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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Addiction

Helping The Brain Recover From Addiction

How Long Does Addiction Rehab Take? Questions About Rehab

Research on the brains recovery is limited and still relatively new. Less than a century ago, scientists thought the mature brain stopped developing new cells we now know the brain continues to create new cells and neural pathways. However, addiction recovery takes time, discipline, support, and patience. Before the brain can begin healing, the body must be clean of any residual substance. Detox can take several days to several weeks, depending on the substance and how long an individual has struggled with addiction.

The brain will start recovering the volume of lost grey matter within one week of the last drink with alcohol. Other areas of the brain and the white matter in the pre-frontal cortex take several months or longer to recover.

Rebuilding the neural pathways to reinforce healthier choices and habits depends on each individuals circumstances. Opioids and cocaine are highly addictive, which makes them more challenging to re-configure deeply ingrained neural circuits. Additionally, the longer a substance is abused, the more solidified the neural pathway for that behavior becomes.

Most drugs change dopamine levels. Many variables determine whether or not the brains capacity to release and re-uptake dopamine will ever fully recover. In addition to the specific substance and length of use, dopamine recovery depends on a persons age, genetics, mental health, and how many drugs were used simultaneously.


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Types Of Brain Damage

Heavy or long-term methamphetamine use damages the brain both functionally and structurally.A person’s brain becomes accustomed to the drug during the course of addiction.

This altered biochemical activity may take time to normalize once the drug is stopped. In most cases, it willas some dysfunction in the brain’s neurons can eventually right itself.

From a brain structure standpoint, reversal is not always so easy. Ultimately, meth causes damage to brain cells. The ability to reverse the damage largely depends on where the injury occurred.

If damage occurs in an area where other brain cells can compensate, improvement in a person’s symptoms is likely. If damage occurs where cells are more specialized and have fewer redundancies, the repair can be difficultif not impossible.

There are three ways that long-term meth use can damage the brain:

  • Causing acute neurotransmitter changes
  • Rewiring the brain’s reward system

Getting Help For Addiction

You are unique, and so is your life experience. So when you wonder, How long is rehab?, know that there is no proven formula that is right to treat everyones addiction. When you are in treatment, focus on your recovery not the time it takes to get out. Dont allow the uncertainty of treatment length prevent you from finding the support and recovery you need. If you need help finding a treatment program please contact a dedicated treatment provider today.

  • About

Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

  • Dual Diagnosis. . How Long Should You Stay in Rehab? Retrieved on February 15, 2016
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. . Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide . Retrieved on February 15, 2016

Clinically Reviewed:

David Hampton

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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What Medications And Devices Help Treat Drug Addiction

Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse.

  • Treating withdrawal. When patients first stop using drugs, they can experience various physical and emotional symptoms, including restlessness or sleeplessness, as well as depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Certain treatment medications and devices reduce these symptoms, which makes it easier to stop the drug use.
  • Staying in treatment. Some treatment medications and mobile applications are used to help the brain adapt gradually to the absence of the drug. These treatments act slowly to help prevent drug cravings and have a calming effect on body systems. They can help patients focus on counseling and other psychotherapies related to their drug treatment.
  • Preventing relapse. Science has taught us that stress cues linked to the drug use , and contact with drugs are the most common triggers for relapse. Scientists have been developing therapies to interfere with these triggers to help patients stay in recovery.

What Circumstances Drive The Porn Addiction

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Ask ten different former porn users how long it took them to recover and youll likely get ten different answers. This is because the circumstances that shape someones porn habit can impact their recovery time.

If you understand the underlying circumstances of someones porn usage, youll have a better idea of how long it will take them to break free. Here are some of the common factors driving porn addiction.

  • When did they get hooked? When you got hooked on porn says a lot about how long it will take to change these patterns. The sad reality for nearly every adult who struggles with porn is that their compulsive porn use started in childhood. In the more than two decades I that have been working with hundreds of men and women trying to overcome pornography addiction, I have met only one who did not first start using pornography as a child.

What does this mean for recovery time? The earlier the exposure, the longer you can expect before the urges to look at porn go away.

Dont be discouraged if youre dealing with a porn addiction that was formed in childhood. While it creates challenges, itcan be overcome! We recently heard from one of our members who signed for Covenant Eyes to get control of his addiction, Im 68 years old and for the first time in 58 years Ive been porn-free for 35 days, praise God!

