Short Term Rehab Facilities For Addictions(Alcohol, Drug & More): Inpatient vs Outpatient Program Options

Outpatient and inpatient Short term rehab centers for drugs, alcohol, and other substance use disorders is one of the treatment duration options available to those that need help in dealing with their addiction problems.

The short term addiction rehab is a destination that is common for people who want to recover from addiction issues that are not severe.

These kinds of addiction treatment programs are a great choice for some people even though the recommended treatment programs are long term rehabs such as the three months and above options.

Short term treatment centers for drug and alcohol abuse and dependence consist of evaluation, detoxification under supervision, group and individual therapy sessions, and finally planning for what happens after rehab.

So what is rehab?

Do you know that the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health(NSDUH) reports that 8 plus percent(21 million-plus people) aged 12 or older needed substance use disorder treatment in the past year?

This means that a lot of people in the country need rehab and this is where specialized rehab centers come in.

So what is rehab then?  Rehab is a term that describes treatment for alcohol, drug, other substances, and other types of mental disorders provided under residential or outpatient settings.

Rehab centers are abstinence-based and they offer very intense programs to support and take care of people who may be having issues dealing with alcohol, drugs, and addictive habits.

Rehab is needed for the reformation of the patients so that they can get back into a society free of drugs and equipped with skills to cope with life outside of rehab.

What exactly are short term rehabs?

Addiction is acknowledged as a chronic condition that should be taken very seriously.

To take care of patients dealing with addiction, it becomes necessary to take them to a rehab facility.

In such a place, they get guidance and treatment for their problems before they are allowed back into their normal life.

And one of the popular options available is the short term rehabs. These programs are most under one month. Note that some people consider the two months rehab program as the longest of the short term treatment programs.

It is a great option for people who have not succumbed too deeply into an addiction. The programs are also the preferred option for those who cannot handle a long-term rehab for various reasons.

Benefits of short term rehabs

There are many benefits to going to a short-term rehab center.

One of the reasons is cost. Short term rehabilitation programs allow people to get their substance use disorder treatment fully or partially covered by insurance since many health insurance providers will only reimburse their policyholders for 28 days or less.

Another good reason for going to rehab is the fact that rehab facility programs assist people to make comfortable and safe transitions from substance use disorders.

These programs are offered under the strict supervision of qualified personnel, especially for inpatient programs.

Rehabilitation usually starts with an evaluation and in most cases, the treatment provider will determine the kind of program that is adequate for your problem.

Going to short-term rehab means that you will be under the supervision of professionals who are aware of all possible outcomes for your situation and they can help you handle them.

The other benefit of short-term rehab is that it gives the patient special skills to survive outside the facility, despite the many triggers that surround them.

Short-term rehab facilities also create an environment where patients can bond with others like them and get counseling.

The patient gets a chance to actually talk about his or her personal issues and get coping skills.


  • Likely to be fully covered by insurance
  • Shorter period
  • Better than not getting treatment
  • A good way to get someone into treatment and possibly transition them into a longer treatment


  • The patient is more likely to relapse compared to long term treatment plans
  • Not enough time to take all the advantages of a rehab


When a person is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, then it is important to note that there are so many treatment options available today and they may fit a particular lifestyle easily.

There are many factors including the length of programs that may prevent someone from choosing a long-term treatment plan.

In this case, the individual will be left with short term treatment options.

And there are different program durations available for short term rehabs include:

  • 15-day rehab: 15-day rehab program only spans 15 days. It covers the most basic elements of dealing with triggers and detoxification.
  • 28-day rehab: 28-day rehab program lasts 28 days and it is cost-effective compared to longer options.
  • 30-day rehab: 30-day rehab program rehab may offer a quick fix for a substance abuse even though short-term rehab has a higher rate of relapse.

How do I know if a short term rehab program is right for me?

Treatment on a short-term basis usually deals with relapse prevention, therapy like the group and individual therapy et cetera.

So how does one know if a short term addiction treatment programs are right for them?

Knowing whether this type of substance abuse treatment program is right for you is a bit tricky because many people do not realize that there is a problem with substance or drug abuse until the issue has elevated to greater levels.

If you realize that the intake of alcohol and drug is taking a toll on your finances, life, relationships, and other aspects of life, then it may be time to go to rehab.

It is an ideal program for those who are abusing the substance, but they have not yet totally lost control of their lives.

Evaluation can help determine the kind of treatment that the patient gets.

Drug and alcohol abuse

Short term drug rehabs

Drug use problems do not affect the user only but also involves the entire family, his or her friends, businesses, and society.

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center of the U.S Department of Justice, reports that key findings show that in 2002 alone, the economic cost of drug abuse to the county was about $180.9 billion. They also said that there is a significant financial impact on businesses whose workers abuse drugs.

Drug addiction can alter a person’s life, if not destroy it. It can cause a lot of pain, be confusing and instill feelings of loss.

Usually, the ending is never a happy one unless the patient admits that they have a problem and seek out help to deal with it.

The main thing is to admit that there is indeed an issue and that there is a need to address that issue.

