How Long Does It Take to Get into Rehab Centers for Alcohol? | PAX

How Long Does It Take to Get into Rehab Centers for Alcohol?

If you have come to terms with the fact that you have a problem with alcohol and you’re ready to seek help, you probably have questions concerning the admission process when it comes to checking into rehab. If so, this article is for you. And although it may not seem like it, you’re not alone in your fight to overcome alcoholism. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual nationwide survey on the use of legal and illegal drugs and also mental health disorders, more than 15 million Americans admitted to having a problem with alcohol in 2016. Indeed, alcoholism is a disease; however, like most diseases, it is curable, provided you have a strong support network and work with the right alcohol rehab facility. In this article, we will detail how long it takes to get into rehab for alcohol abuse and what to expect during the admission process.


Assuming you’re ready to end your relationship with alcohol, you may want to consider an inpatient program as they can reduce the risk of relapse while you work toward achieving sobriety. Basically, an inpatient rehab center is an onsite facility that offers a higher standard of care when compared to an outpatient program. For example, an inpatient alcohol rehab center provides around-the-clock access to physicians, mental health professionals, and substance abuse treatment specialist that all work collectively to increase your chances of achieving long-term sobriety. This consistent and ongoing approach to alcohol rehab is typically not associated with outpatient programs.


Before being admitted into most alcohol rehab facilities, patients will have to take part in a phone screening interview whereby prospective patients will speak with an admission coordinator. The purpose of these phone interviews is to gauge the patient’s expectations relative to treatment at the facility and also to explain what the official admission process entails. It is not uncommon for admission coordinators to address patient concerns related to payment, insurance inquiries, and travel arrangements during these preadmission interviews, which can last for several minutes. To make the transition process into an inpatient alcohol rehab program as easy as possible, it is a good idea to have the following information available when speaking with the admission coordinator:

  • Mental health history
  • Medical records
  • Insurance and payment information
  • Polydrug use

During these phone screening interviews, patients should be prepared to answer questions relative to their consumption of alcohol, including how much they consume, how long they have been drinking, and drinking frequency, for example. As far as insurance and payment information is concerned, having this information readily available when speaking with the admission coordinator will help streamline the intake process once you have arrived at the facility.


If you intend on using your health insurance to absorb some of the costs associated with your treatment, it is a good idea to also speak with your insurance provider before arriving at the alcohol rehab facility. In many cases, insurance providers will only cover rehab costs if such services are considered medically necessary, meaning patients may need a letter of medical necessity from a licensed physician before any portion of their rehab costs can be covered under their insurance. While we are on the topic, it is also a good idea to speak with your insurance provider regarding deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance that may apply to your treatment as well.


Once you have made the conscious decision to overcome your addiction to alcohol and have spoken with the admission coordinator and also your insurance provider, you will be several steps closer in your journey toward achieving sobriety. However, there are a few things left to do before you arrive at the alcohol rehab facility, including

  • Preparing a week or more of comfortable clothing
  • Packing a reasonable supply of toiletries
  • Packing any medications that you may need
  • A journal to chronicle your progress through rehab

Of course, these are only suggestions; ideally, you should speak with your admission coordinator regarding what is permitted during your time in rehab and, more importantly, what may not be allowed.

All in all, there is no definitive timeframe with regard to how long the admission process will take as it can vary from facility to facility. However, providing as much information as possible during the preadmission phone interview can help speed up the process. If you’re ready to put alcoholism behind you and begin living your best life, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 866-300-6707.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.