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There are several types of residential treatments in Canada. It can start with a 15-day program for a mild addiction to drugs that are not too addictive. There is the standard 28-day rehab program that is usually twelve steps based. In the one-month time frame, you can also find cognitive therapy as well as the behavioral modification model. These treatments are for moderate addiction. When addicts have a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol, a three to the six-month program would be more suited as the individual needs enough time to address his issues and put his life back in order with a good reinsertion plan.

ATC counselor


The main differences between government subsidize and private rehab centers are cost, waiting time, staff ratio, and aftercare. There are different durations with both drug treatment centers in Canada. It will vary from 21 days up to a year.

Cost – Most government-funded treatments do have cost, but it will be per the income of the client or what the client can pay such part of his welfare check, unemployment, etc.

Waiting list – Most private treatments do not have any waiting list. As per our research, government-subsidized rehabs have on average 4 to 12 weeks of a waiting list. In some cases, it can be up to a year.

Staff ratio – Usually private treatments have better clinical staff/client ratios than subsidize rehabs.

Aftercare – The quality of the aftercare for each type of treatment will have to be determined. Good advice would be to ask the treatment facility what type of aftercare programs they have.


It’s not the length of treatment that matters. What’s important is that the treatment is appropriate and effective for the individual. Everyone heals differently in a drug rehab facility. Unfortunately, when you are frantically seeking treatment, logically it makes sense. Longer must be better. Not the case! What is important is that you have a comprehensive assessment conducted by an unbiased substance abuse counselor before you contact your local facilities. One that can evaluate your needs, then based on the results of the assessment, make an effective and appropriate referral, or at least, provide you with a shortlist of facilities that best match your needs. Not all treatment centers are created equal, and the length of the term doesn’t matter. Quality of care matters!

There are different locations, a huge number of programs, and different durations for each residential program. How do you sort this out? The questions to ask when you are looking for a program are:

What is their philosophy about addiction? If they tell you that it cannot be cured, he will live with it all his life, he will relapse, then they are just saying that their success rate is not good.

The second important question is: What is their success rate? You want to know if their program works. If they give you a vague answer, it does not look good. Either they have a really low success rate or their aftercare is really poor. The success rate, when it is good would be the first thing that they will promote. Don’t let anyone give you some vague answers.

The last important question is:

What’s their Staff/Patient ratio? During our own researches, we got so many different ratios. From 1 staff/ 10 patient to 1staff/ 1 patient. Also, the length of the therapy is a factor. All of the above can seem confusing. When someone has to face drug addiction or help someone with such a problem, it can be hard to think clearly, and we want you to make the best decision possible.

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