How Long Does Alcohol Addiction Treatment Last?

Addiction Treatmen

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can drastically impact a person’s life. It can cause physical and mental health issues, damage relationships, and impair one’s ability to work or attend school. 

Fortunately, there are treatments available to help people struggling with alcohol addiction. 

But how long does alcohol addiction treatment last? 

Continue reading to find out.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment: What the Process Entails

The first step in treatment is detoxification or kicking off the physical withdrawal process. 

Withdrawal symptoms commonly include nausea, vomiting, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. These can be managed with medications to reduce symptoms and therapy to address underlying issues and provide coping skills to manage withdrawal. 

After detox, therapy can help individuals explore their addiction and find the root causes of their use. Types of therapy used in alcohol addiction treatment include 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – A type of talk therapy that focuses on identifying and changing patterns of thought and behavior that may be contributing to the addiction.  
  • Contingency management (CM) – A therapy that involves rewarding the individual for positive behavior, such as remaining sober. 
  • Motivational interviewing (MI) – A therapy that focuses on collaborating with the individual to help them identify their personal reasons for changing their behaviors

Outpatient or Inpatient

Outpatient treatment programs usually occur at a clinic or treatment center. They may be recommended for individuals with less severe addictions that are not causing major health issues. 

Although individuals may live at home while receiving outpatient treatment, they may also go to a treatment center and return home. In residential treatment programs, individuals live at the treatment facility for the duration of treatment, typically lasting between 30 and 90 days. 

If a person has a severe addiction, has relapsed from previous treatments, or has significant health issues related to their addiction, they may receive inpatient alcohol addiction treatment. Inpatient facilities are highly structured and provide around-the-clock care and monitoring. 

The Type of Treatment Involved

There are many different types of alcohol addiction treatment. The best option for each individual will depend on their specific needs and situation. There are two main types of treatment: 

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – MAT involves using medications to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and help people remain sober. Types of medications used in MAT include naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. Behavioral treatment 
  • Behavioral treatments focus on changing patterns of thought and behavior and helping individuals learn new skills and strategies for living a sober life.

How Severe the Addiction Is

The severity of addictions can also affect how long alcohol addiction treatment lasts. For example, a person with mild alcohol dependence may receive 18 weeks of treatment, while someone with severe dependence may need between 90 and 120 weeks. 

It may be helpful for individuals to discuss with their providers how long they think treatment should last, so they can have a good idea of when they’ll be done. This can help set appropriate expectations and help individuals remain focused on the process.

 It’s also important to note that while treatment may last a certain number of weeks, it’s not a race to finish. People should take the time they need to heal and receive the support they need to make lasting change.

In Conclusion

Alcohol addiction treatment can be a long process, but it’s worth it. Treatment helps individuals break their addiction and learn new skills to live a sober life. As such, individuals should choose a treatment that best meets their needs and addresses their unique struggles. 

With the right treatment and support, individuals can fully recover and live a life free of alcohol addiction.


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