Alcohol and drug abuse can break a family’s bond and transform warm and successful people into desperate, lonely husks of their former selves. Developing an addiction isn’t a flaw in a character or weakness. The truth is when things like alcohol or drugs are taken in excess, it changes the brain, causing high cravings and a compulsion to use, making soberness an almost impossible task. Sadly, there are many misconceptions and stigmas around addiction. This can keep many people from telling others how they feel or what they are going through.
Let’s talk about the stages of addiction recovery. Just as addiction doesn’t form overnight, there can be stages to addiction recovery. Read on to find out more
Stages Of Addiction Recovery
The method through which people recover from addiction is described by the “stages of change” or “transtheoretical” model. Although the phases of change can be used to address a variety of other behaviors that people wish to change, it is also most well-known for their effectiveness in treating addiction. This approach consists of four primary phases: Precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action. Relapse and maintenance are occasionally added as extra stages.
In theory, these stages of sobriety are often seen as a cycle, but in reality, individuals don’t move through them in order. Individuals can move backward and forward through the stages and even be on multiple levels at once.
- Precontemplation Stage of Recovery: According to the change model, in these stages of addiction recovery and behavior modification, precontemplation is the first stage. Precontemplative individuals frequently do not view their actions as problematic. This can be the case either because they have not yet felt any negative consequences for their actions or because they are in denial about how negative or severe the effects they have already felt. However, persons who engage in addictive activities eventually suffer negative repercussions that can serve as a wake-up call and induce “contemplation” in the person.
- Contemplation Stage of Recovery: The most challenging stage of recovery is admitting to addiction; the excessive use of drugs or alcohol affects the brain in a way that creates excuses to keep using and accepting it shows you are bold enough to face your addiction and its causes. Individuals in the contemplation stage are typically more receptive to learning about the potential adverse effects of their addictive behavior. Without committing to a particular strategy or even vowing to change, they might be receptive to learning about many methods for reducing or stopping addictive behavior. Addicts may spend a long time thinking about their options before either proceeding to the preparation phase or going back to the precontemplation.
- The Preparation Stage: At this stage, the person has advanced to planning and preparing for implementing changes they learned about in the contemplation stage. With substance addiction, careful planning can be essential for success. In your particular situation, several additional preparations may be required, such as locating a clean, secure area to begin your new life. There are different places to turn to for assistance, and a solid system is imperative in any treatment options you choose. If you are not ready to confide in your friends or family, consider talking to a Therapist, Professional doctor, or rehab facility.
- Action stage: Real change—behavioral change—begins during the action stage. Usually, the action phase is stressful. But with the proper planning, it can also be an exciting period that opens up new possibilities. Many people begin the action phase in a detox or treatment facility. This can be characterized by prolonged abstinence and turning to professionals for help during the initial stages of quitting an addiction. Others, especially those whose goals revolve around regulating or controlling behavior (rather than stopping totally), may find that the action stage is comparable to everyday life, but with more restraint and potentially a more considerable need for support and alternative stress management methods.
The stages of sobriety give you the privilege of regaining all positive aspects of your life. At the Blanchard institute, we address co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety that can impact addiction. By treating these aspects, people in recovery stages find themselves enjoying many benefits, such as
- A greater sense of freedom
- Improved mental and physical health
- Better financial stability
- Healthier relationships with friends and family
Addiction recovery is a process; there may be setbacks or obstacles along the way. To stay successful and maintain a long-lasting recovery, it is crucial to take care of yourself, seek support when needed, and create an environment and schedule to help you thrive. If you want to read more tips on recovering from addiction or consulting with a treatment specialist, don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule an appointment through our website.