How Long Does an Alcohol Recovery Program Last?


The question of how long an alcohol recovery program lasts is one that many people struggle with. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects millions of Americans every year, and some of these individuals may be wondering how long it will take them to recover from the disease. 

The answer depends on several factors, including your unique circumstances and what kind of treatment you receive. 

In this article, we’ll discuss some common questions related to the duration of alcohol recovery.

Factors that Affect Treatment Duration

Naturally, the length of treatment will vary based on the individual. Factors that impact how long recovery takes include:

Your Alcohol Addiction History

If you’re a longtime alcoholic, it may take several months before your brain and body learn to function without alcohol. If you’ve only been drinking heavily for a short time, however, and have no history of addiction or dependence, you can beat your addiction in a shorter time.

Family History

If you are an adult with a family history of alcohol use disorder or other substance use disorders, you may need to work with your doctor for several months before you’re able to officially stop drinking. Family history plays a big part in addiction.


Older adults tend to need more time in treatment than younger adults because it takes longer for their bodies to heal from the damage caused by alcohol abuse. Younger people are also able to recover more quickly because they have fewer long-term issues associated with alcohol abuse and addiction.

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Strength of Support Network

If you have strong relationships with friends and family members who are willing to help you stay sober when stressful situations arise, then this could reduce the amount of time it takes for you to recover from alcoholism.

Medical and Mental Health Conditions

Some people need more time to heal from their addiction than others. For example, if you have an underlying condition such as depression or anxiety, it will take longer for you to feel better without alcohol than someone who doesn’t have these conditions. The same is true for physical health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Your Motivation for Change

If you have a strong desire to stop drinking and make other changes in your life, this can help speed up your recovery process. However, if you aren’t motivated to change (or don’t think you need to), it could prolong your recovery time by months or years — or even stop it altogether.

The Bottom Line

As we hope to have made clear, the treatment process for alcohol use disorder is complex and can vary from one individual to another. The length of time it takes to recover will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your condition and whether or not other substances are involved. Treatment programs typically last anywhere from 30 days (for some outpatient options) up to 90 days (for inpatient programs).

But don’t worry—the important thing is that you’re getting help right now! We know how difficult addiction can be, but if you take things one day at a time and focus on taking care of yourself physically as well as mentally and emotionally, then recovery becomes much more manageable. 

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