In the moment, living with an addiction can feel like a lifetime in itself. Many individuals describe it as a sentence, where freedom is controlled by the presence of drugs and alcohol. However, there are contradictory arguments on the longevity of addiction, and whether a diagnosis is a lifetime concern or whether it can be overcome and managed with sustainability in mind.

Does addiction last a lifetime?

While there are arguments, there however is a lack of research into the lifespan of addiction, mainly down to the complex and unique makeup of each diagnosis.

By that, here at Asana Lodge, we mean that for some individuals, sustainable recovery can be realistic, down to lifestyle choices and biological traits. However, for others, biological susceptibilities, along with post-rehab steps can dictate the risk of a lifetime constraint of addiction.

In turn, to answer ‘does addiction last a lifetime?’, a clear result is challenging to secure, where both yes and no will suffice. Depending on personal outlooks, genes, experiences, and actions, the lifespan of addiction can therefore fluctuate, making it difficult to forecast the degree of control of such addictive behaviours.

Join us as we consider whether addiction can last a lifetime, or whether long-term sobriety can be secured through positive lifestyle and management steps. If you’re struggling through the symptoms of addiction, or you’re finding it hard to balance the management of long-term addiction recovery, contact our team today. 


The addiction recovery process

The addiction recovery process, while speaking about on a universal basis, is in fact different for every individual. Some will thrive through rehab, become comfortable with the management of sobriety, and control the risks of future addiction diagnoses, independently.

Through the same recovery programme, others will find challenges in withdrawal, relapse prevention and sustaining an addiction-free future.

There are a number of different internal and external factors which can dictate the lifespan of addiction, even when a similar rehab programme, stream of addiction treatment services, and levels of support are experienced.

Genetics is a key director of addiction susceptibility, where some individuals experience increased susceptibility of developing a diagnosis. Those with mental health issues are also at greater risk. Both are linked to episodic addictive behaviours, which does support the lifetime span of addiction.

Post-rehab actions can also influence whether addiction can last a lifetime, from lifestyle choices, to drug and alcohol exposure, and to personal tolerances. Some recovering addicts can thrive through the rebuild process, showcasing how short-term an addiction diagnosis can be.

This level of variation alone showcases how challenging it can be to define the lifespan of addiction, as it may be a physical sentence for some, but a short-term life lesson for others.


Does addiction last a lifetime?

There is a clear argument when considering ‘does addiction last a lifetime?’. Science, when focusing on genetics does highlight the predisposition of addictive tolerances, and how someone with genetical makeup of such susceptibility will have compulsive behavioural problems, such as addiction side effects for the long-term.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, personal experiences have disrupted such findings, where maintaining long-term sobriety has been possible.


  • The argument of long-term addictive tendencies

Once an addiction develops, it can be near enough impossible to suppress its presence without medical and therapeutic intervention. Standing as drug and alcohol rehab, here’s where a comprehensive rehab programme will need to be completed to overshadow such behaviours.

While addiction can impact any individual, there is scientific research into genetics and how nature can increase the risk of addiction for some individuals. Those with such susceptibilities are found to display weaknesses to habit and compulsive responses, which argues the lifetime span of addictive tendencies.

Those who argue that addiction can last a lifetime indicate that treatment helps to suppress current symptoms, yet there is a risk of reoccurring symptoms and unhealthy relationships moving forward.


  • The argument of change and sustainable recovery 

Similar to the above, an addiction will need to be tackled with consistent and strong sessions of addiction treatment. Relapse prevention, lifestyle management and ongoing support will be necessary to reach a state of recovery.

Through this commitment, the argument of change and sustainable recovery is found, where the life span of addiction is thrown out. Many believe and have proven through rehabilitation experiences that people can change, that control over nurture can suppress the risk of relapse, and that manageable steps can deter triggers.

Those who argue that all addictions do not last a lifetime aren’t suggesting that further exposure and consumption of drugs and alcohol is possible, especially to current habits. Yet are highlighting the long-term benefits of sobriety and the management of such control.


Maintaining long-term sobriety

Ultimately, to answer ‘does addiction last a lifetime?’, there are a wealth of experiences that can either support or deter the lifespan of addiction. There isn’t a guarantee that long-term sobriety will be experienced by every client. Yet, there is hope and there are steps in place to promote such results.

So many different emotions, experiences and things happen in long-term sobriety. There are long-term effects of addiction, experienced by some individuals more than others, yet they are common, including triggers, including vulnerabilities, and including the need to protect oneself. However, with that, long-term addiction recovery is a feasible goal and can be fulfilled through management.

Considering lifestyle choices, promoting a relapse prevention plan, avoiding exposure to triggers, maintaining transparency and openness, following healthy coping strategies and routines, focusing on mental health and mindfulness, and thinking rationally can all help to shorten the lifespan of addiction.

At Asana Lodge, we believe in freedom from addiction. We believe that psychological healing, that personal understanding, and that ongoing effort can enhance long-term recovery capabilities. Paired with management, we see beyond the lifetime constraints of addiction. However, some will argue that such management is supporting the case that addiction can last a lifetime.

It’s a complex argument that is dictated by personal experiences. Yet, we can vouch for rehab, for the commitment of long-term addiction recovery, and for the hope in personal maintenance, taught through rehab.

If you’re struggling, it’s important to remember that addiction isn’t forever, even if your genetics are vulnerable. You can increase your lifespan by recovering while deterring the development of long-term addiction.




John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 16 April 2021

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

Back to all posts