How Long Does it Take to Get Sober?
As of 2009, nearly 24 million people are suffering from drug or alcohol abuse. Among this group, only two million are
receiving treatment. With the first part of this treatment being detox, it is clear that we have a long way to go. Call now to get your process started.
Getting sober can be a very difficult process for an addict. Alcohol and drugs often serve as an escape from the real world for someone who is suffering. These substances either make people forget about problems for a while or help them handle them better. It’s hard to imagine your life without addictions once it becomes a habit, but it’s not impossible. There is life after addiction, and no matter when you decide to quit, you can get the support you need.
People always wonder how long this process takes, maybe in a rush to get rid of the habit or in a rush to recover the lives they’ve lost once the addiction took over. You can reap benefits not long after quitting the addiction. But let’s find out what the process involves.
What Is Getting Sober?
The word “sober” is thrown around a lot, and it can mean many things. But in essence, the word is mostly used in connection with alcohol. When someone is drunk, their mind is not 100% capable of comprehending things. It has been impaired, and the individual cannot properly make judgments.
Sober is the opposite of drunk or under the influence of drugs. As such, getting sober refers to not being drunk or under drug influence. The effect of the substance has worn off, and the individual has achieved a clear state of mind. Getting sober means getting clean and giving up on the harmful substances that already became a habit.
You can achieve sobriety if you work hard enough for it, and for some people, this means going to a rehab center. They may also decide to spend some time in a sober living home once they undergo treatment. After achieving sobriety, they can go back to their normal lives, find new ways to cope with their struggles and be able to think clearly again, without alcohol or drugs impairing their judgment.
What is the Timeline for Getting Sober?
Every person is different, and their journey towards sobriety is unique. There is a typical timeline for getting sober, though, and in every step along the way, the former addict feels differently.
The First Week
Getting started is the hardest part, and the initial stage that follows is even harder. After years of abusing a substance, your body is used to it as a connection was formed. Once you are dealing with different feelings, substance abuse is your go-to coping mechanism. Suddenly cutting it off will bring some side effects along. They include seizures, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, and/or chills. Some cases also include delirium tremens and even the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Since the brain was affected by the substance you abused, you may end up dealing with confusion and hallucinations while the body adjusts to surviving without alcohol or drugs. When you’re part of a detox program, you will receive help to manage the side effects of alcohol and drug withdrawal.
2-4 Weeks Without Alcohol
Once the first stage is over, the addict moves to the second stage, which is not as severe as the first one. At this point, your body has started to adjust to living without abusing any substance. However, this should not be mistaken for a lack of connection between the brain and the substance. Mental health and alcohol or drugs will still be connected, meaning there will still be some lingering effects that you will experience. Depression and/or anxiety may be present, and mood swings may make their presence known too. You will also feel a lack of energy. This is a time of healing, and even if the symptoms are difficult to handle, they happen for a reason. The body is trying to adjust and become healthier.
After a month, your body will have made a lot of progress in the healing process. Physical health is improved, and mental health is better too. During this period, you will be able to notice the improvements in your mental health. The sleep quality is better and the ability to focus will be improved as well. The temptation to drink or abuse drugs will not be gone, though.
Once you reach three months without alcohol or drugs, your body will be in an even better condition. The worst had passed. There may still be a few mental health issues like depression or moments of anger, but they will be less frequent. But during this stage, many think they can control triggers now, when that may not be the case.
Being sober is becoming the norm, and the new coping mechanisms are habits at this point. The vulnerability is still there, though.
Once a year has passed, your risk of relapse is significantly lower. You may notice you’ve lost weight too. You are at a lower risk of developing cancer, and your liver should work normally now. The brain is recovering as well.
How Long Does The Process Usually Take?
Everyone is different, and the path to getting sober may be longer for some and shorter for others. It all depends on your determination and circumstances. Some people end up relapsing, and they have to start all over, which makes the recovery process longer.
It can take months and even years for someone to get fully sober. Some factors that influence the process include how long the person has been drinking or taking drugs, how much of the substance they tend to consume, their age or sex, and whether they have mental or physical health problems at the same time.
Getting Clean for Good
Getting sober for good is possible if you get professional help. There is nothing to be ashamed of because you are not alone in this battle. You can get professional support and guidance, as well as treatment. You can start a life of recovery once you reach out to someone for help.
You can stay in a rehab center for a while, and treatment can continue after you’re out of rehab. While transitioning back to normal life, many addicts decide to stay in a sober living home. This increases the likelihood of staying off the harmful substance and continuing the recovery process.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your recovery journey now! Get in contact with a professional and you can get sober with some dedication and hard work!