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How Many Days Does it Take to Break an Addiction?

Breaking an alcohol or drug addiction can be daunting, and it is only natural to want an exact time frame for recovery. Unfortunately, there is no exact amount of days that it takes to break an addiction. Everyone responds to treatment and addiction differently, and different types of drugs have varied rehab program lengths. There are also a number of additional factors that could play a role in addiction recovery time depending on the case. However, there are a few time frame estimates available for you to go off of. This way you can have some idea about what to expect from addiction treatment and recovery.

How Long Does it Take? 

There is a myth that it takes 21 days to break an addiction. In reality though, addiction recovery can be much longer than that. Various types of drugs have different effects on the body, and everyone responds to treatment differently. In order to discover how long it will take for you to break an addiction, you need to take into account the length of a detox, the length of your rehab program, and the average recovery time after detox and treatment. The first two considerations usually have direct answers in regards to the length of the program and drug detox, but it is important to avoid having a strict time frame for recovery after a treatment program. You may also need to take the state of your mental health into account as well. 

“Most people need several episodes of addiction treatment, such as detox, residential rehab, IOP, and a sober living program, to recover from addiction,” says Mat Gorman, Chief Executive Officer at Briarwood Detox. “It can take months or years to completely overcome a substance use disorder and establish a stable life in recovery.”

Taking things slowly with situations like these can greatly improve your chances for success, and it can make it easier for you to get back on your feet after a relapse if one occurs. 

Average Rehab Program Lengths 

Drug rehab programs have varying lengths depending on the drug at hand. Although no two addiction treatments and recoveries are the same, having an idea of how long your rehab stay may be can reduce your stress and anxiety about the upcoming journey. Here are the average rehab program lengths for common addiction treatments. 

-Alcohol: The average detox length for alcohol is 7 days, and alcohol rehab usually lasts for about 4 weeks to 90 days if needed. 

-Opioids: An opioid detox usually lasts for about 7 to 10 days, and rehab usually lasts for 1 to 3 months. Examples of common addictive  prescription opioids include but aren’t limited to vicodin, oxycodone, morphine, and percocet. Heroin and Opium are examples of illegal opioids. 

-Stimulants Stimulant detoxes usually last for 7 to 10 days. Rehab lengths for stimulants vary greatly depending on the drug and addiction severity. The average rehab length is 30 to 90 days, but severe cocaine and meth addictions might require longer treatment. Some examples of addictive prescription stimulants are adderall, ritalin, and dexedrine. Illegal stimulants include cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine. 

-Benzos: A benzos detox normally takes 5 to 10 days, and their rehab programs are anywhere from 30 to 90 days long depending on the addiction severity. Xanax, Librium, and Valium are some of the most common types of benzos, but there are many more on the market. All benzodiazepines require a prescription when obtained legally. 

-Marjuana: A marjuana detox length depends on the severity of use, but it usually lasts for up to 7 days at most. Cannabis does not require a rehab treatment program because it is impossible to die of an overdose or withdrawal symptoms. However, withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months. Therapy programs during this time can help recovering marjuana addicts get through this difficult time and prevent relapse though. 

Recovery After Rehab 

Although it is helpful to know average detox and rehab program lengths, you should not take average recovery time frames too seriously. Addiction treatment is not an easy process, and everyone recovers in their own time. Taking things slow, knowing and acknowledging your limits, and continuing to work on your treatment from home will  make your recovery successful. However relapses, though upsetting, happens to many recovering addicts. It is important to not beat yourself up too much if this occurs, so you can pick yourself up and continue your treatment quickly. This is done more easily when you are not so time focussed because you are likely to be less stressed about potential setbacks. Similarly, mental health treatment can play a huge role in drug and alcohol addiction recovery. There are sadly no set time limits for improvements in mental health, and this often goes hand in hand with addiction treatment. Therefore, these complications can further increase a past addict’’s treatment length. Please note that it is completely acceptable and understandable to implement things like your support system, therapy, and support groups for as long as you feel you need them.