Even if substance abuse is something that you’ve never personally dealt with, there’s a strong chance that you know someone who’s been challenged by it. In fact, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, somewhere around 19.7 million people struggled with either alcohol or drug addiction back in 2017.
There is good news. Reportedly, 1 in 10 people within the United States have recovered from substance abuse.
Just about all of them will tell you that addiction recovery has many layers. That said, there are actually five stages of recovery that are discussed among therapists and rehab facilities. Phases that help to get many on the road to long-term healing.
When it comes to the stages of addiction recovery, the first one is the precontemplation stage. It’s usually marked by individuals who are defensive and like to deflect with excuses whenever they’re confronted about their addiction.
More than anything, there is a lot of denial about how serious their lifestyle habits actually are.
This stage is literally when contemplation transpires. The person is not ready to get professional help for their addiction. Still, they are showing signs of accepting that their life choices aren’t healthy or helpful.
At the same time, the highs that they get from their drug or alcohol abuse are still too strong for them to completely let it go.
Another way to look at the preparation stage is it’s a bit of a light bulb or breakthrough moment. Something inside of the person knows that they can’t keep putting off breaking their addiction. They might stop going to certain places.
They may entertain seeing a therapist. Or they might make major lifestyle changes. They are easing into the urgency to do better.
The main thing that makes the action stage stand out is time. Whether or not it’s after rehab, the person has gone a while without using drugs or alcohol. They have made some major long-term changes in their day-to-day routine.
They usually also have some form of professional accountability in order to keep themselves on their sobriety path.
The Final Addiction Recovery Stage: Maintenance
Maintenance literally means “upkeep”. That is the best way to define the final stage of addiction recovery. This oftentimes consists of the individual cultivating a plan that will help someone stay sober.
This can consist of putting together a solid support system, finding new hobbies, ending dysfunctional relationships and incorporating healthy eating habits. Maintenance may also mean seeing a reputable counselor, therapist or intervention specialist on a consistent basis.
The interesting thing about this stage is it can last anywhere from six months to five years. However, once this stage is complete, the person who’s been dealing with substance addiction is considered to be finally freed from it.
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Whether you’re personally dealing with substance abuse or you know someone who is, we hope this article gave you some insight on the addiction recovery process.
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