How long does it take to make a full recovery from alcoholism?

Table Of Contents

How long does it take to make a full recovery from alcoholism?
If you are addicted to alcohol and interested in quitting drinking, how long can you expect it to take? This article explores the different timelines involved in alcohol cessation.
When you decide to stop drinking, you experience uncertainty in differing areas of your life. There are factors to consider that you might not initially think of. If you want to go to rehab for alcoholism, for example, you must schedule time off work. You must consider childcare and perhaps accommodation, should you choose a clinic far from home. One of the key uncertainties which applies to all the above, is how long it will take you to recover. After all, it is hard to book time off work if you don’t know how long it will take you before the shakes and sweats wear off.

Alcohol Recovery Affects Everyone Differently

The first thing to recognise is that a recovery from alcohol addiction will affect each body differently. This is because human bodies each have specific genetics which can lead to greater or lesser recovery times.  Factors which impact how long it will take your body to fully cleanse itself of alcoholism include:
  • Your age – the younger you are, the faster your recovery 
  • Your weight – those with a quicker metabolism, who weigh less, will take less time to eliminate the alcohol during detox
  • How often you drank – those who drank daily will take longer to break the habit than those who drink too much on weekends
  • How much you drank – if you regularly drink 15 units a week, you are still drinking too much. However, those drinking 30 units a week will take longer to recover.
  • How long you drank for – Those who drank every day for ten years may struggle with recovery worse than those who drank every day for a month.
So even if we give you timelines of how long the stages of recovery can take, remember that your personal rehab journey will vary slightly. You might be quicker to detox and take longer to get rid of cravings altogether. You could require more therapy to get to the root cause of your drinking, or very little therapy at all. Your journey to sobriety is personal to you. That’s why a rehab selection service is a wise idea.

Your choice in rehab can affect how long it takes you to recover from alcohol addiction

If you select the wrong rehab clinic when you decide to recover, this can add to the length of time that recovery takes. In fact, is you pick a rehab that doesn’t meet your needs, you could relapse. It is not unusual for an addict to take two or three attempts to recover fully. However, if you fail repeatedly at the same rehab clinic, this could be a sign to try another.  You can call Help 4 Addiction on 0203 955 7700 to speak with one of out advisors. Our team will ask you specific questions to find out what your needs are. We can use those answers to narrow down your choice in clinics to the ones best tailored to you. 

Timeline for Detox from Alcohol

When you quit drinking, the clinic will put you through detox. During alcohol detox, your body processes the last of the alcohol in your system. This can be a natural process, though a medical team may wish to use drugs to help ease the process. In the UK, these drugs could be Carbamazepine, Clomethiazole, diazepam, or other relaxants The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will begin a few hours after your last use. They will gain intensity until 36 hours into your detox, after which they will gradually ease off. Rehab starts when you feel well enough.

Timeline for Alcohol Rehab

Mild conditions can see an advanced recovery within 28 days. If you have a moderate alcohol addiction, you may wish to double this time. Choosing an alcohol rehab clinic with a good aftercare program can help you ease back into normal life. If you have a long term alcohol dependency, three months of rehab will help you get a grasp on it. You may wish to return to rehab in future to top up your knowledge and stay sober.

Ongoing Cravings for Alcohol

Even when you recover in mind and body, you may still experience alcohol cravings. Cravings can go on for years after you quit. However, the longer you stay sober for, the easier they will become to dismiss. 

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

Request A Callback

Receive a callback, we’re ready to help you get on the road to recovery.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
24/7 Helpline Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re here to provide the support you deserve, anytime, day or night.