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How Long Will It Take to Heal From Addiction?

Addiction and alcoholism cause a great amount of mental, physical, and spiritual damage. We cannot expect to be healed overnight, but choosing to detox is a good first step. After the drugs have been cleared from our systems, however, we have a long road of healing ahead of us. We may still experience uncomfortable symptoms, known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), and some emotional and behavioral problems. Fortunately, the longer we stay sober and focus on our personal and spiritual growth, the more likely our problems will be to resolve overtime.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that addiction is “a brain disorder that occurs when repeated drug use leads to changes in the function of multiple brain circuits that control pleasures/reward, stress, decision-making, impulse control, learning and memory, and other functions.” These changes significantly dampen the brain’s ability to feel pleasure, manage stress, control impulses, and make healthy decisions. Addictive drugs can release two to ten times more dopamine than natural pleasure-producing activities, and the brain eventually stops producing as much dopamine.

The brain changes caused may result in feelings of emotional numbness that can persist for some time after detoxification. Detoxification is a great step toward recovery. However, according to the NIDA, detoxification can “manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal and can, for some, pave the way for effective long-term addiction treatment, detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicted individuals achieve long-term abstinence.” The brain is still healing from addiction after detoxification, and a person may continue to experience problems. Fortunately, treatment offers behavioral therapies that can help a person learn to cope with persisting problems.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome consists of a variety of symptoms, including irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, problems with focus and memory, and low energy. The intensity and duration of PAWS symptoms depend on how long a person has been using drugs, what type of drugs, and how frequently they were using. The symptoms can last from days or weeks up to two years. However, there are steps a person can take to improve their rate of healing and get back to a healthy and happy life.

Resilient House, a treatment facility in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavioral health and  addiction specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients heal from the damage caused by addiction and alcoholism. After treatment, Resilient House offers continued support through the Alumni Program to help ensure that clients are able to live happy, joyous and free lives in sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431