Short Term Residential Treatment: Recover From Addiction In 30 Days

Last Updated: July 6, 2020

Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

A 28- or 30-day treatment programs is a common destination for people seeking to recover from addiction. 28-day treatment programs typically consist of an initial evaluation, supervised detoxification, individual and group therapy sessions, and planning for life after rehab.
Short term drug rehabilitation programs are effective because they help people overcome their reluctance to obtain treatment. They also offer a safe detox and management of withdrawal symptoms. During 30-day rehab programs, recovering addicts also have time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future.
The success rate, staff expertise, modalities of the rehabilitation process, and cost should all be taken into account to choose a good short-term drug rehabilitation program. Read on to find out how a 28-day drug rehab programs or a 30 days program for alcohol addiction can help overcome addiction.

Short Term Residential Treatment for Drug Abuse

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, each year, approximately 20 million Americans above the age of 12 need substance use treatment but do not receive it at rehabilitation facilities.

Sad man needs addiction treatment

An individual with a substance use disorder suffers not only health problems but also personal, professional, and social hardships due to the recurrent use of alcohol, illicit drugs, or both. Recognizing that there is a problem with drugs or alcohol is a critical first step in addiction recovery. The next important step is finding the right substance abuse treatment. A 30-day inpatient treatment program offers several resources that can help a person beat addiction and get a new start in life.

When an individual or their family seek addiction treatment, there are many choices available. Choosing the right short-term treatment program can be confusing and intimidating. A 28- or 30-day treatment programs fit the needs of many people who need time to safely detox from alcohol or addictive drugs. Short term residential treatment programs are more likely to meet the requirements of health insurance policies than long term addiction treatment. Short-term inpatient rehab centers are, therefore, a stepping stone to a life free of alcohol and drugs.

28-Day Treatment Program Benefits

A one-month treatment for drugs and alcohol can be beneficial for many different kinds of people. If someone is uncertain about the need for help, a 30-day outpatient drug program is an ideal place to start. People struggling with alcohol or drug addictions are often reluctant to make a long-term commitment to therapy. For such individuals, 28- and 30-day treatment programs offer a quicker alternative.

Young couple at drug rehab office

People who are hesitant to get addiction treatment can overcome their reluctance during short-term drug rehabilitation without committing to several months of therapy.
30-day drug treatment programs offer a chance to reflect on the future and ways to make it drug- or alcohol-free. These options provide an opportunity to clear the body of toxic substances and clear the mind of cravings and addictive behaviors. A safe detox and withdrawal are critical steps on the path to recovery. Carefully designed 28- and 30-day detox plans help addicts make informed decisions about their future after rehab.
After a final evaluation at the completion of the program, addicts may be offered an extension of their stay if additional short-term treatment time is needed. A recovering addict may continue with the same plan or transition to another modality at the same facility.

30-Day Rehab Programs Overview

During 30-day treatment programs, recovering addicts typically live at the facility to undergo recovery from substance abuse. This type of residential program is one of the most common recovery programs available to people struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. What happens at a 30-days program for alcohol addiction or drugs?

Intake Assessment

A detailed medical history, physical examination, and alcohol and drug use history are obtained. Trained professionals assess the unique physical and mental needs of the addict. A team of doctors, nurses, and therapists develop a customized short-term treatment plan to address all the issues, such as detox, withdrawal symptom management, therapy needs, and aftercare planning.

Medical professional examining patient at rehab


Toxic substances are cleared from the individual’s body under medical supervision. This is the first step in abstinence and is necessary for safe withdrawal from alcohol or drugs. Trained professionals manage physical withdrawal symptoms and offer emotional support. Addicts may receive medications to cope with some of the unpleasant effects of drug or alcohol withdrawal. This is necessary not only to alleviate discomfort but for the sake of safety because unsupervised withdrawal can be fatal in some cases.

Active Therapy

The addict attends individual counseling and group therapy sessions. In addition to active short-term treatment, recovering addicts are taught skills to prevent relapse and cope with life after rehabilitation. Individual therapy sessions, like psychodynamic therapies, focus on the individual’s unique needs. Group therapy sessions, for example, music therapy for addiction, give recovering addicts the chance to interact with other patients. During therapies, addicts are learning to overcome their problems through different approaches. Co-occurring mental health issues are also addressed simultaneously.
Some short-term treatment programs offer a holistic approach as a 12 step alternative with experiential activities, massage, yoga, acupuncture for addiction, etc. Some short-term residential treatment programs cater to specific populations such as women, teenagers, or veterans.
Both 30- and 28-day treatment programs offer similar services. Some plans may have the option to go to 12-step meetings, which help people in recovery maintain sobriety.

