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The 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery



How to begin recovery from addiction

Addicts who choose to do away with alcohol and drugs to lead a sober life go through various body changes and stages in their recovery. The amount of time every individual spends in each stage is not set but depends on how the person in recovery makes progress. Some people may progress faster than others. A recovery center can fit everyone’s drug treatment to suit their needs. The stages individuals in recovery go through include:

1. Acknowledgment & Awareness

In the first stage, the patient recognizes that he or she has a problem. Failure to accept that one is an addict who needs help can lead to continued drug abuse. This stage is mainly a learning stage where the addict admits to the problem and tries to do something.

When the addict becomes aware of the situation, they start to realize the damage their behavior may have caused. Drug addiction affects bonds between friends, family members, and jobs. Even though the addict may not have entirely given up the drug, the idea of doing away with it lingers somewhere within their head.

2. Contemplation

At this stage, the addict has realized that there must be a change. Most people struggle to find the root cause of their substance abuse and move forward with recovery. This stage can last for months as addicts try to detox and refrain themselves from using. However, after various failed attempts, it eventually becomes evident that they need help.

3. Preparation Stage

Help may be attending support group meetings or enrolling in an efficient treatment program at a recovery center such as Serenity at Summit. In the preparation stage, the addict has a developing sense of urgency for sobriety. The individual may take steps such as joining the gym, attempting to quit themselves, talking to a friend or a counselor before going to a treatment center.

People in this stage can go for a day or even up to a week without substance abuse. However, if difficult emotions arise, they can quickly dive back into their previous state. It is in this stage where most people choose to attend a treatment center.

4. Active Recovery

Addiction is a persistent brain disease that is not entirely curable. The only way to help an addict is to help them conquer their drug abuse and guide them on maintaining a sober life. This stage mainly finds people in a rehabilitation facility since it requires a lot of effort. It is the most critical phase where vulnerability is exceptionally high.

While learning how to survive without substance abuse, addicts also try to mend relationships broken due to their addiction. It is common for addicts to relapse in this stage, but when they learn to accept mistakes, they realize they just have to carry on.

5. Maintenance

Recovery is a progressive process that goes on for the rest of a person’s life. The temptation to go out for one drink or any other drug is always a possibility. Therefore, every recovering individual needs to learn how to address such thoughts that may drive them back to substance abuse.

When you get expert treatment from a rehabilitation center, you identify your addiction triggers and develop excellent coping skills. This phase can go for up to six months or even five years in some individuals.

Addiction recovery is an ongoing process that requires a lifetime commitment. The first four stages of recovery may take a few months, but the last phase stays with you forever. Recovery treatment centers are one of the most effective ways to quit substance abuse. You receive proper guidance through your detox and on how to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.

Helpful Links

Phoenix House


Serenity At Summit


Talk About Addiction