If you have a close friend or family member suffering from addiction, you might be wondering how long recovery takes. It’s certainly an understandable question – addiction is hard to cope with, both for the addict themselves and for their loved ones.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not as clear-cut as you’re probably hoping. Each person’s recovery process is very unique. Some people experience relapses, some may have difficulty finding a program that works for them, while others may be very lucky and committed and find success in quitting their substance dependence fairly quickly.
Addiction isn’t an easy disease to recover from. While your loved one may find that they are no longer dependant on drugs or alcohol after a period of months or years, it takes a lifetime to truly recover from addiction.
Here’s an idea of what the road to recovery could look like for your loved one:
Long-Term Treatment Programs
When it comes to treatment programs, your loved one will have many options open to them. Whether they opt for an inpatient or outpatient program, we recommend they choose a longer-term program.
Sticking with a program for two or more months allows addicts to build new habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. By establishing these habits, they’ll have an easier time staying committed to their recovery and have a lower probability of relapsing in the future.
Sober living is perfect option for the transitional stage between completing a treatment program and returning to normal life. This gives the addict a chance to apply the principles they learned in their program to real-world situations, but in a safer environment.
In a sober living home, the recovering addict has more freedom and independence than they would in an inpatient treatment program, but they still receive the support and help in holding themselves accountable. Residents of a sober living house can come and go as they please, completing normal daily tasks, but still have to follow certain rules (like curfews, group meetings, etc.).
A recovery coach is an excellent option for helping your loved one to figure out his or her next steps in life. Recovery coaches help addicts to plan for their future and decide how recovery fits into it.
Recovery coaches aren’t therapists and don’t put very much emphasis on past or present feelings. They focus only on the future and how to help your loved one’s future to be as positive as possible. Meetings with a recovery coach can be done in person, over video chat, or via the phone.
One of the most important things to remember about recovering from addiction is that the commitment to recovery can never stop. A recovered addict must always seek to continue learning, growing, and developing.
Whether it’s a spiritual or meditative practice, a new hobby or passion project, the self-development process must be ongoing. As soon as someone stops growing, they’re putting themselves at risk for relapse.