90 Days

The 90 day benchmark is not an arbitrary number; it is a period of apprenticeship whereby a man can re-learn the joy and satisfaction of self-mastery and revered freedom. Consider the reality of the situation: pornographers do their best to expose boys to their illicit trade as they know the younger a boy is when he first views pornography, the more addicted he will be as an adult. Most men spend the entirety of their post-pubescent life unhappily addicted to (or at least harassed by) pornography and lust. In some cases, perhaps most cases, the struggle men endure can last for years, if not decades.

These facts sadly recalled, a purification of 90 days now seems miniscule. A thirty-year old man who was exposed to pornography at age 12, has spent 6,570 days struggling in the darkness of his sexual habit or addiction. So, for 6,570 days this man has been enslaved to an addiction that has depleted him of self-confidence, appropriate self-love, and his integrity as a man. That his addiction can be broken in only 90 days suddenly sounds merciful, if not completely manageable!

What is 90 days? Most men consider the 90 day period of purification a manly challenge, something that may have been missing in his life for a long time. In addition, he finds the challenge especially gratifying when engaged in the company of like-minded brothers. The Jewish people spent 40 years in the desert to earn freedom, all it takes is 90 days for a man to earn back his.

How many times has a man said to himself, “I am overwhelmed; I cannot resist this temptation; I will give in this time and I will be chaste tomorrow”? And, years later, he is faced with a wicked addiction that is nearly impossible to overcome. Stop listening to the Evil One! The most important step a man will make toward true freedom is BELIEVING the addiction can be broken. Here, science can encourage us:

  • “The good news, however, is that Dr. Nora Volkow’s studies found that, at least in some cases, the brain begins returning to its pre-drug state after a year of abstinence. In 1985, she began using scans to study the brains of addicts, tracking blood flow and dopamine levels, among other things. After the subjects had been clean for a year, she rescanned their brains and found that they had begun to return to their original states.

“In addition, researchers have found that it takes about 90 days – the length of many rehabilitation models, including AA – for the brain to “reset” itself. A Yale University study found that after an addict has abstained for at least 90 days, the brain gradually returns to its natural decision-making and analytical functions” (All in Our Heads: How the Brain Creates Addiction; O’Dell, Meghan).

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse reports: “Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes” (Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide).
  • Jason Powers:  Interestingly enough, people in recovery have known this saying forever “90 meetings in 90 days” because when the brain is engaged in a habit for 90 days it becomes easier to do. So if you’re engaged in a program of recovery and you do it daily, chances of relapse are reduced” (Physiology of Addiction; All Treatment).