Alcohol use disorder (AUD) also called alcohol addiction can occur if you drink too much, too often, or too quickly. AUD means that you continue to drink despite knowing the negative effects it has on your life.1 Luckily, 30-day rehab programs and other forms of treatment can help you stop the cycle of addiction and begin the road to recovery so you can take back control of your life.
Even though longer periods of treatment may be linked with better treatment outcomes, shorter programs such as 30-day inpatient rehab for alcoholism can still help people begin their alcohol recovery journey towards long-term sobriety.
What is a 30-Day Rehab Program?
Treatment programs have different lengths, which can include short-term programs that last 30 to 90 days, and longer-term programs that may last between 6 and 12 months.2,3 A 30-day rehab program is a short-term residential/inpatient form of treatment that can help you get started with the recovery process. Patients live onsite for 30 days and receive round-the-clock monitoring, support, and various forms of treatment. Thirty days can be a beneficial way to start recovery, but it’s important to note that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says a longer treatment stay is associated with greater success for most individuals.3 Studies show that most people need at least 90 days to substantially reduce or stop substance abuse.3
Before entering a 30-day treatment center or program, a medical professional will perform a comprehensive evaluation during your intake to help determine which treatment program is right for you. In addition, other factors such as your insurance coverage may play a role in the length of your residential stay. No matter what type of program you enter, your treatment plan will be tailored and adjusted to your needs as required to help you abstain from drinking and return to a more functional and productive life.3
What Happens During Alcohol Treatment?
An individualized approach is one of the most important components of effective alcohol treatment.3 According to NIDA, treatment should take into account your specific health, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues, as well as other factors like your age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.3
Effective treatment involves adjusting your treatment plan as your needs change.3 It can therefore look different from person to person because not everyone has the same needs or recovers at the same rate. For example, you may enter an inpatient program for 30 days and then “step down” to another form of treatment, depending on how you progress and any other needs that may arise. If you require a higher level of care, you might “step up” to a more intense form of treatment (such as an inpatient hospital-based program), or, if you require a lower level of care, you may transition to a less intense form of treatment (such as an intensive outpatient program, partial hospitalization program, or standard outpatient treatment).3,4
Effective treatment involves behavioral therapies, and may also include medication, if suitable for your needs.3 People with co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis, may receive an integrated treatment approach. A co-occurring disorder means that you have a mental health condition (like depression or anxiety) along with a substance use disorder. It’s beneficial to treat both disorders together for treatment to have better outcomes.3 Many facilities offer different approaches and services, so if you suspect that you have a co-occurring disorder, it’s advisable to consult the rehab about dual diagnosis recovery options before you enter treatment.1
What are the Benefits of 30-Day Inpatient Rehab?
The recovery process for alcoholism often begins with medical detox because of the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms or potential complications that can occur during alcohol withdrawal.3 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) advises some individuals undergo some form of inpatient detox for alcohol withdrawal due to safety and humanitarian concerns.5 Inpatient alcohol rehab provides a safe place for you to undergo detox because you receive constant medical support, monitoring, and medication to help you stay as safe and comfortable as possible. It also offers the best continuity of care, which means that in most cases, you can transition to treatment at the same facility.6
Inpatient alcohol treatment allows you to fully focus on recovery in a safe and supportive environment by removing the distractions of everyday life. Living with others in recovery and receiving peer support in a residential setting can also help you engage more fully in treatment and lessen feelings of isolation. You’ll participate in support groups and group therapy, but you’ll also have the opportunity to interact with other participants on informal levels, for example, during free/recreational time and mealtimes.
A 30-day inpatient rehab program can also be a beneficial way of getting started on your recovery without a long-term commitment to a lengthy stay in treatment. You’ll still receive the same treatments offered at longer-term facilities, which includes medications and behavioral therapies, such as:1
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you transform unhelpful and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that contributed to your addiction into positive and healthy coping skills that can contribute to your relapse prevention skills.
- Motivational enhancement therapy, which helps increase your motivation to stop drinking and make positive changes to your life.
- Family or couples counseling, which can help strengthen your relationships and address issues that may have developed as a result of your addiction.
- Mutual support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which provides an extra form of support to help you stay sober.