Long vs. Short-Term Treatment For Addiction


  • 28-day treatment programs work well for individuals who are reluctant to seek prolonged addiction treatment.
  • 30-day treatment programs are ideal for people who cannot or do not want to commit to long-term treatment.
  • Short-term residential treatment offers quick, safe detoxification and a break from physical addiction.
  • 30-day drug treatment programs work well for people who do not have a complicated or deep-rooted addiction.
  • Short-term residential treatment offers intensive support that increases the likelihood of remaining sober.


  • 28-day treatment programs may not be sufficient to truly benefit from addiction treatment.
  • The first few days of the program are taken up by detox and management of withdrawal symptoms, leaving limited time for individual and group therapy.
  • Individuals with heavy addictions may need a lengthier stay to overcome their dependence.
  • Short-term treatment may not offer the opportunity to make a real change or practice new habits.
  • A 30-day inpatient treatment program does not usually work for people who have had previous unsuccessful short-term recovery attempts or multiple relapses.

Paid And Free 30-Day Rehab Programs

Many factors influence the cost of a short-term residential treatment program. A 28- or 30-days program for alcohol addiction typically costs a few hundred dollars per day. The cost varies according to location, insurance coverage, treatments offered, and facility amenities. How can one pay for short-term treatment for substance abuse?

discuss conditions of treatment


This is out-of-pocket expenditure from savings or with the help of family and friends. Many 30-day treatment programs offer easy payment plans or sliding scale options if an individual cannot afford to pay the full amount upfront.


Insurance specialists at addiction recovery facilities can also help to find the program that will be covered.


A personal or healthcare loan can cover the cost of a 30-days program for alcohol addiction. Although this option does not work for everyone. Interest can build up quickly if the loan is not paid back on time.


There are government agencies that offer to pay, at least partially, for rehabilitation. Some people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction may qualify for state-funded rehabilitation centers and achieve access to free 30-day rehab programs. SAMHSA has grants available to fund substance use disorders and mental illness.

Seeking Short Term Drug Rehabilitation: What To Look For?

It is essential to consider a number of factors to choose a good 30-day drug treatment programs or 30-day residential treatment for alcoholism. The center’s financial policies are a critical consideration for many addicts and families. Staff expertise in understanding drugs and treatment for abuse is another important factor. Residential amenities are a deciding factor for some people. Here is what one should look for in a short-term residential treatment:

Success Rate

One of the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing a short-term residential treatment for drug abuse is the facility’s success rate. Some centers offer to put prospective clients in touch with past graduates of their short-term recovery programs.


The duration and the range of services offered often determine the cost of a short-term drug rehabilitation program. Of course, 30-day rehab programs are less expensive than 60- or 90-day programs. Also, short-term rehab is more likely to be covered by health insurance. Many facilities offer easy payment plans and financial planning to help with expenses.

woman calculating the cost of treatment

Staff Expertise

The credentials of the treating team, the patient-to-staff ratio, and whether the facility has physicians who can prescribe medications are all important factors to look for in a 30-day drug treatment programs.

Treatment Modalities

Several factors lead to addiction, and each recovering addict has unique needs. According to SAMHSA, more than 40 percent of people with substance use disorders have comorbid mental illnesses. The treatments offered by a 28-day treatment program for drugs or alcohol should address the causes of addiction as well as other coexisting mental health issues, and interpersonal relationship problems that drive a person to addictive behaviors.

Aftercare Services

A good 30-day treatment program should address all the needs of a recovering addict, including therapy interventions and aftercare. The care provided after formal staying at the facility has ended critical in preventing relapse. Facilities that offer aftercare programs with therapy sessions, 12-step meetings, and sober living communities for continued encouragement and support usually show better success rates.


For many families, a conveniently located facility is an important consideration. Traveling to and from can cost-prohibitive for the addict and their family. Also, being close to home has the advantage of having the support of family and friends in the recovery process.

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Published on: April 26th, 2018

Updated on: July 6th, 2020

About Author

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed is a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He is graduated from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed Zayed has a passion for writing medical and health care articles and focuses on providing engaging and trustworthy information to readers.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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