How Long Does it Take to Overcome an Addiction?

Addiction is a complex issue that affects people in different ways. While there is no one-size-fits-all timeline for overcoming an addiction, research suggests that it takes approximately 90 days for the brain to restart and get rid of the immediate influence of a drug. A landmark study by researchers at University College London found that the time people needed to change their behavioral patterns ranged from 18 to 254 days, with most people taking at least two months to develop new patterns of behavior. The process of overcoming an addiction typically begins with detoxification, which is the removal of the substance from the body.

Detox programs usually take about 7 days, but cravings can take weeks or even months to go away. Medical professionals suggest ninety days as a general estimate for dopamine recovery, although drug damage may last longer and require a year or more for dopamine levels and brain cells to recover. When it comes to treatment, many factors influence the time it takes to end an addiction, especially if you are facing a relapse. Outpatient treatment typically lasts around 90 days, but some people may need longer treatment programs for better results.

Research shows that better results occur with longer treatment durations, so it's important to focus on what will bring you the greatest chance of long-term success. No matter how long it takes, it's important to remember that overcoming an addiction is possible. With the right support and resources, you can break free from addiction and start living a healthier life.