Most people who are addicted to substances need at least three months of treatment to stay sober and begin a recovery plan. Studies have shown that the best results come from longer-term treatments. The idea that it takes 21 days to break a habit is now considered a myth. Psychologists have found that while it takes around 21 days of conscious effort to form a new habit, it takes much longer to break an existing one.
The amount of time it takes to quit a habit varies depending on the type of habit, and the same is true for addiction. Generally, the process begins with detoxification, which can take up to seven days to remove the substance from the body. It may take additional weeks or months for cravings to subside. Research has been conducted on the brains of cocaine addicts, and after 14 months of withdrawal, dopamine transporter levels returned to almost normal functioning.
This is also true for those addicted to alcohol and marijuana. In general, it takes most people between one and two years to recover from addiction. More research is needed in this area, as scientists have only just begun to examine the effects of drugs on the brain. Outpatient treatment usually lasts for 90 days, but some people may continue treatment indefinitely if they are part of a comprehensive care program.
Inpatient detoxification is the best way to start recovery, and this process can take up to two weeks. The amount of time it takes to overcome an addiction depends on the individual, their substance abuse issues, and their treatment needs. Depending on their stage of life and unique circumstances, they may have to choose between work and recovery or personal well-being and the well-being of their family. However, addressing addiction and advancing the recovery process can shorten the duration of treatment.