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Stages of Change during Addiction Recovery

Stages of Change during Addiction RecoveryAddiction does not occur overnight. It is a progressive disease that typically develops over time due to a variety of circumstances and contributing factors. Likewise, recovery from addiction is a progressive endeavor that cannot be expected to happen all at once.

The Five Stages of Addiction Recovery

Everyone’s journey through addiction recovery is unique and depends on a multitude of personal factors. However, in general terms the recovery process can be divided into five basic stages, which include the following:

  • Stage 1: Awareness, acceptance and overcoming denial. Many people know that recognizing a problem is the first step in recovery. As addicts typically deny the extent or existence of a problem, recovery is impossible until they overcome this part.
  • Stage 2: Considering the nature of one’s addiction. This stage involves realizing the problems that the addiction caused one’s self and others.
  • Stage 3: Exploring treatment options and committing to sobriety. This stage marks the first clear step toward treating the problem.
  • Stage 4: Cessation of drug use, beginning treatment and enduring detox. This is a difficult but critical stage during which the addict will begin treatment, stop using drugs, attend counseling and learn to live a drug-free lifestyle.
  • Stage 5: Maintaining long-term sobriety, which is when recovering addicts leave rehab and begin to practice the lessons they learned. This can be quite challenging since an addict is outside the secure, supportive environment of rehab.

If a recovering addict progresses through these steps, he is much more likely to get and stay sober.

Support for Long-term Addiction Recovery

Recovering addicts must recognize and accept the fact that they will never be cured of addiction. Instead, recovery is a journey and not a destination. This journey is worth taking and can result in tremendous joy, a sense of accomplishment and the fulfillment, but it is usually challenging. In rehab recovering addicts were completely focused on recovery in a controlled environment without drugs. They also had the support of treatment professionals and fellow patients who supported recovery. On the other hand, after rehab recovering addicts may face opportunities to use drugs, pressures that may trigger relapse and even old friends who encourage drug use. It is critical during this time to maintain contact with a support network that includes follow-up counseling, support groups, and family and friends who are aware of the recovery.

Help Finding Treatment for Addiction

If you struggle with addiction and want to regain control of your life, we can help. Receiving professional treatment will greatly increase your chances of recovering from addiction and living a healthy, drug-free life. If you would like help finding treatment for addiction, or if you simply have questions about addiction, treatment and recovery, call toll-free, 24 hour helpline today.