While addiction in itself is not a habit, there is a strong correlation between the cycle of addiction and the subconscious pattern of a habit. After all, addiction is kind of like a habit on steroids—a regular practice or manner of behavior that is really, really hard to give up.
How long does it take to break the habit of addiction?
It takes 21 days to break an addiction
The old belief that it took 21 days to change a habit has now been labeled a myth. According to psychologists, while it may take approximately 21 days of conscious and consistent effort to create a new habit, it takes far longer to break an existing habit.
It can take up to 90 days to break an addiction
A TIME article gives scientific evidence that it takes approximately 90 days for “the brain to reset itself and shake off the immediate influence of a drug.” Researchers from Yale University found a gradual re-engaging of proper decision making and analytical functions in the brain’s prefrontal cortex after an addict has abstained for at least 90 days.
This may help explain why 90 day rehab has a higher success rate than short term treatment. As the current gold standard of treatment, 90 day rehab gives your brain time to reset itself, allows you to then master the skills of recovery, and allows time for those new patterns to become habits.
It requires time to achieve any goal, and recovery from addiction is no different. As the old saying goes, “The best friend a patient has in treatment is time.”
The reality: addiction lasts the rest of your life
Although 90 days is considered the gold standard of treatment, you can’t put a timeline on beating an addiction. Addiction is a life-long enemy, and recovery is a daily battle–even after years of sobriety.
Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab can help you break from addiction by teaching you how to do the daily work to achieve recovery.