Understanding the 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

Stages of Addiction Recovery

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just wave a magic wand and be miraculously cured of a drug or alcohol addiction?  In reality, though, the recovery journey is not so short and sweet, but actually involves a complete change in mindset and lifestyle with an eye toward a rewarding and fulfilling future—and that takes time.

Addiction recovery is as varied and unique as the individual entering into it, with a multitude of factors influencing the recovery experience.  In most cases, however, there are 5 distinct stages of addiction recovery that are commonly traversed.  Having an awareness of them can be both informative and comforting—especially to the loved ones who will benefit from knowing what to expect as they travel the journey alongside you.

What Are the 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery?

The road to recovery will look different for everyone, but most addiction treatment professionals recognize the process evolving in 5 distinct stages.  These stages include:

Stage One:  Awareness and Early Acknowledgment

On the surface, stage one may not actually look like a recovery at all.  During this first stage, the individual is still using the substance of choice but is becoming aware that his or her substance abuse is becoming problematic.  They may be experiencing negative consequences of the addictive behaviors, such as problems at home, at work, and even legal issues, but haven’t really committed to making a change.  However, at some point during stage one, a shift occurs from being in denial about the problem to becoming aware that an actionable step must take place, and slowly developing a willingness to take that step.

Stage Two:  Contemplation

Though not yet involved in pursuing recovery, stage two features an important change in focus from self to how the addiction is impacting loved ones.  They may begin to actively study the disease of addiction, as well as start to gather resource material about detox and addiction treatment.  They may mention quitting at some point, but it is usually a vague comment without a time reference.  Toward the end of stage two, the addict begins to shift from knowing they need to take action to actually doing it.

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Stage Three:  Exploring and Preparing for Recovery

Stage three marks the turning point when someone actually enters the active recovery mode.  This preparatory stage features exploring what the recovery process looks like, and how a life of abstinence looks and may begin to educate themselves on treatment options.  Some during this stage will reach out to people in their life who have been in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction to ask about how it works and gain encouragement from them.

Stage Four:  Taking Action and Early Recovery

This early phase of recovery involves going through detox and then entering an addiction treatment program in hopes of overcoming the addiction.  While stage four is a positive development in the recovery process, it is also one with significant challenges.  Learning to live life without the crutch of a substance is difficult in early recovery.  The individual may experience loss, as they make changes in their circle of friends and daily activities in order to protect their recovery.  During stage four relapse is very common as the recovery process is still under construction.  Using the newfound coping skills and behavioral changes takes time to become entrenched in new healthy habits.

Stage Five:  Maintenance

Stage five represents the point when recovery begins to feel good.  The individual now accepts that they must be ever vigilant about guarding their sobriety by avoiding triggers and accessing their support system.  They understand that they will always be an addict and respect the power of addiction as something they must continue to manage for the rest of their life.  By this stage, they are experiencing the positive rewards of hanging in there and persisting in remaining clean and sober.

The Importance of the Support System

The process of addiction recovery may involve twists and turns, and even some detours.  Having a cadre of friends and family members, as well as a sponsor, can make or break recovery.  By rebuilding trust with loved ones and showing them by your actions that you are fully committed to recovery, chances are these significant others will rally around you and not abandon you when you need them most.  Nurture these relationships and access their support, especially during early recovery when it is so tenuous.  There is no doubt that no one wants you to succeed as much as these people.

Golf Drug Rehab Guides You Through the 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

Golf Drug Rehab is a high end luxury rehab located on the coast of Southern California near Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside areas.  The expert clinical staff will walk you through the 5 stages of addiction recovery with compassion and respect.  In addition to the proven therapeutic interventions, Golf Drug Rehab combines recovery with enjoyment by providing access to three spectacular local golf courses.  For more information about the rehab program, contact the staff at Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.

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