH.ca/ – Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Programs for Substance Use Disorder

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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