Completing 90-Day Rehab Is the Beginning, Not the End

Last Updated on September 27, 2021

Updated on February 10th, 2021

woman finishing the race

Completing a 90-day rehab program is a very important step in the recovery process and your journey to lasting sobriety. However, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically “cured” of your addiction and you can return to your old ways of living without any consequences.

Instead, the completion of a long-term drug and alcohol rehab program is actually the beginning of your sobriety journey. People who view their 90-day rehab program as a beginning and a firm foundation for the sober life they want to lead are much more likely to successfully continue living a sober lifestyle when they leave rehab.

90-Day Drug Rehab: The Gold Standard

Recovering from an addiction is a lifelong process. In the past, 30-day inpatient drug rehab programs were the norm for anyone entering treatment, due mainly to insurance reasons. Recently there has been a new “gold standard” for addicts wanting help with their addiction: 90-day rehab programs.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse released “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Base Guide (Third Edition) which shows that remaining in treatment for an adequate period is critical. Although the appropriate length of stay at a drug and alcohol treatment center depends on the addict’s needs and problems, research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least three months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug-using and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. Additional research published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors determined that the risk for relapse was highest during the first 90 days of recovery.1

It was only a few years ago that 90-day drug treatment centers became the new “gold standard.” This is due to signs showing that people who attend a longer treatment plan have a lower rate of relapse.

Who Should Complete Rehab at 90-Day Drug Treatment Centers?

It can be difficult to admit you have a problem, but once you admit you have an alcohol or drug addiction, you’re making the first step to getting sober. The sad truth is that only 10% of those who have an alcohol or drug addiction problem seek help for it, according to SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

If you’re questioning yourself if you have a problem with drugs, and need help getting sober, the truth is, you probably do. The criteria for addiction can help you determine if your addiction is severe, moderate, or mild. Signs of addiction often include the following:

  • Demonstrating a lack of control
  • Having a desire to quit, but being unable to
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get the substance
  • Experiencing irresistible cravings for the substance
  • Demonstrating a lack of responsibility
  • Having problems with relationships
  • Losing interest in hobbies or normal activities
  • Using substances in dangerous situations or ways
  • Developing a tolerance to the substance (needing a larger dose to achieve the desired effects)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the substance’s effects wear off

The severity of your problem is determined by how many criteria you meet but you must also be honest with yourself. For example, if you met two of the criteria, you could have a mild substance use disorder. Even if you just have a mild substance use disorder, you should still seek help.

Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning that it will get worse. You may have a mild substance use disorder today, but next week or in the near future, you could have a serious problem. You don’t have to hit rock bottom to need treatment. Get help before it’s too late because having a severe addiction problem can be deadly.

What Are the Benefits of 90-Day Rehabilitation Programs?

Here are a few reasons why 90-day alcohol treatment programs or drug programs can help you overcome a mild, moderate, or severe drug addiction problem.

  • More time to heal: In a 30-day rehab program, the first week is usually for detoxification (getting the drugs out of the system) so you can focus on your recovery. Near the end of their stay in rehab, a lot of residents get senioritis. In other words, they get distracted and focus more on leaving than learning. This can leave very little time for effective learning and healing. 90-day residential treatment programs allow more time for the client to learn, heal, and grow. This is especially true if a person has been abusing drugs for months or years, as they may need more tie to overcome their addiction.
  • More time to practice: When you enter drug addiction treatment, you’re taught coping skills. Examples include managing interpersonal relationships, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, engaging in conflict resolution, exercising personal discipline, and recovery! Just like any other skill, they require practice. As we all know, the more you practice the better you are at something. Short-term rehab doesn’t give you enough time to practice those skills before entering back into society. However, a 90-day treatment program provides more time to practice these skills. So, when you graduate, you have a higher chance of sustaining your sobriety.
  • More time to change a habit: Some believe that it takes approximately 90 days for the brain to reset itself and start truly healing from the effects of addiction. This allows an addict to learn about his past habits and create new ones.
  • A longer treatment experience and a break from life: Sometimes short-term rehabs are not enough of a “getaway” from the stressors of life. A longer stay within the safety of rehab bolsters your recovery muscles so you will be ready for the temptations outside rehab. A 90-day rehab program allows you to dig deeper into the concepts of recovery and benefit from detailed educational sessions.

Even though a longer stay at a drug rehab may mean more time and money, the long-term goal of sobriety may require a treatment stay of 90 days. If you’ve lived a life filled with daily drug and alcohol abuse, breaking that habit and learning tools for recovery will take a significant amount of time. A 90-day treatment program isn’t just a financial burden; It’s an investment in life.

