Addiction recovery is obviously not something that a person can do overnight. It’s also not something that a person can do in a matter of weeks or even months.
Recovering from addiction is something that can take years. And even then, there are always stories about people relapsing after managing to stay sober for years and decades on end.
If you or a loved one is battling drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or some other kind of addiction at this time, you should know about the addiction recovery process and all that it entails. More specifically, you should be familiar with the five main stages of addiction recovery.
Learn more about the different stages of addiction recovery below so that you know what you can expect for yourself or your loved one.
Stage 1: Precontemplation Stage
When a person first jumps onto the road to addiction recovery, they’re in what is called the precontemplation stage. Sadly, they’re often not 100% ready to get the help that they need during this stage.
A person who is in the precontemplation stage will typically become defensive and even combative when those around them tell them that they need help. They’ll be too focused on all the positive things that come along with their addiction and not at all concerned about the negatives that come along with it.
A lot of people get stuck in this stage at first, and as a result, they don’t always respond well to addiction treatment. They almost set themselves up for failure from the start, which is why they don’t see the results that they and their loved ones might want.
Stage 2: Contemplation Stage
If a person is able to get through the precontemplation stage, they will enter what is known as the contemplation stage. This is a much better place for them to be in if they have any hopes of beating their addiction once and for all.
Those in the contemplation stage will often be a lot more open to getting help for their battle with addiction. They’ll still recognize some of the perceived positives that come along with their addiction, but they’ll have a strong understanding of what makes their addiction so harmful to them and others.
More importantly, those who are in the contemplation stage will know that they want to change. This will help to put them on the right path as they aim to get the treatment they need.
Stage 3: Preparation Stage
Once a person moves out of the contemplation stage, they’ll make their way into the preparation stage, which is where a lot of the real work begins. At this point, a person will want to change, and they’ll also start to do things that will signify that they’re prepared to change.
In some cases, they might attend an addiction support meeting. In others, they might set up an appointment with a counselor. Whatever the case, the point is that they will be trying to take matters into their own hands.
With that being said, not everyone who enters the preparation stage stays there and pushes forward. There are plenty of people who revert back to the contemplation stage or even the precontemplation stage when they’re battling addiction.
At any rate, the fact that they’re able to get to the preparation stage says a whole lot about them and their determination to beat addiction. It’s just a matter of getting them to the next stage where the real change starts to happen.
Stage 4: Action Stage
The preparation stage is often what sets people up for success when it comes to their battles with addiction. But it’s the action stage that helps to transform their lives.
When a person is in the action stage, they’ll take real actionable steps that will bring them one step closer to putting their addiction in the past forever. They’ll go to rehab, put an end to their destructive behavior, and begin to become a better person one day at a time.
They’ll also work to begin mending their broken relationships with family members, friends, and others. Essentially, this stage involves a person putting the pieces of their life together in the aftermath of a long battle with addiction.
Stage 5: Maintenance Stage
By the time a person reaches the maintenance stage, they’re going to be feeling so good about themselves. They will have come a long way since the first stage and will be in a perfect position to live a more fulfilling life as they move forward.
But here’s the thing about the maintenance stage: It never ends! Once a person is addicted to something, they’re always going to be addicted to it to some degree. So they’ll need to maintain their sobriety by attending support groups, practicing self-care and self-love, and keeping themselves out of situations that could tempt them to run back to their addiction.
There are times when it’ll be easy for a person to keep themselves on the right track. They won’t have a hard time saying “NO!” to their addiction.
But there will also be times when their mind might temporarily wander and take them back to a bad place. It’s at these times when they’re going to have to work extra hard to battle back against their addiction.
These post recovery tips should help someone who is going through the last of the addiction recovery stages.
Going Through the Stages of Addiction Recovery Is Hard But Worth It
For most people, going through the different stages of addiction recovery is one of the hardest things they’ll ever have to do. Addiction is a monster that just doesn’t go down without a fight.
But people can work their way through the stages of addiction recovery by using the resources available to them and leaning on their support system when they need it. It won’t always be easy to battle back against addiction, but it will be worth it when everything is all said and done.
Read the other articles on our blog for more tips on recovering from addiction.