Recovery from alcohol abuse is highly individualized, so there is no definitive timeline for healing and recovery. A person’s drinking history, amount consumed, mental health issues, medical history, and home environment all influence the time it takes to recover from alcoholism. For example, someone who has been drinking heavily for many years will probably need more time to recover than someone who has just started drinking.
A patient’s treatment plan must be based on their unique background, history, and goals. In addition to physical recovery, alcohol addiction recovery must address any underlying emotional or mental problems, such as PTSD. Therapy, medication, and support groups may be incorporated into treatment plans. Treatment aims to help the patient achieve sobriety and lead a productive, healthy life. With dedication and effort, it is possible to achieve lasting sobriety from alcohol addiction.
Depression is common during the first few weeks of alcoholism treatment. It is because the brain is adjusting to the new chemistry in the body. Drinking excessively alters the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, making the patient prone to depression or anxiety. With time, most people find that their depression improves. To overcome this type of depression, you must be patient and ride it out. Remember that your brain is healing and that things will eventually improve. Reach out to your support system if you need assistance.
When someone decides to seek help for alcohol addiction, the next step is finding a treatment center that suits their needs. Due to the physical and emotional strain of alcohol detox and mental health issues, most treatment centers recommend a 30-day stay. Long-term treatment is available for those who need it. During the early stages of recovery, individuals can receive all the support they need from treatment centers. As they go through this challenging time, they will have access to medical care, counseling, and other resources. In treatment centers, individuals can begin their journey to sobriety in a safe, supportive environment.
Reaching the 6 Month Mark
Even though the National Institute on Drug Abuse has concluded that drug addiction treatment is highly effective, only a small percentage of those who need substance abuse treatment receive it or continue to benefit from it. Sometimes this reluctance to get help is due to people denying they have a problem.
At other times, they feel helpless in finding the resources they need to begin their journey to sobriety. Unfortunately, even those who do get treatment may fail to remain sober. Often, after about six months, when healthy habits have become more ingrained, patients may stop attending group sessions. Attending weekly meetings may seem unimportant but being part of a positive support system is crucial for continual sobriety. Those who continue to stay in a supportive group for a year come to a point where they feel fully committed to a life of sobriety.
Decreasing Risk of Relapse After a Year
According to studies, the risk of relapsing after quitting drinking alcohol decreases over time. There is still a risk of relapse after a year, but it is low, and after five years of sobriety, it is less than 15 percent. Relapses in these rare cases are often triggered by extremely traumatic life circumstances. A person is less likely to relapse if they abstain from alcohol for a longer period. After six months, reaching the one-year mark is good, and after a year, the chances of remaining sober increase with every passing year. For those trying to quit drinking, this is good news.
While abstaining from alcohol for a long time is difficult, it becomes easier with time. Sobriety over time is rewarded by a decrease in the risk of responding to triggers that cause relapse. Do not wait to seek help if you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction. Admitting you need help is not a sign of shame, and treatment can make all the difference. Know that you’re not alone. If you’re ready to get started, call us today at 732-392-7311.