What Comes After 90-Day Rehabilitation Programs?

It’s difficult to view the completion of rehab as the beginning of a new life in recovery when you don’t know what comes next. Addiction treatment should be a unique, personalized process for each person, and the same is true for post-rehab treatment. However, one thing that is true across the board is that short-term, one-time treatment rarely results in lasting sobriety.2

Addiction Treatment Components and Settings

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a chronic relapsing disease that requires several different components to achieve lasting results.3 This may include behavioral therapy, employment training, group and family therapy, or medications, among many other approaches. Addiction is a complex disease, so many different methods may be used to treat each individual.

Drug and alcohol rehab can also take place in a variety of settings, depending on the person’s needs and preferences. Long-term rehab can take place in a specialized inpatient drug rehab center like Nova Recovery Center, or it can be facilitated as an outpatient program where clients attend meetings at a local facility several times a week.

Options for Ongoing Addiction Treatment After 90-Day Rehab

Regular interventions and monitoring are an important aspect of ongoing sobriety maintenance and long-term follow-up can help prevent relapse.4,5 There are several different types of treatment programs that are specifically designed for alumni of 90-day rehabilitation programs. These include:

  • Outpatient drug rehab programs – Clients attend a series of structured group treatment sessions for an extended period of time (usually about eight weeks). These types of programs cover topics like social skills, relapse prevention, problem-solving, family dynamics and more. Nova provides outpatient drug rehab in Austin and Houston, TX for clients who are seeking ongoing treatment after completing 90-day rehab.
  • Sober living/transitional housing programs – Sober living homes are structured, sober group living environments that are designed to help rehab alumni transition out of the safety bubble that rehab provides and return to society as a sober individual. These programs provide safe group living environments where people in recovery can safely learn how to live on their own as a sober individual. Nova’s sister, company Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, operates several sober living homes in Austin, TX, Houston, TX, and Colorado Springs, CO
  • Aftercare programs – Aftercare functions as a recovery check-in and group therapy for rehab alumni. After completing 90-day rehab, many clients will face challenging situations that they did not experience while in rehab. Aftercare provides a safe place to discuss these challenges with other people in recovery and receive or give advice, support, and encouragement.
  • Personal Monitoring programs – These programs provide sober accountability, life skills, and organized goal-setting for a life in recovery. Clients work with a program coordinator and other recovery support professionals to set and achieve life goals, maintain regular contact, and overcome obstacles and challenges as they arise. Nova’s sister company, Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, provides personal monitoring for clients in Houston and Austin, TX.

Benefits of Continued Treatment After 90-Day Rehab

There are many benefits to continuing addiction treatment long after completing a 90-day rehab program. A few of them include:

  • Long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol
  • Social support from peers and professionals
  • Relapse prevention
  • Improvements to physical and mental health and overall well-being
  • Lasting, healthy relationships
  • Opportunities to develop/use coping strategies
  • Assistance returning to work
  • Time to continue working on issues related to addiction

Should I Enroll in Drug Rehab in Austin?

Nova’s 90-day rehabilitation program offers long-term drug rehab in Austin for adults who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Our program emphasizes individualized treatment to address the deeply-rooted underlying issues of the person’s addiction. Instead of only treating the addiction itself, we treat the whole person using a variety of evidence-based treatment methods and 12-step work. Long-term rehab at Nova also focuses on relapse prevention to equip clients with the life skills and tools they need to maintain their sobriety long after rehab has ended.

If you are suffering from addiction and have experienced negative life consequences as a result, Nova’s 90-day rehab program can help you achieve lasting sobriety and overall wellness. Additionally, if a loved one is suffering, we are here to provide intervention assistance or answer any questions you have about getting a loved one into treatment.

How to Enroll in 90-Day Rehab at Nova

Enrolling in drug rehab in Austin couldn’t be any easier. Simply call Nova Recovery center today at (512) 605-2955 to speak with a member of our admissions team. We are always available to provide additional information about court-ordered rehab, access to immediate drug rehab, insurance utilization for treatment, and more. Don’t let another day go by without getting the help you need. Call Nova to enroll today.


  1. https://www.datafiles.samhsa.gov/study-publication/drug-addiction-and-treatment-careers-among-clients-drug-abuse-treatment-outcome
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/what-drug-addiction-treatment
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states
  4. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
  5. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment
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