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Celebrate Every Victory On The Journey

Wherever your friend or loved one is in recovery, its important to celebrate each victory. Too many people feel daunted by the long-term aspects of recovery and fail to appreciate how much progress is happening.

Every moment someone chooses to quit porn is worth celebrating. Thats why in 2021, Covenant Eyes started Victory Weekto highlight the small successes in the bigger journey towards freedom. Here are some important milestones you should honor:

  • The decision to ask for help quitting porn. Admitting you have a problem is a big deal! If someone reaches out for help, honor and celebrate that decision.
  • Learning from slip-ups. A slip-up isnt a reason to celebrate. However, theres priceless wisdom to be gained from honestly examining mistakes. Learning your triggers and how to avoid them is a reason to celebrate!
  • Thirty porn-free days. Going a whole month without porn is an INCREDIBLE milestone.
  • Every 24 hours of porn-free life. Every day without porn is a day youre choosing to live a better life. Dont worry about tomorrowenjoy the success youve had today.

These are just the beginning, but you get the idea. Recovery from porn can be a long journey, but its an exciting one!

¹ Marnie Ferree, No Stones, 252-253.

² Wendy and Larry Maltz, The Porn Trap, 258.

³ Kevin Skinner, Treating Pornography Addiction, 24-30.


Is Alcohol Brain Damage Reversible

  • Is associated with damage to the neurons in all areas of the brain
  • Inhibits the functioning of every brain mechanism
  • Alters the activity of the neural pathways in the brain
  • Results in an increased risk to develop neurological diseases and disorders, such as seizures, stroke, brain cancer, and dementia

The determination of how much physiological and functional impairment someone who has abused alcohol will continue to experience is dependent on:

  • The length of time the person abused alcohol and how much alcohol was typically consumed
  • Whether or not the individual used alcohol in conjunction with other drugs, including tobacco
  • Family history and genetic factors
  • Other general health factors, such as the individuals dietary habits, the amount of exercise they typically get, the presence of any co-occurring conditions, etc.

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Those Who Have Taken Drugs Will Eventually Ask Themselves A Question

Will I ever feel normal again? There are many factors that will determine the rate at which your body heals, so you should make sure to understand that before you get frustrated with your healing. It took time to cause the damage, and it will take time to reverse it as well.

First, think about the factors that will determine how long it will be before you feel normal. They could include:

  • The length of time you took the drug
  • The type of drug you were on
  • The method of detox you completed
  • Your ability to go to therapy and/or group meetings
  • The amount of drugs you took

These five factors will actually be very important to your ability to heal and to how long it will take to feel better.

The brain is constantly changing. The drug that you took will affect it by changing the neurons in the reward sector, which will make you feel good every time you take the drug. The result of this change is more release of dopamine, and this will give you a rush of good feelings. The change in your feelings will last a short time, but the actual change to the brain will last longer.

Your ability to stop cravings is also altered when this occurs. Now, when the body sees the drug or needs it, you will face more serious cravings for it. The amygdala, a part of the brain, has been altered, and it will trigger an urge for the drug when it wants it.

Most Common Reasons For Addiction Relapse

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Unfortunately relapse rates for individuals who enter recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction are quite high. Studies reflect that about 40-60% of individuals relapse within 30 days of leaving an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center, and up to 85% relapse within the first year. It is important for individuals who struggle with an alcohol dependence or other substance dependence to acknowledge the high risk for relapse, have an awareness of what their own personal triggers are, and learn to cope with their triggers and emotions in a healthy way. Through an understanding of common risks for addiction relapse, individuals can be better equipped and better able to maintain their recovery. Here are a list of 10 common triggers that contribute to addiction relapse.

1. Withdrawal

2. Mental Health

3. People

4. Places

5. Things

6. Poor Self-Care

7. Relationships and Intimacy

8. Pride and Overconfidence

9. Boredom and Isolation

10. Uncomfortable Emotions

For more information on addiction treatment, therapy and mental health, sober coaching, sober companions, or to inquire about our private concierge therapy services and/or our teletherapy services in New York City please contact our undisclosed therapy office location in the Upper East Side of NYC today at 220-2912.

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Addiction Treatment: How Long Does Rehab Last

Whatever the vice, substance and alcohol abuse is often a coping strategy in life: to numb pain, evade problems, and to escape reality. Unfortunately, only 10% of the 21 million Americans who have at least 1 addiction receive treatment. That means 90% of addictsfor whatever reasonare not getting the help they might need to recover and graduate into a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. It can be extremely challenging to admit you have a problem, but it takes courage and bravery to accept that you are ready to move forward and take back the reins on your life by means of rehabilitation.

