What Can I Expect From a 90-Day Treatment Program? 

Attending a 90-day rehab program is a big commitment. Not only is 90 days a long time to spend in an inpatient rehab center, but the longer stay also means a higher cost. There are, however, a number of benefits that make choosing a 90-day program over a 30 or 60-day program worth it. The medical consensus is that 90 days is the ideal length of stay. The extra time spent recovering in rehab is valuable, with more time leading to lower relapse rates in the year after treatment, with a 30-day program having a relapse rate of 35%, as compared to the 17% relapse rate after a 90-day inpatient rehab program. It gives clients more time to practice and master the skills they learned in rehab, which will help them to continue to choose sobriety, even long after they’ve finished rehab. The extra time also allows clients a chance to form a deeper connection with their counselors, giving them the opportunity to dive deeper into the heart of any issues that may have precipitated or fed into their addictions. Here is what to expect when choosing a 90-day treatment program.  


Like all inpatient rehab programs, the very first step is the intake examination. During this time, staff will interview clients to learn more about them, their lives, and their particular struggles with substance abuse and addiction. They will then screen clients for any underlying mental health conditions. It’s important to identify any mental health disorders the client may be struggling with in addition to their addiction, as addiction and other mental health issues tend to be inextricably linked, forming a co-occurring disorder. In such cases, to adequately treat either condition, both must be treated at the same time, as they feed into and mutually reinforce one another. That cycle must be broken in order for treatment to be effective. From this intake interview, a treatment plan that is tailored to the client’s specific needs is created.


Following the intake process, clients spend the first 7-10 days of rehab under a medically supervised detox. Detox is often the largest hurdle in rehab, as the effects of withdrawal take a huge toll on people’s bodies and minds. While they can participate in treatment activities if they want, during this time the only thing expected of clients is to rest, and take care of themselves. With a 30-day program, this would leave just three weeks for further treatment.


The core of a 90-day treatment program is largely the same as a shorter 30 or 60-day one. The biggest difference is the length of stay. The specifics of what a typical day might look like will vary between facilities, but let’s look at the schedule for one of Sunshine Behavioral Health’s rehab centers, Chapters Capistrano as an example. 


The day is structured, but there is some free time every day. Each day starts with a continental-style breakfast served from 7 a.m.-8 a.m. Following breakfast, at 8 a.m. treatment groups start for the day. Participation in treatment groups, classes, and therapy is mandatory, except during the detox period. The scheduled groups break at noon for lunch, which lasts until 1 p.m., whereupon treatment groups, classes, and therapy resume before ending at 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., there’s free time, where clients are able to take advantage of the amenities offered by the rehab facility. In Chapters’ case, that includes things like spending time on the beach, exploring the hiking trails, hitting the gym, or taking a dip in the pool. There are visiting hours every Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., where friends and family can spend some time with their loved ones and make sure they’re doing okay. 


The best treatment centers will offer a variety of group treatments and different styles of individual therapy, and work with each client in order to find the treatment methods that are most effective for them. Personalized treatment plans that the person who is receiving treatment is actively involved in tends to have much better outcomes than attempting to develop a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter treatment to push everyone through. Traditional 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous often appeal to more spiritual or religious people, as they focus heavily on finding strength in a higher power, whereas secular, non-12-step programs like SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) recovery or SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety) focus more on goal setting and developing personal resilience. 


The piece of treatment which receives perhaps the biggest boon from the longer length of stay afforded by a 90-day treatment program is individual therapy. Therapy requires a great deal of vulnerability and trust between the therapist and the patient. It often takes time to develop that trust. With the approximately three weeks of treatment left following detox in a 30-day program, there just isn’t much time for that level of trust to develop. Even beyond building up that connection between therapist and patient, it also takes quite a lot of time and effort in therapy to really dig into and address complex problems, like addiction and their root causes. 


After any rehab program, including a 90-day one, treatment will rarely be effective if it just stops upon completion of the program. Addiction is a chronic, lifelong condition and a rehab program is only a first step in treating it. Because of this, aftercare is a vital component of addiction treatment. Good rehab treatment programs will work to connect their clients with aftercare resources to help them hit the ground running upon completion of an inpatient treatment program. A typical aftercare plan will include continuing individual therapy, as well as connecting with a local addiction support group like AA or SMART recovery. 


Choosing to enter rehab can be a difficult choice to make, but recovery is always possible and a good rehab program, while certainly no cure, leads to great outcomes and develops a strong base for continued sobriety. Sunshine Behavioral Health and our best-in-class, expertly trained staff are dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible treatments. To learn more about our 90-day rehab treatment programs, visit us at www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com/treatment/90-day-drug-rehab/ and get help today. 




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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