Recovery From Substance Abuse

What To Expect In Your First Ninety Days Of Recovery From Substance Abuse: Part One

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This is part-one of a two-part series about the first ninety days of recovery from substance abuse.

The First Ninety Days Of Sobriety Are The Most Difficult

If you have been struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, and you’ve made the decision to get clean and sober, good for you. We celebrate your awesome choice! You are on the right path and you can rest assured that good things are coming your way.

However; it is important to understand that the first ninety days of recovery from substance abuse are difficult. We won’t sugarcoat it. Breaking an addiction to mood and mind-altering chemicals is uncomfortable and challenging – to say the least.

Many People Relapse During The First Three Months

Statistically speaking, most people do not make it through their very first ninety days of sobriety without returning to drugs or alcohol. But, you don’t have to be a statistic. You can make the decision right now that you are going endure the first few difficult months of sobriety and make it. Just because sobriety is uncomfortable at first doesn’t mean you can’t deal with the discomfort and get through it.

However; if you do relapse, don’t give up hope and return to active addiction. After a couple of attempts at continued sobriety, most people find that they can get through it. It just takes some practice. The first three months are painful, so don’t beat yourself up if your first try at sobriety doesn’t work out. Just get back up and try again.

You Must Be Mentally Prepared For Those First Ninety Days

In the meantime, we want you to be prepared for the road that lies ahead. Knowing what to expect in your first three months of sobriety will help you get ready for the rollercoaster you are facing – and trust us when we tell you, it is a rollercoaster. If you are mentally prepared, tackling the daunting task of staying sober through those first grueling ninety days will be much easier.

You should expect the next couple of months to be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Quitting drugs and alcohol takes a toll on even the strongest person. If you understand this going in, you won’t be surprised when you feel out of whack. You will think, “Ah, yes, this is hard. It’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it. I was warned about this. I can do this. It will pass and things will get better.”

What To Expect In Your First Ninety Days – The Pain Of Withdrawal

When you stop abusing mood and mind-altering chemicals, your body and mind have to go through an adjustment period. It is important to understand that drugs and alcohol take their toll on the brain and the body. When you stop drinking and drugging, your system has to get re acclimated to operating without chemicals.

This is known as withdrawal. There are two phases to withdrawal – acute withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal. We will talk more about these two phases in part two of this blog.

Be sure to check out What To Expect In Your First Ninety Days Of Recovery From Substance Abuse: Part Two.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.
If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction, contact one of our therapists today.
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