If you have started the recovery journey, your eyes are on the prize of sobriety. How long does it take, though? Are there ways to sober up fast? Unfortunately, achieving sobriety can be a slow process. Getting sober is one thing, but staying sober requires more work and time. It is essential to have the right expectations before entering treatment. The only thing that genuinely can sober you up is time because recovery requires a whole-life overhaul.
How Long Does It Take to Get Sober?
When you use drugs or alcohol regularly, intoxication occurs, and many organs are affected. Take the liver, for example. A healthy liver can process 1-2 standard drinks per hour. An unhealthy or overtaxed liver, such as if you have been drinking daily for a while, will take a long time to process the same amount of alcohol. The same is true for drugs.
Moreover, substance use may also affect your brain because the neurological pathways that control the pleasure center are re-wired. Therefore when you try to quit drugs or alcohol, you will experience withdrawal symptoms related to the nervous system and may find it difficult to feel pleasure through natural means.
The time it takes to achieve sobriety depends on various factors, including the severity of the addiction, nutritional intake, what kind or kinds of substances you used, co-occurring mental health conditions, genetics, and more.
What Does Sobriety Look Like?
Sobriety takes more than just quitting drugs and alcohol. It means revamping your life to manage underlying issues through healthier means. Until you achieve a state of inner peace and a sustainable healthy lifestyle, there is always the risk of relapse.
Getting sober is an emotional process. In the beginning, it can be uncomfortable. If you expect to be happier after quitting substances, you may set yourself up for failure. Instead, you must put serious work into developing a new life rhythm that helps restore mind-body balance.
You will feel more confident and empowered as you make more positive life changes. You will regain a sense of control. Even when you occasionally struggle with cravings and stress, having been through treatment will help you know how to adjust and where to seek help.
How Do I Get Sober Steadily?
Slow and steady wins the race, especially regarding addiction recovery. Consider the many months or years you have used drugs and alcohol. You should expect to invest the same amount of time in treatment. There is no quick fix. Be patient and keep yourself motivated for the long haul.
Equally important is working with recovery experts and health professionals who can custom-design a treatment plan that targets your health concerns. For some people, this customized treatment plan means investigating deeper causes of substance addiction, such as family history or traumatic experiences. Further, some people may have a dual diagnosis that needs a higher level of care. In any case, your best bet is to work closely with a team of recovery professionals.
The lack of a strong support system tends to slow recovery for many people. Support is essential for rebuilding your social life for long-term wellness. You do not want to tread the path of isolation and loneliness, which can lead to relapse. Neither should you hang out with old friends who also use substances.
What Are the Stages of Getting Sober?
You can expect some general timelines and milestones. Again, these differ for everyone depending on several factors. Typically, the first week of sobriety is about overcoming withdrawal symptoms. You can expect the first few days to be physically and emotionally challenging.
After the first month following detox, you may feel like withdrawal symptoms are fading. By then, your brain is adapting to a substance-free life, and neural pathways can be repaired. However, you may still experience anxiety, irritability, fatigue, or sleeping problems. Implementing a regular regimen can help relieve these conditions.
Then, after six months of staying sober and working on good eating and sleeping habits, you may notice improvements in mood and general health. You may want to socialize more. While this is a good sign, remember that sobriety is still the priority. Set up an accountability system by involving family and friends.
Once you achieve a year of sobriety, you have reached a milestone worth celebrating. Many people begin to feel more joyful than they have in a long time after a year. You may have leveled up your skills in stress management and sober socializing. You should still participate in peer support groups after hitting this milestone. The biggest threat at this stage is complacency—thinking that you have reached full recovery.
Even if you achieve long-term sobriety, remember that recovery is a life-long process. Always keep in mind that relapses are still a relevant risk. Throughout your life, you will continue to be exposed to triggers. Sometimes the unexpected happens, and you need to develop effective coping strategies. The best tip is always to prioritize self-care and motivation.
Wanting to achieve sobriety fast may be every recovering individual’s wish. However, slow and steady wins this game. Addiction recovery that lasts is not about quick fixes. Once you find the right team of health professionals to work with, you are on the path toward success. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our residential rehab facility offers you full-service care for reaching sobriety. We offer many services and programs that provide therapies, self-care coaching, and life skills to our clients. Our treatment programs include detox, medication, 12-Step groups, and relationship skills coaching. Most of our staff have gone through recovery themselves. We also offer outpatient programs you can use after finishing residential treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today to discover how our caring and trustworthy team can set you on the path toward lasting sobriety. Call us today at (954) 329-1118.