Prominent questions surface when an addict is considering seeking help: How long does a rehab program last? What program is right for me? How will this affect my personal life? Something that should be addressed right off the bat is that all of the answers to these questions are unique to each individual. Rehab is not a linear process as each individual has particular conditions that will require distinct ways of working through their problems.

Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options

Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:

Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.

Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.

Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.

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How Long Does It Take The Brain To Recover From Addiction

The brain has billions of neurons, which connect via neural pathways. As children develop and learn, their brains create and change these pathways, a process known as neuroplasticity, with relative ease. At approximately age twenty-five, the brain has developed the majority of its neural pathways its plasticity is significantly reduced.

The brain uses neural pathways as efficiently as possible, allowing repetitive tasks to become automatic or habitual. The frequent use of the same circuits embeds them deeper into the brain, making it more difficult to alter their routes. Imagine dragging a scissors blade across cardboard along the same line over and over the groove gets more pronounced. Fortunately, the brain is more flexible than cardboard. Although adults need more time and effort to change neural pathways than a child does, adults can change their brains.

Changing the adult brain is essential for individuals who engage in addictive behaviors. Even in a high-tech society, humans still behave on the pleasure-reward system our early ancestors used for survival. The brain releases dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter when an action, event, or emotion is satisfying or pleasurable. To get more of that good feeling, humans repeat that stimulating action or thought.

Relapse Prevention And Addiction Treatment

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Learning how to prevent relapses is an important part of breaking an addiction. With therapy, you can learn how to avoid potential triggers that could cause you to start using drugs or alcohol in the future.

Relapse prevention is an extremely structured plan of action involving all areas of your life that can help you overcome your desire to relapse. It involves where you will live, work, and socialize. It also involves family members, friends, and letting go of negative people in your life.

If you can implement your plan, you are likely to succeed at breaking your addiction for good. Many times, this means changing many aspects of your lifestyle. Relapse prevention can take a year or more. It can even become an ongoing part of your life, updating your plan as needed.

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The Importance Of Aftercare

Even when someone has reached maintenance, it doesnt mean theyre cured of addiction. Like diabetes or heart disease, its a chronic condition that requires major lifestyle changes to keep under control. As such, its crucial that people in addiction recovery make continuous active efforts to maintain sobriety. Complacency or a sense that the work is done once you reach maintenance is often a one-way ticket to recovery relapse.

Aftercare helps you stay on track and keep practicing what you learned while in rehab. Whether its individual therapy, support groups, 12-step meetings or an outpatient treatment program, we recommend staying in some form of aftercare for at least one or two years after you complete a course of rehab program.

Quitting Porn Only Takes A Second

Quitting is easy Ive done it hundreds of times. So goes the old joke. It might be painful more than funny for anyone trapped by an addiction like porn. But theres a nugget of truth in it: quitting porn does only take a second.

Someone can quit porn as quickly as they can close the browser. Every time someone chooses not to look at porn, theyve quit porn. Its as simple as that. Quitting porn isnt something that takes years, months, or even daysits a decision in a moment.

It may be obvious, but its nonetheless important to remember. Alcoholics Anonymous gives advice very pertinent for people recovering from porn:

In most cases, we cannot anticipate every possible turn of events, and no matter how diligently we are prepared, we are eventually caught off guard. Meanwhile, weve expended so much time and energy trying to predict future events, soothe future hurts, and even prevent future consequences that we have missed out on todays opportunities. And the magnitude of the task we have set for ourselves has left us drained, overwhelmed, and distraught.

Dont worry about never looking at porn again. Just quit for now.

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Stages Of Drug Rehabilitation

The goal of the drug addiction rehabilitation system is to restore the patients personality so that they can take control of their behavior and start life from scratch. That is why detoxification is required at the first stage rehabilitation by the direct work of psychotherapists, psychiatrists, narcologists, psychologists, social workers, consultants is required at the second stage. A created social environment provides a patient with all possible support, along with medical and psychological methods.

Psychological rehabilitation of drug addicts involves the use of drugs to correct residual disorders, such as depression. On average, the first stage lasts three months.

The second stage is the implementation of acquired knowledge in real life after leaving the rehabilitation center. At this stage, the patient gets support in outpatient psychological groups, as well as assistance in finding a job. A patient needs to believe in their strength.

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