Americans like a quick fix. After spending years creating a problem, we like getting rid of that problem as soon as possible. What takes years to create can take years to heal. Recovery is full of sayings which help those in recovery focus on taking it slow. For example, one of the most infamous sayings is one day at a time. Take it easy, first things first, wait for the miracle to happen, in God’s time, God’s time is always on time and more serve as reminders that recovery, indeed life itself, can only go as fast as it can go- one second, one minute, one hour, one day, at a time. Life can’t move any quicker than it comes. Likewise, recovery cannot move any faster than it needs to. The amount of time it takes to heal and recover from alcohol addiction includes many factors which vary from one individual to the next. In addition, how much time it takes to recover from alcohol addiction also includes defining recovery itself, for which there isn’t a standardized definition.
Defining Alcohol Addiction Recovery
Abstinence is the most preferred and highly suggested form of recovery. Staying completely clean and sober from alcohol and all other mind-altering substances, not including doctor prescribed pharmaceutical medications, is recovery. However, recovery is about more than just staying sober. Recovery is about healing the mind, the body, and the spirit. For the mind, recovery from alcohol includes the physical healing of the brain tissue, or what some doctors refer to as “holes”. Long term and heavy alcohol abuse can cause physical damage to the brain, which can be recovered and healed over time. The mind is also where emotional recovery takes place, changing thought patterns, behaviors, reducing the effects of triggers, and regulating responses. Generally, doctors believe it takes a year for the brain to heal and two years for the brain to be in “remission” from the vulnerability of relapse. However, the brain needs practice. Ongoing recovery is essential so that the brain can continue practicing the new way of living it has learned.
For the body, detox from alcohol tends to take anywhere from a few days to ten days to three weeks. Physical healing from alcohol addiction depends on the specific genetic makeup of each individual as well as the severity of their alcohol abuse. Full physical recovery from alcoholism starts to take place around 6 months. Within a year to 18 months, the body is much healthier.
Lastly, for the spirit, the relief of recovery can be instantaneous, or, it can take months to feel. Some call is a spiritual experience, some call it remission, some describe it as the “obsession being lifted”. Whatever ails the spirit of the alcoholic is taken away over time, leaving behind hope, faith, and trust that living life sober is possible.
There is no definite standard for what recovery is, nor is there a definite standard of how long recovery “takes”. Recovery is a change of life, for a lifetime. It takes time, and it takes work, but the investment is worth it.
Lakehouse Recovery Center is committed to showing clients how to have fun again and live in recovery. Our private residential treatment program integrates recovery and non-recovery therapy methods to help clients find the best in healing and transformation. For more information call us today at (877) 762-3707.