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CBT is a therapy aimed at recognizing how your emotions impact your thoughts (or vice versa), and their overall impact on the behaviors you take. CBT, as well as other therapy approaches, focuses on how to safely manage your emotions in recovery. Part of the treatment and recovery process centers on developing new, healthy habits that are intended to become routine once you return to your life outside of a treatment center.

Deal With Cravings

A compassionate and understanding environment is necessary for your recovery. When your loved ones are informed and supportive, it reduces shame and blame, allowing you to feel safe opening up and facing challenges head-on. Therapists help you break down overwhelming goals into manageable steps, keeping motivation high. They can also help you plan for tough days so one bad decision doesn’t derail everything. Specialized therapies can help you process things from the past that could be sabotaging recovery.

Steps for Recovering From Addiction

how long does it take to recover from drug addiction

Over time, reward circuits regain sensitivity to respond to normal pleasures and to motivate pursuit of everyday activities. Areas of executive function regain capacity for impulse control, self-regulation, and decision-making. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) avoids the terms addiction and recovery. Sustained remission is applied when, after 12 months or more, a substance is no longer used and no longer produces negative life consequences. Gaining the skills to avoid relapse is a necessary part of the recovery process.

The Benefits of Longer Rehab Programs

  • “NAS” is the term for the symptoms a newborn may develop due to withdrawal when they stop receiving the substance after birth.
  • Understanding what emotional intelligence looks like and the steps needed to improve it could light a path to a more emotionally adept world.
  • Another is to carefully plan days so that they are filled with healthy, absorbing activities that give little time for rumination to run wild.

This same phenomenon happens at nearly the same rate in diabetes, hypertension, and other high-relapsing diseases. That’s why it’s so important to follow the treatment plan with all medical conditions. Recovery is a time when a person manages their addiction and lives as a productive member of society. The person is doing okay, but they must manage their disease daily. Because of this constant monitoring, people use the slogan, “Recovery for Life,” to signify that recovery is a life-long process, and not something that is accomplished in a 30-day treatment stay. Rather, it is treatable, and treatment assists people in getting sober and teaches recovery skills.

  • The journey to recovery can be long and involved, so people naturally want to learn and understand how treatment works.
  • The helpline at is available 24/7 to discuss the treatment needs of yourself or a loved one.
  • Each person’s timeline for recovery varies based on their unique needs, substance use history, and life circumstances.
  • The brain rewiring process teaches the brain to interpret feelings of sadness as something that can be managed by speaking to a loved one or a therapist.

Such biological differences can influence whether substance use continues and increases, remains “social” and occasional, or does not occur at all. In the early stages, however, those more genetically vulnerable to addiction are unaware of the risky path they are on; their experience is merely of a memorable and highly desirable new discovery. It’s maintaining change that’s hard—creating new and sustained ways of thinking and behaving. As Mark Twain quipped, “Quitting [smoking] is easy, I’ve done it dozens of times.” Many can begin a positive health behavior change, but most will run out of gas before they’re around the first bend. Inpatient rehabilitation – A full-time facility provides a supportive environment to help people recover without distractions or temptations.

The Nitty-Gritty Skills of Recovery

how long does it take to recover from drug addiction

They may decide, for instance, that they’re going to seek treatment sometime in the next six months but won’t set a definite date. Engaging in subtle and sympathetic conversations and getting alcoholics to explore the pros and cons of their own behavior, for example, can help to lay the groundwork for the second stage of recovery. They may also rationalize, or make excuses, for their behavior. For example, they may say they are drinking a lot because they are stressed because of work. Or they could claim that it’s common to drink to relax and say that it’s no big deal. At this stage, defense mechanisms are in high gear, and people are reluctant to even acknowledge they have a problem.

What Is Addiction Recovery?

These maps use contrasting colors to create an image that highlights the diffusion of water molecules through the brain. Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and alters its functioning, addiction changes the brain and impairs the way it works. Below is a comparison image of the brain (top) and the heart (bottom).

Rather than days and weeks, people tend to measure outpatient treatment in terms of months and years. Approximately 90 days is the average duration of outpatient treatment, but some people will continue treatment indefinitely. However, in cases where treatment is undergone as part of a full continuum of care, a client’s time in outpatient care may be significantly shorter. Outpatient treatments offer a lower level of care compared to residential treatment, so the programs may take longer to complete. As always, the person’s ability to address their addiction and move through the recovery process will shorten the duration of their treatment. An intervention includes trained professionals like a drug and alcohol counselor, therapist, and/or interventionist who can help guide a family through the preparation and execution.

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