How Long Does it Take to Get Sober?
As of 2021, nearly 24 million aged 12 or older suffer from a substance use disorder, which includes both drug and alcohol abuse. Among this group, only four 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 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; no matter when you decide to quit, you can get the support you need.
People always ask, how long does it take to get sober? Maybe in a rush to get rid of the habit or in a rush to recover the life they’ve lost once the drug and alcohol 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 often thrown around and can mean many things. But the word is mostly used in connection with alcohol intoxication. When a person’s blood alcohol concentration is elevated, 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 an alcoholic drink or drugs. As such, getting sober refers to not being drunk, binge drinking, 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 have already become a habit.
You can achieve sobriety if you work hard enough; this means going to a rehab center for some people. They may also decide to spend some time in a sober living home once they undergo treatment. After achieving sobriety, they can return to their normal lives, find new ways to cope with their struggles, and think clearly without alcohol or drugs impairing their judgment.
What is the Timeline for Getting Sober?
The timeline for getting sober varies depending on several factors, including the individual’s level of addiction, the type of substance(s) used, and any co-occurring mental health issues that may require dual diagnosis treatment. However, there are some general milestones that can be expected during the recovery process:
The First Week
During the first week of sobriety, a person will typically experience withdrawal symptoms as their body adjusts to the absence of drugs or alcohol. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the substance used and the severity of the addiction. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
Anxiety and irritability
Insomnia or sleep disturbances
Tremors or shaking
Nausea and vomiting
Sweating and fever
Hallucinations or seizures (in severe cases)
It’s essential to seek medical care during this stage, as withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous if not managed properly.
2-4 Weeks Without Alcohol
In the first month of sobriety, withdrawal symptoms usually subside, and the body begins to heal. The individual may notice improvements in their mental clarity, energy levels, and overall well-being. It is crucial to continue focusing on recovery during this period, as the risk of relapse is still high. Some aspects to concentrate on include:
Developing a daily routine
Engaging in regular physical activity
Practicing stress management techniques, such as meditation or yoga
Connecting with support groups or attending therapy sessions
Identifying and avoiding triggers for substance abuse and use
After one month of sobriety, the individual may experience significant improvements in their physical health and mental clarity. However, they should continue to work on developing healthy coping mechanisms, as the risk of relapse remains present. Strategies for maintaining sobriety during this stage include:
Continuing to attend therapy or support group sessions
Building a strong support network of friends and family members
Exploring new hobbies or recreational activities
Focusing on personal growth and self-improvement
After three months of sobriety, the individual will likely have experienced substantial improvements in their physical and mental health. They may have established a solid support network, attended therapy or support groups, and made significant progress in rebuilding their life without drugs or alcohol. During this stage, it’s essential to:
Continue focusing on personal growth and self-improvement: Set achievable goals and work on areas of your life that need attention, such as relationships, career, or education.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Prioritize nutrition, exercise, and sleep to support overall well-being and reduce the risk of relapse.
Strengthen your support network: Continue building connections with friends, family members, and peers who understand and support your recovery journey.
Stay committed to therapy or support groups: Regular sessions can help address ongoing emotional or psychological challenges, reinforce coping strategies, and provide a sense of accountability.
Develop and follow a relapse prevention plan: Identify potential triggers for substance use and outline a strategy to manage cravings, stress, and other challenges that may arise.
Reaching the three-month milestone is a significant achievement in the recovery process. However, it’s essential to remember that sobriety requires ongoing commitment and support. By continuing to prioritize personal growth, engaging in therapy or support groups, and maintaining a strong support network, individuals can achieve long-term sobriety and a healthier, more fulfilling life.
At the six-month mark, the individual will likely have made significant progress in their recovery journey. They may have developed a strong support network, attended therapy or support groups, and started to rebuild their lives without drugs or alcohol. During this stage, it’s essential to:
Remain vigilant about avoiding triggers for substance use
Continue attending therapy or support group sessions
Seek help immediately if cravings or thoughts of relapse occur
Celebrate milestones and achievements in recovery
After a year of sobriety, the individual has likely experienced significant personal growth and healing. They may have made substantial progress in addressing the root causes of their addiction and developing healthy habits to maintain sobriety. It’s crucial to:
Stay committed to the recovery process, even when challenges arise
Continue seeking support from friends, family, and professionals
Focus on long-term goals and personal development
How Long Does The Process Usually Take?
The time it takes to achieve lasting sobriety varies from person to person, depending on factors such as the severity of the addiction, the substances used, and any co-occurring mental health disorders. While some individuals may achieve sobriety within a few months, others may require several years of ongoing support and treatment to maintain their recovery.
Getting Clean for Good
Achieving lasting sobriety requires ongoing commitment and support from the individual and their loved ones. Here are some essential factors to consider for maintaining long-term recovery:
Ongoing therapy or counseling: Regular therapy sessions can help address the psychological aspects of addiction, identify triggers, and develop coping strategies.
Support groups: Connecting with others in recovery can provide a sense of belonging, understanding, and encouragement.
Relapse prevention strategies: Developing a plan to handle cravings, stress, and other triggers can reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Developing a healthy lifestyle: Focusing on nutrition, exercise, and stress management can help support overall well-being and reduce the risk of relapse.
Building a strong support network: Having friends, family members, or peers who understand and support recovery can be crucial to long-term success.