Remember that a longer treatment stay can be beneficial for many people. If you complete a 30-day rehab, discuss with your treatment team if transitioning to another form of care to continue your recovery journey would be valuable for you.3
What to Look for in 30-Day Treatment Centers
When researching treatment facilities, you might wish to consider certain features and characteristics, such as:7
- Accreditation: Look to make sure that the rehab facility has a license(s) and accreditation(s) from an independent review board.
- Amenities: Ask about the amenities offered; this can include private rooms or features such as a spa or massage treatments, or just the general surroundings and environment of the rehab.
- Specialized groups and tracks: Specialized programs or groups can be especially beneficial for people who have specific needs, such as members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, or those who may prefer a gender-specific program.
- Aftercare services: Aftercare refers to the plan that is put in place to help prevent relapse once treatment is completed. Ask the facility if they work with you to develop a plan to transition to another form of treatment (such as outpatient treatment or a sober living home) once formal treatment is complete or what kind of services they offer post-treatment.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has also provided a list of questions you may wish to consider before your admission, which includes:8,10
- Are you licensed and accredited?
- Do you have onsite doctors or other professionals who can prescribe medications?
- Do you offer medication-assisted therapy (MAT)?
- Do you offer treatment for co-occurring disorders?
- What is your treatment approach?
- How soon can I start treatment?
- How do you develop a treatment plan?
- Is the treatment plan personalized and adjusted throughout the course of treatment?
- What are your expectations of patients and their families during treatment?
- What types of aftercare or support do you offer once treatment has been completed?
Does Insurance Cover 30-Day Inpatient Rehab?
Treatment should be covered, at least in part, by most insurance plans. Substance abuse services are one of 10 essential health benefits outlined in The Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA states that all healthcare plans obtained from the Health Insurance Exchanges or offered by Medicaid to people who are newly covered as of 2014 must include substance abuse treatment.9 The best way to determine your specific coverage is to consult your insurance provider.
A Typical Day in Treatment for Alcoholism
A typical day in a 30-day alcohol rehab can look different depending on the specific facility and the types of programming and therapies they offer. However, the following example of an American Addiction Centers (AAC) facility can give you an idea of what to expect during your treatment program:
- 7 AM – Breakfast.
- 45 AM – Meditation.
- 30 AM – Exercise or some form of physical wellness.
- 10 AM – Behavioral therapy group.
- 11 AM – Relapse prevention group.
- 12 PM – Lunch and time for reflection.
- 1 PM – Nutrition and wellness group.
- 2 PM – Individual therapy.
- 3 PM – Expressive therapies.
- 4 PM – Therapeutic community group.
- 5 PM – Dinner.
- 6:30 PM – Recovery meeting.
- 7:30 PM – Clean & Sober structured activities/recreational time.
- 10 PM – Lights out.
Finding 30-Day Inpatient Rehab Near Me
If you’re ready to seek treatment for your alcohol use disorder or would like to know your options, American Addiction Centers is ready to help. AAC is a nationwide provider of addiction treatment facilities and is dedicated to making recovery accessible to every person in need. Across our facilities, we offer personalized treatment, evidence-based therapies and unique medical capabilities, allowing us to meet each patient’s individual needs.
Whether choosing our facility amongst the beautiful woods of Mississippi or finding peace and tranquility under the sun at our Florida treatment center, you’ll be surrounded by a team of medical professionals ready to help you work toward recovery one day at time. Our admissions navigators are available 24/7 to speak with you about your 30-day inpatient rehab options and can help you identify what may or may not be covered by your insurance.
. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021, March). Treatment for alcohol problems: finding and getting help.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Principles of drug addiction treatment: a research-based guide (third edition): types of treatment programs.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Principles of drug addiction treatment: a research-based guide (third edition): principles of effective treatment.
. Proctor, S. L., & Herschman, P. L. (2014). The continuing care model of substance use treatment: what works, and when is “enough,” “enough?”. Psychiatry journal, 2014, 692423.
. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. treatment improvement protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. HHS publication no. (SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
. Myrick, H., & Anton, R. F. (1998). Treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol health and research world, 22(1), 38–43.
. National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. (n.d.). Step 3—choose quality care.
. National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. (n.d.). Step 2 – ask 10 recommended questions.
. Office of National Drug Control Policy. (n.d.). Substance abuse and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).