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Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says

Duration of Treatment

Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various speeds, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate lengths of treatment. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited or no effectiveness, and treatments lasting significantly longer often are indicated. For methadone maintenance, 12 months of treatment is the minimum, and some opiate-addicted individuals will continue to benefit from methadone maintenance treatment over a period of years.

This page was last updated February 2016

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NIDA (2016). Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction-what-science-says

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NIDA Notes: The Latest in Drug Abuse Research

Teaching Packets

Explores the consequences of drug abuse on the brain and body and introduces the topics of prevention, and treatment.