Short-term drug rehab programs can be recommended when the issue has not elevated to unmanageable heights.

After treatment is concluded at a short-term recovery facility, the providers can recommend a longer stay if it was not successful.

It also makes sense to re-admit patients if they relapse and continue using, even after the conclusion of rehab.

Short term alcohol rehabs

Alcohol addiction is a global issue, especially with the fact that it is so readily accepted and even served at social gatherings.

Alcohol is such a serious problem that the World Health Organization(WHO) points out that that alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability for those aged 15 to 49 years worldwide. The organization also mentioned that alcohol accounts for 10% of all deaths for those 15 to 49 which is a staggering number.

Alcohol addiction is a global issue, especially with the fact that it is so readily accepted and even served at social gatherings.

The good news is that there are treatment options such as the short-term alcohol rehab centers programs.

Even though they are not always that successful, they are usually enough for patients who have not really advanced into alcoholism. If the abuse is not that severe, then short term treatments could be a worthy solution.

Today, it is much easier for alcohol use disorder patients to seek treatment because insurance policies are changing.

Short-term addiction treatment facility options – Outpatient vs. inpatient

There are many types of rehab setting programs that a patient can pick from when they are looking to get into a short term treatment plan for their substance abuse or addiction.

Outpatient including the intensive outpatient and inpatient rehabs are the most popular. One needs to weigh each type of setting benefit when choosing a rehab.

Outpatient rehab

During outpatient treatments, the patient is not admitted, but rather has a period of hours that he or she would get treatment sessions every week. This allows the patient to carry on with their personal life without any disruption.

For some patients, it is a continuation program after an inpatient, partial hospitalization (PHP) or the intensive outpatient program(IOP). This program is mostly cheaper than the IOP, PHP and inpatient program.

Intensive outpatient rehab

This program is like the outpatient program except that the hours and days per week are longer. This is also a great program for those with serious substance use disorder but not too extreme that they require constant watch.

Inpatient rehab

An Inpatient treatment program is usually the best because the patient is admitted into the facility and is supervised around the clock.

Partial hospitalization

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)offer addiction treatment in an outpatient type of setting. These are fulltime programs like the inpatient programs

The typical short term rehab process

Going to rehab is never something to look forward to. However, once a patient has started the process, then it means they are taking power back and regaining their lives. The typical short term rehab process involves:

  1. Evaluation: Evaluation is an important part of rehab because it involves a full assessment of the patient and the needs that they may have.  The problem is evaluated, and a diagnosis offered. It is after this stage that the most appropriate program is selected.
  2. Detoxification: Detoxification is an important stage in the road to recovery and it involves the elimination of toxins and drugs from the body. There are many methods that can be used to make this possible which we will be discussing later.
  3. Treatment: Treatment comes after detox. Once the person is clean, it is time to equip him or her with skills that will help them in life, especially for dealing with triggers, understanding their condition, and avoiding relapse. Counseling and group sessions are carried out. Sometimes family theory can be added.
  4. Aftercare: Once the process has been concluded; the patients will join support groups, sober living homes, and therapies that will keep teaching him or her the skills needed in their journey to be sober. Aftercare programs are designed to reduce relapse.

Detoxification during short term addiction treatments

Detoxification is a process where substances like drug and alcohol are eliminated from the body of the patient to commence treatment and rehabilitation.

It is one of the first things that someone does before rehab commences. Please note that substance use disorder detox program is not rehab. There are different ways that one can detox and they include:

Social or Cold turkey detox

Social or cold-turkey detox involves the completion of using drugs, alcohol, and other substances abruptly. This is a very risky thing and should never be done alone. It is important to understand that withdrawal symptoms can be very serious, and they can be life-threatening. Doing this under supervision is the only way to guarantee that things will not go wrong.

Medical detox

Medical detox is carried out by medical staff where drugs are administered to combat the withdrawal symptoms and make it as safe and painless as possible. This is the recommended form of detox.

Rapid detox

Rapid detox is mainly applied during detox from opioids and is done with the patient under medication to lessen the withdrawal symptoms.

Ultra-rapid detox

Ultra-rapid detox is a quick way of flushing the body of all toxic substances that may have been abused. It is often done under anesthesia. There is a lot of health risk to this method which is why some medical professionals do not recommend it.

Holistic detox

Holistic detox involves the evaluation of both body and mind wellness. Detox is given to cover these important areas.

Dealing with withdrawal symptoms during detoxification

There are many withdrawal symptoms that may present themselves during the detox process.

These symptoms may include violence, other uncharacteristic behaviors, sweats, seizures, trembling, diarrhea, constipation, serious cravings et cetera.

When going through withdrawal, it makes a lot of sense and safer to be surrounded by medical professionals who are experts in the field.

They will know the best way to handle the withdrawal symptoms and determine what is safe and what is not.

Typical short term addiction treatment modalities

Typical short term treatment may involve:

  • Education & learning 

Education & Learning regarding substance abuse is an important component during rehab.

It varies from one facility to the next. It aims at offering the patient a clearer look at the problem of addiction in a realistic and honest manner.

