If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s likely that you’ve thought about treatment more than once.

Addiction treatment saves lives, and many people do successfully recover and go on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. 

It doesn’t happen overnight, though. Recovery is an ongoing process, and it’s something people with substance abuse disorders must work on every day for the rest of their lives. 

Whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or for someone else, you may find yourself asking, “How long is the road to recovery?” 

The answer to that question is different for each and every individual. Read on to learn more about how long you can expect the process of getting treatment to take, and what kind of post-recovery care occurs down the road. 

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

The first thing to know about addiction recovery treatment programs is that there are two main formats. The right one for you is a very personal decision. Any addiction treatment center’s intake staff can help you to determine which path is best for your specific situation.

Inpatient Treatment

In inpatient treatment, patients live on-site for a period of time to fully focus upon their recovery and to address the root causes of it. Inpatient treatment can be quite helpful for people who need intensive rehabilitation services. People in inpatient treatment will have access to recovery professionals twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The duration of inpatient programs can vary but most are thirty, sixty, or ninety days in length. The benefits of 30/60/90 days are many. Inpatient patients will be surrounded by other people who are going through the same things as them. They will be less tempted to use because there will be no opportunity to do so. And, they will be above to work on their issues intensively with the help of experienced staff members who want to help.

The longer you can stay in an inpatient treatment facility, the better. Why are longer stays preferred? The answer to that question is simple. An inpatient treatment facility will give you the opportunity to focus on yourself and your recovery at all times. The longer you are able to stay, the better your chances of staying clean and sober in the long term once your stay is complete.

Outpatient Treatment

On the other hand, many people instead opt for outpatient addiction recovery services. These types of services are beneficial because the patient can continue to live his or her life as normal while attending support groups and counseling sessions on a daily or weekly basis. 

Outpatient treatment allows parents to stay at home with their children.  It also allows workers the opportunity to continue working their regular job while also working on their recovery.

What to Expect from Treatment

In both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings, the addiction recovery professionals there will help you to break free from the substances you abuse. If detoxification is necessary, you will experience it in a medical setting and you will be made to feel as comfortable as possible. 

Once the substances are out of your system, then the real work can begin. You will work with counselors to determine the root of your addiction, and you will participate in group sessions to share your experiences with others and to learn from others whose experiences likely mirror yours in many ways.

How Long Is the Road to Recovery?

It’s impossible to answer the question, “How long is the road to recovery?” with any authority because the answer to that question differs for everyone.

People who attend inpatient treatment will begin with a thirty, sixty, or ninety-day program to help them stop using drugs or alcohol, but the recovery process does not stop there.

Outpatient addiction recovery patients might attend a handful of sessions and feel that they have a handle on their addiction, or they may continue to attend sessions several times a week for a year and still feel that they have not yet completely broken free.

In both cases, addiction recovery is an ongoing process. Even when the time comes to leave the inpatient facility or to stop attending meetings and appointments at your outpatient rehab, you’ll still continue to work on your recovery moving forward for the rest of your life.

Post Recovery Care

When you stop attending outpatient addiction recovery services or move out of an inpatient facility, the process of getting treatment may be over, but your road to recovery will continue.

Some people continue to work with counselors on a continuing basis. Others turn to regular support groups for support. Still others move into halfway houses or sober living facilities to further strengthen their ability to stay on a clean and sober path. Many people develop lifelong relationships with a sponsor or other supportive friend; having someone to turn to when the going gets tough is extremely valuable. 

While drug or alcohol treatment, the addiction recovery staff at your facility will help you to foster lifestyle changes that will help you to stay focused on your recovery. You’ll learn coping mechanisms for difficult situations and for dealing with stress. You’ll also learn how to build healthy relationships with the people in your life. 

Even years after completing treatment, you will sometimes experience cravings for drugs or alcohol. This is normal. However, when armed with the right tools, you can overcome these cravings and continue your recovery journey onward into the future.

Good Luck With Your Recovery

Recovery is an ongoing journey and a quest you’ll be on for the rest of your life; that’s why there’s no single, one-size-fits-all answer for the question, “How long is the road to recovery?” 

The road is different for everyone. For some people, it’s smooth and straight. For others, it’s bumpy and rocky and full of twists and turns. But, no matter how difficult the road to recovery might be, it’s a road worth walking.

Addiction is a struggle for so many people, but you can break free. If you’re looking for help or support on your recovery journey, please contact us today. We can’t wait to hear from you. We can help!

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