How Long Does It Take To Recover From Substance Abuse?

The prospect of taking on any long-term project is intimidating. Yet, you do it more often than you might think. Choosing to start a family, embark upon a specific career or buy a house are all experiences that can impact your life for years. While you might not consider it the same, choosing to allow your addiction to continue can also affect your life for years into the future.

The question of how long does it take to recover from substance abuse isn’t easy to answer, because it tends to make people feel overwhelmed. Instead of thinking of recovery as a lifelong process, it helps to break it down into the phases that most people go through as they end their addiction.

What Are the Phases of Addiction Recovery?

Addiction treatment professionals often refer to the phases of addiction recovery using varying terms, but they typically fall into the following categories. Some people may break these phases down into even smaller categories to give a better description of where someone is at in their treatment, but these can give you a better idea of what to expect during your recovery.

  • contemplation
  • treatment initiation
  • early recovery
  • maintenance
  • advanced recovery

Right now, you might already be in the contemplation phase. At this point, you may realize that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and you are thinking about the possibility of seeking help. During treatment initiation, you are actively reaching out to a recovery center and even enrolling in a program. The next phase is early recovery, which involves the early withdrawal stage, going through the process of identifying any underlying reasons for your addiction and learning how to manage your cravings.

Once you’ve learned about yourself and your addiction, you’ll move into the maintenance phase. Usually, this phase is accomplished at home with continuing group and individual care. Finally, you’ll move into the advanced recovery phase where you are thriving in sobriety. This phase also represents a time when you may begin to help others move through their early recovery by serving as a sponsor or supportive sober friend.

How Long Does Professional Addiction Treatment Last?

Everyone needs a different amount of time to recover from their addiction, but there are a few ranges that are common in recovery programs. Most addiction treatment programs are based upon 30, 60 or 90 day stays. However, you’ll also find extended care programs and ones that offer intensive treatment within a shorter time period. Addiction treatment programs are also broken up into inpatient and outpatient care.

If you opt to use both forms, then this could extend your treatment timeline. For instance, some people attend a 30-day program and then use outpatient care for another month or two. This is an option that you might choose to get the most from your health insurance plan, or you may prefer to have the benefit of longer treatment while also being able to manage your normal responsibilities. Keep in mind that people who receive treatment for longer tend to have a higher success rate, but your mindset also makes a huge difference in what you get out of any program.

Do You Need After Care for the Rest of Your Life?

Here’s where telling the truth gets hard. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process, and some people do need to continue with a strong after care program for the rest of their life. Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. Usually, your after care needs diminish quite a bit as you get stronger in your recovery. Once you know that you can manage your triggers and cravings without constant support, you’ll basically go about your life doing whatever healthy activities make you happy. Many people stick with going to weekly or biweekly counseling sessions and group meetings.

But, these begin to serve more as an opportunity to promote your personal development rather than get the struggle of intense cravings. In fact, many people view their group therapy sessions as a sober support group where they can socialize and help other people who are going through recovery. Are you ready to decide if it’s the right time to start your recovery? Give us a call today to begin learning more about your recovery timeline. We’re available at 844-639-8371.

Scroll to Top