This helps the patient change their attitude regarding the addiction. It also helps the patient to appreciate the depth of the problem that they are dealing with.

It may involve other parties too, like the family members of the patient.

The goal is to educate them on ways to cope and how they can help the patient get better and beat addiction successfully.

  • Individual counseling & group therapies

It is natural for humans to congregate and this is what makes group sessions so therapeutic. In as much as individual therapy is necessary, group therapies offer the patient the chance to interact with other people dealing with addiction just like them.

Sharing experiences, concerns, and pain is one of the most powerful things during treatment.

Counseling and group therapies work at helping people witness others recovering and reduce the feelings of isolation. These sessions also reduce shame and depression since you know you are not alone.

One of the therapies used during rehab is popular Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy has proven to be an effective treatment modality for both adolescents and adults substance use disorders.

To increase success, the sessions should only be conducted by qualified and licensed professionals.

  • Family therapies 

If a treatment program involves the family of the patient or other close associates, there are often better outcomes that are witnessed.

By involving the family, the patient can experience full recovery at a faster rate. Family therapy aims at helping members stop enabling or dysfunctional behaviors. It also helps them accept the addict as he or she is.

Family therapy and counseling deal with healing the members of the family who might have had serious issues with the patient due to the addiction.

  • Relapse prevention

A rehab program won’t be complete without rehab prevention courses. Reducing relapse is one of the biggest goals of drug and alcohol treatment as the relapse rate for substance use disorders is estimated to range from 40% – 60%, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

  • Aftercare 

Starting treatment is an important part of the recovery process, but is only one of many that should follow.

After spending time in rehab, it is now time to back to the real world.

Adjusting to this life can be a great challenge, especially because there is no routine like there is during rehab. External influences and factors also resurface and it becomes harder to cope.

There are now many resources that are helping people after rehab.

The importance of follow- up has led to the establishment of aftercare programs.  The scope can vary a great deal.

Aftercare services lead to sober living arrangements, medical evaluations, follow-up therapy, and support groups like Alcohol Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous et cetera.

The most important part of aftercare programs is to avoid and reduce relapse. These continuum programs are really important in reducing relapse.

Picking the right short-term rehab center

Picking the right short-term rehab center can be a difficult affair because there are so, many centers, some better than others.

You need to conduct a lot of research before you actually settle for the one you feel is the best and one that addresses all the issues that you may have.

There are similar treatment options but usually, you notice a variance in the treatments and styles of administration.

You should consider:

  • Accreditation and licensing ensuring that the facility you are choosing is recognized and that it operates as per the government guidelines.
  • Take time to look at the treatment protocols and methods.
  • Consider aftercare. It makes more sense to go to a facility that includes this in their program.
  • Consider whether they offer long-term or short-term services. Bear in mind that sometimes the specialist can recommend further treatment.
  • Consider the goal of the particular program that you are choosing.
  • Get to know what kind of support you will get.

Ways to pay for the recovery services

Payment is one of the most common barriers to seeking treatment for addiction problems. In most cases, you notice that you need help when drug addiction has already taken a toll on your savings and finances.

Today, there are many great programs that have been created and even more payment options to help you access the important services.

For persons that do not have too many resources, they can access free, sliding scale, or low-cost programs.

Usually, such programs are offered by private facilities, mental health care centers, hospitals, and public agencies.

Other ways to pay for your recovery services include:

  • Loans from close friends, partners, and family members
  • Personal savings, IRAs, or retirement accounts
  • Sale of assets like RVs, boats, etc.
  • Help from different assistance programs
  • Crowdfunding options are also becoming so popular today which involve creating a campaign where you ask people to help you raise funds for a particular cause
  • Employee based insurance offered by employers
  • Individual insurance plan
  • Government insurance, grants, and scholarships can also help the patient seek assistance. Be aware that not all private facilities will take government insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid. You can contact your state healthcare or substance abuse department for help with a list of providers who takes government insurance. You can also contact the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services(HHS) or Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and they may be able to direct you to facilities that accept Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Get healthcare financing Prosper Healthcare Loans or Care Credit et cetera

Even though the cost of rehabilitation can be discouraging to many, it is always important to look at the overall impact and the kind of burden that ignoring treatment can cause the abuser, the society, and family.

Addiction causes people to be out of control, reckless, and at great risk most of the time. It, therefore, makes more sense to seek help as soon as an issue has been identified.

Related: How To Pay For Rehabs


How much is a short term rehab cost

Short term rehab cost varies from one treatment center to another. However, based on some researches at inpatient one-month program typically runs between $6000 to $20,000 at a private facility.  An outpatient program is obviously cheaper.

Will insurance cover my short term treatment fully

It depends on your carrier. However, most insurance companies cover inpatient treatment for 28 days or less. Some may only cover a little over 50 percent of outpatient care. Speak to your carrier. Also, when you contact a recovery facility they can let you how much your insurance will cover.

Contact us

Still, have questions or looking to check into an outpatient or inpatient short term rehab center? Please contact us now to connect with an admission counselor for a no-obligation free consultation today!

Updated on January 23rd, 2020