Maintaining abstinence from alcohol after going through withdrawal requires great discipline and dedication. Many people in recovery from alcohol addiction need ongoing therapy to stay
How Long Will My Alcohol Addiction Recovery Last?
June 16, 2020
Alcohol addiction is a lifelong problem. When you seek treatment for alcohol addiction in the form of alcohol detox in Florida followed by alcohol rehab, you will learn coping mechanisms in order to build a strong recovery. However, being in recovery is not the same as being cured, and in most cases, people consider their recoveries to last the rest of their lives.
This is not to say you will be in treatment for the rest of your life or perhaps even that you will have to abstain from alcohol indefinitely. Different people have distinctive recoveries, and this means yours will not resemble someone else’s, even if the two of you are close or had similar stories of substance abuse. Once addiction occurs, though, it is not something that easily disappears, and it’s important to be prepared for living a life in recovery.
What Does Recovery Mean?
Many addicts imagine what recovery will be like after they complete alcohol addiction treatment. Recovery can look different for everyone, but it is important to note that being cured and being in recovery are not the same.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines recovery as a time when someone stops abusing dangerous substances like drugs or alcohol and can live a productive life professionally and personally.
Recovery is a process that requires a great deal of work to avoid returning to alcohol abuse, also referred to as relapsing. The person must remain focused and productive to prevent giving in to the ongoing cravings that they might experience. But how does one arrive at the recovery stage?
Treatment Before Recovery: Why It’s Necessary
As you might already know, it is very difficult for a person to overcome alcohol abuse and begin recovery without a formal treatment program. This is true for several reasons:
- Alcohol can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that can be unpredictable and even life-threatening. As stated by the National Library of Medicine, this is known as a syndrome called delirium tremens, and those who are likely to undergo delirium tremens will need around the clock medical care.
- Alcohol is always available in our current society. There are often many chances for anyone to drink daily, which can be difficult to avoid if you do not have the coping mechanisms to do so. Such tools are learned while in treatment and help you fight cravings.
- Alcohol addiction and other mental illnesses often go hand-in-hand, which is referred to as comorbidity. According to NIDA, roughly half of those who suffer from mental illnesses also suffer from addiction and vice versa. Having a mental illness can make it harder to recover from substance abuse, and generally, these two issues need to be treated simultaneously for true recovery to be achieved.
Statistically speaking, people who are treated for alcohol abuse problems have a better outlook than those who are not. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one-third of those who are treated for alcoholism and other alcohol use disorders manage to build strong recoveries within a year.
What Does Treatment Entail and How Long Does it Take?
Treatment is part of recovery, as it allows you to build the foundation for healing and learn the skills you will need to maintain sobriety. Treatment involves alcohol detox, which is the process of ridding the body of its dependence on alcohol. After that, one or more treatment programs in different forms might be appropriate, whether it is an inpatient, outpatient, or partial hospitalization program. The NIAAA states that not one treatment program fits every individual, so it is important to remember this as you navigate the treatment process.
Again, every person is different. Some people undergo treatment for only 28 days or a few months while others might seek longer treatment programs of six months to a year. Others still might continue visiting outpatient facilities, seeking help from mutual-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous for years, or attending multiple treatment programs on and off throughout their lives.
It is partially for this reason that you should not ask yourself when your recovery will be over. Everyone has a different journey, and sometimes, the journey will take you back to the same places, looking for answers. Treatment should be a tool you use whenever appropriate to help you on your recovery journey, and not a box you check off before moving on.
How Long Will My Alcohol Addiction Recovery Last?
By now, you can see that alcohol addiction recovery will last a lifetime and be a part of who you are. But why is this true? Is it possible to “get over” your addiction? And what happens if you relapse? Will you need to need to start your recovery over?
Sadly, no. Over time, the medical and scientific communities have come to understand that addiction is not a curable disease but rather a chronically relapsing one. This is similar to asthma, hypertension (or high blood pressure), or diabetes, according to NIDA. Addiction can be prevented, but once it occurs, it cannot be cured. It can only be managed.
Recovery is the time in your life in which you are living as a productive member of society while managing your addiction. You might never drink again while you are in recovery, but this doesn’t mean you will be free from temptation. The consistent management of addiction is the bedrock of recovery, allowing you to live your life as you normally would while always taking care to avoid further symptoms and side effects of your illness. This is what makes it so similar to other chronically relapsing diseases.
What Happens If I Relapse?
Many people wonder if their recoveries are over if they relapse or if they have, in a sense, failed in their desire to recover. This is untrue, and it is why the medical community understands that recovery is a lifelong process.
According to the Office of Women’s Health, some people who seek treatment and begin a life of recovery and stay sober while others have periods of sobriety and then return to drinking, requiring them to seek more treatment. Others still might experience serious setbacks that cause them to require treatment starting with alcohol detox again. The journey is different for everyone.
Recovery Is Life
Most importantly, you can think of recovery as the process of living your life post-treatment. Yes, you will still deal with your addiction, sometimes daily and sometimes in ways that are difficult to bear. But there may be other times where it is easier. Your life may be different than it was before you started drinking and became addicted, but that does not mean you cannot live a happy, productive life without being controlled by alcohol.
How Can I Build a Strong Recovery?
As previously stated, the best way to build a strong recovery from alcohol addiction and to be able to safely manage your life without alcohol abuse is to seek professional treatment. Summer House Detox Center offers 24-hour, inpatient care along with several holistic treatments and amenities for a safe, secure detox from alcohol. Afterward, we will also help you make the transition from alcohol detox in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to alcohol rehab, so you can fully develop the skills you will need to build and manage a solid recovery from alcohol addiction. Call us at 800-719-1090 to schedule a FREE consultation or visit us at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Alcohol is the most easily accessible addictive substance in the United States, which is why it’s commonly used with medications like benzodiazepines. Some people combine