What are the Stages of Recovery from Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol?
Learning about the stages of recovery from addiction can help addicts, their loved ones, and professionals to better understand the process of recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The reality is that recovering from addiction is not always smooth-sailing, and it’s beneficial for society to discover all they can about addiction, treatment, and recovery, especially now that the nation is in such a critical time where the Opioid Epidemic has affected a large amount of the population.
Stages of Recovery from Addiction
There are 5 major stages of recovery from addiction:
1.) Pre-Contemplation Stage
Prior to the Contemplation Stage is the Pre-Contemplation Stage, which is where denial typically occurs at its greatest. An addict may not even believe they have a problem with drugs or alcohol at this stage. Common thoughts may include, “I’ve got this” or “I don’t have a problem.”
2.) Contemplation Stage
Denial begins to fade during the Contemplation Stage because addicts begin to realize that their compulsion and behavior is concerning. This may be a result of a number of consequences, whether the addict has found themselves in trouble with the law, finances, or relationships. It may also just be that the addict is seeing that they cannot control the urge to use drugs or alcohol. They may begin to realize that they are in distress and suffering. The addict may have a desire to change but no idea as to how.
3.) Preparation Stage
The Preparation Stage is a time period of movement because it is when the addict begins to look for a solution to their problem. It is common for addicts to try substituting one substance for another, trying to stop using or drinking out of pure will power (which doesn’t and won’t work), or even getting rid of drug dealer’s phone numbers or paraphernalia in the home. Addicts may try to get better during this phase, but all of these attempts typically lead them right back to using or drinking because they haven’t found a viable solution or support. Some addicts may even try going to a few 12 Step meetings or talking to a trusted friend or family member about having a difficult time, but they still are not able to just “stop.” This is because addiction is a disease that cannot be wished or willed away.
4.) Action Stage
The Preparation Stage sets up the pathway for the Action Stage because the addict has an idea of some different types of support, which may be with a 12 Step Fellowship, trusted friend or family member, support group, or even an addiction treatment center. It is during the Action Stage, however, that addicts truly make the decision and become willing to do whatever it takes to get off the substances and live a life free from their addiction. By setting this intention, the addict may decide to go to an alcohol and drug rehab facility, followed by an Intensive Outpatient Program, Halfway House, and 12-Step Fellowship Program. This is the stage where addicts truly learn that they are suffering from a disease that requires not only treatment but also maintenance in order to keep up with their recovery from addiction.
5.) Maintenance and Relapse Prevention
One of, if not the, most important stages of recovery from addiction is the Maintenance and Relapse Prevention Stage. This is the phase where recovering addicts continue to work on themselves through counseling, 12 Step Fellowships, and support groups in order to maintain their sobriety and not slip back into old patterns and behaviors. The reality is that recovery from addiction is not always linear nor is it easy as 1-2-3. Many addicts and alcoholics will find that they may switch back and forth between stages or experience some of the aspects of each stage at different points in time.
All in all, understanding these stages of recovery from addiction can help recovering addicts put words to their feelings and emotions. It can help for them to see where they are in the recovery process and help them understand more about the disease of addiction that they are suffering from.
A leading addiction treatment facility like The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs can be helpful because a full continuum of care is offered for the treatment of addiction. This means that from the moment you begin to contemplate there is a problem, you can call The Watershed and our addiction specialists can speak with you and go over your options for recovery, which should include a safe, medical detox and inpatient rehab. By getting weaned off all substances and receiving treatment for underlying issues, you can begin to work on the real problem that has caused you to turn to substances initially. Even more than this, The Watershed offers a number of aftercare options, including Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Halfway Houses, and Sober Living communities, all so that you can continue working to maintain the newfound sobriety you have been longing for.
If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, The Watershed is here for you 24/7 and wants to help. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Addiction, addiction recovery, drug addiction, Recovery, stages of recovery