28 Sep What are the Stages of Recovery?
What are the Stages of Recovery?
For many people, recovery follows a fairly recognizable path. While everyone’s personal journey along this road is different, there are certain “stages” that every recovering addict goes through.
Recovery is not always linear, and some stages might last longer than others. Regardless, the stages of addiction recovery are as follows: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination.
You can likely guess what these stages involve by their names, but let’s go over each of the drug addiction stages in detail.
- Precontemplation. The person in question has not considered recovery or sobriety as an option. They might not be aware of their addiction, or might be denying that they need help.
- Contemplation. This is one of the most important stages of drug recovery. The addict will begin to recognize how harmful their behaviors are, both to themselves and others. However, they might put off recovery, coming up with excuses like ‘it’s not a good time’ etc. While they might not be entirely open to rehab or recovery yet, this is a step in the right direction.
- Preparation. At this stage, the addict realizes that the pros of getting treatment far outweigh those of continuing down their current path. They might begin researching local rehabilitation centers and support groups or reach out to friends and family members who want to help.
- Action. In the eyes of many people, this is the true “start” to their recovery. This stage requires the most change and might involve a rehabilitation center or 12-step program. During this time, they will completely abstain from drugs, receive counseling, and learn how to lead and maintain a healthy, sober lifestyle. They might also begin re-establishing relationships with friends or loved ones.
- Maintenance. This stage refers to the time that the recovering addict “maintains” their sobriety. They might leave their rehabilitation center to live independently again. They must use the skills they learned during the “action” stage to cope with their relapse triggers and build a new life. However, they will not be alone during this time. Friends, family, counselors, and recovery groups can offer encouragement and support.
- Termination. While remaining sober is a lifelong commitment, the termination stage occurs when the recovering addict has reached a point of stability and happiness with their lives. By this time, they might have forged new relationships, found a job/career, and established a healthy home life. They no longer struggle with relapse triggers and are thankful to be healthy and sober.
Recovery is a unique concept in that it occurs differently for everyone. Some people might find themselves repeating one or more of these steps, while others might find recovery the first time around.
Regardless of how someone achieves and maintains sobriety, it is something to be proud of. It takes bravery to admit that you need help, and the decision to commit to recovery is a difficult choice to make.
However, this journey will lead to a brighter, happier future for everyone involved, and the people you meet along the way will provide lifelong support and friendships.